‘A darkly delicious romp through the backstreets of Victorian Cardiff. I loved it!’ Emma Carroll. Author of  Letters from the Lighthouse, Strange Star, In Darkling Wood, Frost Hollow Hall, The Girl Who Walked on Air.

 “an absolute firecracker of a book – gorgeously raw, dark and Dickensian… dreamlike and intoxicating… genuinely terrifying… so wonderfully atmospheric I could almost smell the greasepaint…” Lucy Strange. Author of The Secret of Nightingale Wood.

Winner of Wales Arts Review Young People’s Book of the Year 2017!!!

‘In a strong list of books for children and young people, the winner this year is a book that has everybody talking about it. Eloise Williams’s dark and Dickensian thriller brings to life the backstreets of Victorian Cardiff with the unforgettable heroine, Nansi. The atmospheric storytelling will have you gripped from the first page. Click HERE to see the full list!’ Wales Arts Review.

Winner of the YBB Book Awards!


Shortlisted for the Welsh Books Council Tir na nOg Award 2018 

Longlisted for the Shrewsbury Best Book Award 2018

Chosen as one of MG Books of the Year – Family Bookworms Awards 2017

GWALES Bestseller April 2017

Book of the Week , South Wales Evening Post

Chosen as one of the BooksforTopics Best Books of 2017!

“For me it’s Gaslight by Eloise Williams. The Victorian setting of Cardiff is so beautifully crafted. It leaps off the page! Add in a terrific action packed plot and a new brilliant protagonist in Nansi and you’ve got an absolute belter of a book.” Finian Black, author of children’s book ‘The Final Raven’

Chosen as one of MrDaviesReads Top Books of 2017!

‘There’s no better recommendation than the children in my class hanging onto every word as the book drew to its conclusion.’

Gaslight is set in the beautiful and brilliant Cardiff the glorious city where I was born, spent most of my school holidays, worked in Howells Department Store, and then went to the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama.  I loves (sic) it there. 

Cover design by Anne Glenn

‘It is books like Gaslight that are behind comments from booksellers about how the best writing is often to be found in the children’s and young adult sections.’ Tamsin Rosewell. Kenilworth Books.

“I hadn’t intended to read another entire book today but this is STUNNING. So tense and atmospheric and well written.” Perfect for Y6/7/8. @MrboothY6

 “A breath taking adventure full of twists, turns and the unexpected, prepare to be shocked and surprised by the glorious ‘Gaslight.’” BookloverJo.

“Gaslight is the best book I have ever read in my whole entire life. I think you should read it because it is very exciting; it is so so so so so so so so so so so so good.” Lucy Y6.

“Brilliant for those studying Victorians. ESSENTIAL to schools…”

‘…it’s a fantastic read that has given me a whole host of lesson ideas. I thoroughly enjoyed it and cannot wait to begin sharing with my class next week.’ Mr Davies Reads. 

A change from the many stories set in Victorian London, this popular new novel finds its setting in nineteenth-century Cardiff. With a gripping plot from start to finish, this book tells the story of a young girl called Nansi, who tries to survive the bleak reality of being impoverished and female in the perilous streets… The cast of characters, each with their own quests and secrets, shines out exuberantly against the grimy backdrop of the setting. We love the richly evocative narrative that seamlessly immerses readers into its extraordinary world and leaves them desperate for more.

‘A deliciously dark, historical thriller that is evocative and intriguing. Wonderfully atmospheric with a determined, feisty heroine and a menacing villain who has a distinctive Dickensian flavour. A great gift and perfect for book group discussion.’ Zoe Williams, South Wales Evening Post – Book of the Week.

‘Dark and often scary this is an excellent piece of melodrama for younger readers, setting and characters vividly described. Recommended for fans of Philip Pullman’s Sally Lockhart books, and you could follow up with some Dickens too.’ Andrea Reece. Lovereading4kids.

‘Few books deserve the tag ‘future classic’ … but Gaslight does, I think. It’s the kind of book I would have devoured as a child (and, indeed, did devour as an greying adult). A brave but put-upon protagonist, nasty baddies, fights, sneaking about, derring do … and all wrapped up in lovely writing.’ Eugene Lambert, author of The Sign of One Trilogy.

Illustration by Guy Manning

‘Gaslight is incredibly rich in detail – full of vivid descriptions of a grimy Victorian underworld. You can taste, smell and feel the sooty Cardiff backstreets with every page turn… the characters zing and sparkle with life – Nansi is bold, feisty and independent; Sid is menacing, evil and intimidating … I loved it.’

I couldn’t wait to start reading and then I found it hard to stop, because I desperately wanted to find out what would happen to Nansi and the search for her mother. Gaslight is an enchanting story that grabbed me from beginning to end. Eloise Williams is a new author for me and after reading Gaslight I can’t wait to read more of her books.  If you love to read captivating stories that are suitable for both children & adults I highly recommend Gaslight. Anniek Snowroses, With Love For Books.

‘Gaslight’ is a great read- full of tension, excitement and action. Nansi is a brilliant character- feisty, loyal and spirited- who the reader really engages with and is cheering on all the way! I also loved gentle Bee. Cardiff is a great setting for the story, atmospheric and rich in detail of the theatre and life.’ North Somerset Teachers’ Book Award

“Gaslight is a deliciously dark Victorian tale set in Cardiff in 1899… I particularly liked the depiction of the backstage life of a Victorian theatre with its many dark corridors, trapdoors and stage hands.” Lynda Waterhouse, Awfully Big Reviews.

