The Small Museum

“I was blown away by The Small Museum. Cooksley skilfully teases out these revelations in this beautifully written gothic mystery.”

Stacey Halls, author of The Revels

“Cooksley’s The Small Museum is a masterful tale of dashed hope, treachery, and loss. Lurking within its pages are Madeleine’s disturbing thoughts about her new husband’s rather sinister collections. As her dread culminates in a horrifying conclusion, Madeleine must fight for what she holds dear to stay alive. Perfect for fans of Jess Kidd and Essie Fox, The Small Museum is a Victorian snapshot of scientific discovery meets natural history and the darkness unleashed at the hands of medical professionals gone awry. A startling, bewitching Gothic that kept me up reading into the wee hours.”

Tonya Mitchell, author of The Arsenic Eater’s Wife

How to Keep Well in Wartime

“A powerful and finely crafted novel, exploring how we deal with loss, grief, relationships and mental health”

Tracey Iceton, author of the Celtic Colours trilogy and Mickey Hunter, Rock God

The Glass House

Jody has managed to capture the spirit of a remarkable artist.”

Colin Forbes CBE, Art Historian and former Director of The National Portrait Gallery

“One of the many delights of this book is the cameo appearances of Cameron’s sitters. Cooksley delivers short chapters that mimic the glass microscope slides that fascinated a youthful Cameron, as well as the glass-plated photos she would come to be a mistress of. The episodes accumulate, like tesserae in a mosaic, and build a fascinating picture.”

James Harpur, poet and novelist, author of numerous collections of poetry and the novel The Pathless Country

Journalist and writer Jody Cooksley has long admired the work of Julia Margaret Cameron. In The Glass House, Jody’s first published novel, she has woven together a fascinating, entertaining and often surprising account of the life of a woman clearly far ahead of her Victorian peers, both in terms of social mores and her understanding of the art and science of photography.

Trip Fiction

Rated 4.4/5 overall in Amazon Reviews

Julia Margaret Cameron is the inspiration behind writer and journalist, Jody Cooksley’s first published novel, The Glass House, a moving, fictional account of Julia’s quest to find both art and beauty, and of her discovery of happiness through the lens of a camera.

Surrey Life magazine – September 2020

“Jody Cooksley’s fictional account of Julia Margaret Cameron is firmly rooted in her life story and her quest to find her own creative voice. Cameron’s life, growing up in India, moving to France, South Africa, and then on to London, Tunbridge Wells and eventually the Isle of Wight, lends itself to fiction. Add in her marriage, children, death and various tragedies and there is much to say. Overlaying all this was Cameron’s desire to be taken seriously as an artist and photographer and there is much to pack in which Cooksley does very well. Her fictional accounts, conversations and descriptions of artistic relationships all provide for an engaging read”

The Photohistorian, Journal of the Royal Society of Photography
Dr Michael Pritchard, Director of Education and Public Affairs at the Royal Photographic Society

The Glass House, written by journalist Jody Cooksley, focuses on the depths of despair the Victorian photographer faced, with her relationships strained and in the face of humiliating reactions from artists who held her in contempt. Cameron is now widely acknowledged as one of the 19th century’s most important portraitists, although her work was contentious in her lifetime.

Isle of Wight County Press

All of the important aspects of the life of photographer, Julia Margaret Cameron are reinvented within the pages of The Glass House by Jody Cooksley. Finding this novel was a delicious surprise. I recommend it to anyone who enjoys reading about a free spirited woman whose desire was to capture Art and Beauty in all its forms and Julia Margaret Cameron definitely succeeded.


Julia Cameron was never a vain artist and this book captures her personality and emotion perfectly. She, like many artists in creative fields, wanted only for her work to be seen and observed. Like many Authors, Painters, Photographers, Sculpters and more, she feared rejection and dislike and would rather have given her work away for free and be led to believe it was admired, than to put it up for sale and have nobody purchase it. Jody captures this personality and essence completely throughout the book and in particular towards the end. Of course, in the end Julia Cameron had nothing to fear. Her work is talked about even today.

From the vistas of Ceylon to the cliffs of Freshwater Bay – this book will take you on a journey through history and time, brushing shoulders with much loved literary greats along the way.

Tea Leaves & Reads