Author - Catherine Cookson
Catherine Cookson's books are inspired by her youth in South Tyneside.

Author - Catherine Cookson

Catherine Cookson was born in 1906, the illegitimate child of an alcoholic mother. She was brought up by her grandparents and grew up thinking her mother was her sister. She left school at 13 and worked as a servant and then in a workhouse before she took up writing.

Cookson’s first novel, Kate Hannigan, was published in 1950. More than 100 books followed, making her one of the most prolific of British writers. Her genre was historical dramas which drew much of their inspiration from the harsh life she saw around her, and many of these have been adapted for film, stage, TV and radio.

Cookson’s humble beginnings made her frugal with her money, even after she had become a multi-millionaire. Still, she gave generously to good causes giving over £800,000 to the University of Newcastle. In recognition of this generosity, a building in the university medical faculty has been named after her. She died in 1998, sixteen days before her 92nd birthday.

How familiar are you with the life and works of Catherine Cookson? Find out in this fun quiz!

Cookson was born in which area of England?
She was born in Tyne Dock, South Shields, in what was then County Durham, in 1906
Which novel was adapted for television in 1999, with Carli Norris in the title role?
Tammy Trotter
Terri Trotter
Tilly Trotter
Tracy Trotter
There are three books featuring Tilly Trotter - Tilly Trotter, Tilly Trotter Wed and Tilly Trotter Widowed
Cookson met her husband Tom in which town?
She married Tom Cookson, a teacher at Hastings Grammar School, in 1940 when she was 34. They were still married when she died 58 years later
What is the title of the 1952 novel centred around the O'Brien family?
The Thirteen Streets
The Fourteen Streets
The Fifteen Streets
The Sixteen Streets
The book is set in East Jarrow where Cookson lived as a child
In the 1978 TV adaptation of The Mallens, who played Donald Radlet, the illegitimate son of Thomas Mallen?
John Alderton
John Duttine
Robson Green
John Thaw
The adaptation was based on the three novels, The Mallen Streak, The Mallen Girl and The Mallen Litter
Which Cookson character made her first appearance in the 1954 novel A Grand Man?
Mary Ann
Mary Beth
Mary Jane
Mary Rose
The book is about Mary Ann's childhood and growing up in Ireland with an alcoholic father
In later life, after a spell living in the south of England, Cookson and her husband settled in which market town in Northumberland?
Corbridge is 16 miles west of Newcastle and 4 miles east of Hexham
In the 1957 novel Rooney, what is the title character's job?
Bus driver
Farm labourer
John Gregson played Rooney in the 1958 film version
What was the title of Cookson's first short story, written when she was only eleven?
The Wild Gypsy Girl
The Wild Irish Girl
The Wild Servant Girl
The Wild Welsh Girl
Catherine sent her story to the South Shields Gazette, which sent it back three days later
In the Mallen Streak trilogy, what was the Mallen Streak?
A flash of white hair
A footrace
A horse
A steam locomotive
All the male Mallens had it; it was said to carry a curse


Author:  Tony Rennick

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