Jade Chandler, publishing director at Baskerville, John Murray Press, has snapped up UK rights to Jessie Elland’s captivatingly dark debut The Ladie Upstairs, from Katie Greenstreet of Paper Literary.

The Ladie Upstairs introduces a bold and unflinching new voice in horror-adjacent fiction. The story follows scullery drudge Ann, who longs to become a lady’s maid. Ann can’t quite remember how or when she arrived at Ropner Hall. She loathes spending her days toiling in the dank kitchen, so when a chance meeting with Lady Charlotte leads to the opportunity to become her personal maid, Ann is convinced she has finally escaped her own version of
hell. But has she? As Ann’s experience above stairs takes a sinister twist, will it turn out that the terrors lurking there are worse than the devils she knows below?

Jade Chandler said, ‘I was bewitched by Jessie’s darkly visceral, ambitious and provocative novel from the first page. The Ladie Upstairs is wholly original; it’s set in an unspecified historical period that feels deeply grounded as well as slippery to pin down. I love how Jessie explores the patriarchal horrors overlaid on the female body through the eerie space that is Ropner Hall, where the paintings watch her from the walls, and nothing is as it first seems. Her plotting is compelling while also turning everything we expect from a big historical house novel on its head. I can’t wait to share her work with readers!’

Jessie Elland said, ‘I couldn’t be happier to be working with the team at Baskerville! I was so inspired by Jade’s passion for The Ladie Upstairs, and as soon as I learnt that Baskerville pride themselves on publishing ‘books that haunt the imagination’, I knew my book had
found its perfect home.’

Katie Greenstreet said, ‘I couldn’t be prouder to represent the wildly talented Jessie Elland. I was hooked from the first page of her initial submission, and uncovering the world of Ropner Hall through Ann’s eyes is a deliciously dark and twisted ride that I can’t wait for readers to embark upon. And The Ladie Upstairs is only the beginning of what I know will be a very special career!’

Baskerville will release The Ladie Upstairs in hardback in May 2025, supported by a suitably creepy and immersive marketing and publicity campaign.

About the author:
Jessie Elland is a twenty-four-year-old actress from Teeside best known for her role as Chloe on the hit soap Emmerdale, but she is a true reader and writer at heart and also blogs about books on her Instagram @JessieElland. THE LADIE UPSTAIRS is her first novel and was inspired by a grand estate near her childhood home around which much superstition swirled.