The Maxwells (Countess and Earl of Nithsdale)

The Players

Portrait (left) of Winifred Herbert Maxwell, Countess of Nithsdale, the inspiration for Bethan Glentaggart in A Noble Cunning. Many of the events in the novel mirror actual events in Winifred’s dramatic life.

Although she and her family were members of the nobility, they suffered severe persecution for their devotion to the Catholic faith.

Portrait (right) of William Maxwell, Earl of Nithsdale, the real-life model for Gavin Glentaggart in A Noble Cunning.


Portraits of Winifred and William Maxwell by permission of the Traquair House Charitable Trust.

Praise for A Noble Cunning

Amazon #1 Best Seller Badge

American Fiction Award Winner 2023 American Book Fest

“… a riveting read using daring, bravery, commitment, honor, and a generous portion of faith and ingenuity.”
Historical Novel Society

Author reimagines story of heroine…
Peeblesshire News UK

Featured Author Interview
The Donna Seebo Show

Noble English Rose + Scottie Earl in Love
What could go wrong?
English History Fact and Fiction Podcast

Religious Freedom was a Long Time Coming
A Writer of History Guest Post

Interview – Prequels + Sequels
Historical Novel Society

Author’s love of history takes new form
The Essentials

Bernstein Spotlight Interview
History Through Fiction with Colin Mustful

“Bernstein tackles a failed coup against British crown…”
Houston Chronicle

Author Q+A: Challenges, Favorite Book + more
What is That Book About

Bernstein Plunges Into Fiction
WOW! Women on Writing

Pilgrimages, Characters, Novel Thoughts
OpenBook Posts

Sheroes, Grit and Amazing Feats
Southern Writers Magazine

Nominated as a Chaucer 2022 Semi-Finalists for Early Historical Fiction
Chanticleer Book Reviews

“It speaks reverently about resistance at the most individual level.”
– Andrew Dansby, Houston Chronicle Notable Books

“Rich with historical gossip and pageantry…”
Named to Most-Anticipated Historical Fiction Novels of 2023  
– Ashley Hasty, hastybooklist.com

“…a sumptuously detailed historical novel…based on a fiercely courageous woman fighting tirelessly against political and religious tyranny.”

– Kathleen Kent, NY Times bestselling author of The Heretic’s Daughter

“…a riveting and largely unknown story, based on true events, about a remarkable woman’s strength, love and courage against formidable odds.”

– Karen Brooks, international bestselling author of The Good Wife of Bath and The Locksmith’s Daughter

“…dramatic flair and suspense that captures you to the very end…a must read.”

– Sister Jane Meyer, O.P., former Head, St. Agnes Academy, Houston

“The author brings both the Scottish Lowlands and Hanoverian London vividly to life with a keen eye for period detail and a heart-stopping denouement.”

– Leslie Carroll, author of Notorious Royal Marriages

“A riveting tale of one woman’s courage and determination! Her forceful personality makes A Noble Cunning a gripping page-turner.”

– David Blixt, author of What Girls Are Good For and Her Majesty’s Will

“Patricia Bernstein paints a compelling and dramatic portrait of Scotland in the perilous time of the 1715 Jacobite Rebellion…an immersive tale of adventure, rich with period detail.”

– Gillian Bagwell, author of The September Queen

“The highly descriptive narrative moves at an engaging pace, and the character development is utterly exquisite.”

Readers’ Favorite Review

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Nonfiction titles available through Texas A & M University Press.