Books inspired by Alnwick Garden to be published

A THREE book deal has been negotiated for The Poison Diaries based on the concept by The Duchess of Northumberland.

HarperCollins Publishers have announced the first of the trilogy by Maryrose Wood, will be published in 2010.

These gothic tales of love, revenge, and the dangerous world of poisonous plants were inspired by the real Poison Garden, at The Alnwick Garden located in the grounds of Alnwick Castle in the North East of England. Along with its reputation for magnificent gardens, the castle is also famous as the site used for Hogwarts in the Harry Potter films.

Copublisher of the Balzer + Bray imprint at HarperCollins Children's US Alessandra Balzer said: "This trilogy stands apart from other supernatural teen novels because of its original premise, as well as the very real and rich world of The Poison Garden that inspired it."

The Duchess of Northumberland said: "The power of plants is often unbelievable, and in the wrong hands it can be lethal.

"The same plant can generally kill, cure, and also be a potent aphrodisiac. The gift of being able to communicate with such plants would surely be the ultimate power for a human to possess.

"I look at Datura plants growing side by side with strychnine and hemlock in The Poison Garden and I can imagine what incredible stories they would have to tell.

"This is how my idea for The Poison Diaries came about."

Jane Northumberland is married to the 12th Duke of Northumberland and is mistress of Alnwick Castle, often referred to as "The Windsor of the North."

The earls and dukes of Northumberland have lived in Alnwick Castle for 700 years.

The Duchess has spent the last fourteen years creating beautiful public gardens in the grounds of the castle and, because of her fascination and knowledge of poisons, has created the world-famous Poison Garden.

Alnwick Castle, and The Alnwick Garden, is the most popular tourist destination in the North of England, attracting more than 800,000 visitors each year.

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