‘A darkly menacing, gothic tale; Gaslight is an enthralling read that will delight and scare in equal measure. Eloise Williams has created a strong, determined heroine in a richly evocative setting… can’t wait to see it fly off my bookshelf at school!’ Miss Cleveland is reading…

‘…the story really gripped me & I moved from a gentle amble to a faster page-turning pace. The Victorian world is impeccably drawn and feels as though the author has really done her research. A great story for anyone loving a bit of historical drama.’ Book Loon blog.

‘Gaslight is a fabulous ride, full of heartstopping moments as Nansi’s fearlessness gets tested to the limit. With Dickensian characters and a brilliantly realised atmosphere, young readers will be transported into another world – there’s nothing sanitised about Eloise Williams’ take on Victorian Cardiff. Children and adults alike will be unable to stop tearing through the pages, just as desperate as Nansi to find out what’s really been going on in those gaslit streets…’ BookTrust

Norman enjoyed ‘Gaslight’ and gave it two pointy ears of approval as his two thumbs up.

‘Readers aged nine years plus will thrill at being plunged into Eloise Williams’ tale of Victorian Cardiff. Nansi is a character to take to the heart and one who children will find a great empathy for. Gaslight is full of surprises and as good an adventure as you could possibly want … the one thing that strikes me as amazing is the amount of heart and drama Eloise Williams has created in less than 200 pages.  There’s huge depth of story and as I read, I felt like Gaslight functioned as an ink and paper time machine, with surroundings as real as you would wish for. This is exactly what makes me want to share it in class: to see the response from children to not only a cracking adventure plot, but also to the wider picture of Nansi’s life. I fully anticipate mass gasping and holding of breath and hands raised with questions that just can’t wait. I’m pretty convinced Gaslight is one of those books that keeps kids glued even after the home-time bell has rung. I’m looking forward to finding out!

Gaslight: a vivid and breath-taking piece of story-telling brilliance.’ Books-a-Go-Go. 

‘Gaslight by Eloise Williams, is exactly the sort of book the younger me would have enjoyed – with the perfect mix of historical detail, mystery, suspense and danger.’ Rachel Carney. Created to Read.

            Sophie McKeand’s friend Bonnie-the-Whippet needs a rest after hurtling through Gaslight.

“Many of the elements familiar to Eloise’s readers are present – the readability, the wit, the humour and the beautifully observed characters. Throughout it all the heroine Nansi proves herself to be brave, fearless and a person many youngsters would want to be identified with. Nansi is just one of several strong female characters… parallels can be drawn with Sarah Waters… A thumping good read set against a most wonderful backdrop.’ BB Skone, Pembrokeshire Life.

“I really liked the book because it was interesting, a bit funny and it had an interesting plot. I especially liked the plot twist near the end. The book kept me feeling excited because there were sometimes very close escapes and a lot of drama.” Carys Williams, 11. Created to Read.  

“A wonderful Victorian romp with echoes of Dickens … a deliciously dark picture of a life in Victorian Cardiff.  From the grimy streets to the spotlit stage, the atmosphere positively draws you in. I loved Nansi; she is bold and brave and doesn’t allow her fears to get the better of her.  She’s exactly the sort of heroine I loved reading about when I was a girl! 

As the plot thickens, the brilliant storytelling takes you on a thrilling journey, with twists galore.  The added interest of life in a Victorian theatre and the intrigue behind the scenes ensures Gaslight will entertain all readers!” The Book Activist.

‘Eloise Williams’s wild, dark Victorian thriller has a brave, complex heroine who will break your heart and make you cheer.

The book is full of mystery and foreshadowing, twists and turns and an ending that I did not predict. The darkness of the book is lightened by Eloise’s wit and humour which shines throughout.

I heartily recommend this book to Year 5 and upwards in schools and to readers at home.’ Diary of the Evans-Crittens

Eloise Williams’ writing glimmers with atmosphere and intrigue; the story is fast-paced and tightly plotted. Her characters are fabulous; Gaslight is set in a time when women’s role in society was shifting and the subject of fierce public and political debate; it’s a pleasure to see so many female characters, all different, all complex, and each powerful in their own way. Historical storytelling at its most exciting! Kenilworth Books.

A whole ‘Gaslight’ window at Kenilworth Books!


‘Nansi is sparky and humorous and her story is told with breathtaking speed. It has a Dickensian cast of characters, including a Frida Kahlo lookalike fake medium, and the ‘mudlarks’ of Tiger Bay who survive by scavenging at the waterside.

…full of dramatic incident, murder and mayhem, a rollicking teenage version of Victorian gothic…it’s exhilarating. Her writing is direct and even poetic at times, sensuous and powerful….’ Wendy Crockett. A review from, with the permission of the Welsh Books Council. 

My mother disappeared on the 6th of September 1894.

I was found at the docks in Cardiff lying like a gutted fish at the water’s edge.

Huge thanks go to Literature Wales for the Writers’ Bursary they awarded me last year! I couldn’t have written ‘Gaslight’ without it.


This is what people wore back then. I’m not sure why I’m wearing it.

          Reading in the car – where Victorian meets modern!

Lu Hersey – author of the fabulous ‘Deep Water’ reads ‘Gaslight’ on a windy cliff top.  Hang on tight Lu!

Watson Jones is not entirely convinced that there should be other dogs on my website!