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The Aerialists by Katie Munnik

December 6, 2021

A rich historical novel based on the true story of Louisa Maud Evans, a fourteen-year old girl who died during the Great Exhibition in Cardiff, 1896, and whose demise – tumbling 8,000 feet into the Bristol Channel – captured the imagination of the city.


Paris, 1891 Laura is living on the streets, far from the American Prairies where she was born. When aerialists Ena and August Gaudron, believing Laura to be English, decide to rescue her, she soon finds herself ensconced in the family hot air balloon business, and offered the chance to learn how to fly.

Cardiff, 1896 The Gaudrons accept an invitation to be part of the Cardiff Fine Art, Industrial and Maritime Exhibition, presenting a show of balloon ascents and parachute descents. Late one night, a young girl, Grace Parry, knocks on the door. She is desperate to fly, whatever the cost. 

As Grace’s dreams begin to take wing, can Laura be the one to keep her grounded? Histories real and invented intertwine as the novel explores the many risky ways girls are expected to perform.

Published 14th April 2022 | Hardback | 9780008473198 | RRP £14.99


If you’re a bookseller in the UK or Ireland and you’d like an advance reading copy of The Aerialists please send your request, along with your name and bookshop address, to El at independentthinking@harpercollins.co.uk

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