In the mid-17th century, England was divided by war and bloodshed. But while civil war raged on cobbled streets and green fields, inside the home domestic life continued as it always had done. For Ann Fanshawe and her children it meant a life of insecurity and constant jeopardy as she and her husband, a Royalist diplomat, dedicated their lives to the restoration of the Stuart monarchy. Ann's 'receipt book' was a treasured and entirely feminine response to the upheavals of war. These books were a feature of women's lives during this period, when there were few doctors to be found, and were full of life-saving medical knowledge that had been gleaned from mothers and friends. By using Ann's receipt book and the memoirs she wrote for her surviving son, Lucy Moore follows her through this turbulent time as she leaves home, marries, bears - and buries - children and seeks to hold her family together.