Wayward Daughter: An Official Biography of Eliza Carthy

Press Release

The life story, so far, of folk music’s Wayward Daughter

  • Publishes: 9 May 2012
  • Format: Paperback
  • Price: £12.99
  • ISBN: 9780956642073

Eliza Carthy has been a professional musician since she was fifteen and celebrates 21 years in the business this year. Fitting therefore that she should be the subject of a biography that covers the first 36 years of an eventful life.

Wayward Daughter An Official Biography of Eliza Carthy is written by long-time fan and fellow fiddle player Sophie Parkes who was granted ‘access all areas’, not only to Eliza, but also to friends, family and musical collaborators.

Sophie conducted fascinating interviews with Martin Carthy, Norma Waterson, Jon Boden, Billy Bragg, comedian Stewart Lee, Nancy Kerr, Cerys Matthews, Van Dyke Parks, John Spiers, Richard Thompson and many more. A common thread that keeps coming through is how much musicians enjoy working with Eliza and just how good a player she really is.

The book is about the woman as much as her music though, and Sophie and Eliza developed a close relationship during interviews in which the subject felt comfortable opening up to the biographer.

Eliza has not only been incredibly generous with her time, she has also provided many photographs from her personal collection from when she was a child through to the present day. These are not only shots of her and her peers on stage, but also warm pictures of family and friends.

Eliza is renowned for having a close relationship with her fans and the ever-thorough Sophie has interviewed some of these, canvassing their views on the past, present and future of Eliza Carthy.

Mark Radcliffe kindly provided a witty foreword.


Sophie Parkes is a young musician who has written for FiddleOn magazine since she was fifteen. She lives in Manchester where she runs her own folk club, For Folk’s Sake. Her band Air Cav has just released their first album.

For your review copy, or to interview Sophie or Eliza, please contact Phil Godsell at Soundcheck Books. E-mail him on phil@soundcheckbooks.co.uk or call on +44 (0) 7880 792 259