The Author

Anne Cartwright is an author, ex-opera singer and confirmed Francophile.  Her new book, A Handful of Chestnuts, is out now.

Anne spent her formative years in the North of England until her career and marriage took her south and away from her Lancashire roots.

She studied opera at the Royal Northern College of Music and enjoyed a highly successful career as an opera singer, making soloist performances in the UK and across Europe. Now retired, she lives in France with her musician husband, Colin Cartwright, and her experiences there have been the inspiration for her latest book, A Handful of Chestnuts, which is out now.

Some of the events described are rather bizarre and just ever so slightly shocking, such as the sudden departure of one of the local residents and the sad tale of a tail, but life can be stranger than fiction and each story is based in truth.  Rest assured though that this gentle book will not give anyone nightmares.

You will also find scattered amongst the pages interesting facts, a few recipes and food ideas, and snippets of information about the humble chestnut which can be found in abundance in woods throughout Europe in the autumn and which has been an important feature of rural life throughout France's history (and still is), as well as tips for its other uses.


This book is a collection of delightful and evocative stories and anecdotes.  It focuses around life in a small hamlet in the Limousin during a period starting in 2006 when the couple moved to France and, like so many other Brits, were renovating a property.

These stories, or 'old chestnuts', are based on Anne and her husband's real-life experiences as British expats.

A Handful of Chestnuts

£ 10 

Available in paperback format.

A Handful of Chestnuts by
Anne Cartwright

Drawings by Roger Spratt

Find out more about
Anne Cartwright

Words and Music: A Harmonious Relationship

Anne and her musician husband, Colin, are enjoying their retirement in South-West France where Anne writes her novels and poetry and Colin leads a choir and composes music.  It's a marriage of minds.

A Handful of Chestnuts would make an ideal Christmas gift for those difficult-to-buy-for individuals with an interest in all things Gallic.  It will be of particular interest to those seeking to follow their dream and settle in the French countryside.


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