I can only reiterate all the above comments and say how much I enjoyed this book.I will certainly recommend it.
To me it is a book with 3 aspects...a touching love story, a factual look at England and it's politics in 1911, and thirdly a fictionalised dramatic account of the people and workings in an Asylum in Yorkshire.
It's a carefully researched, well written book which I found engrossing.
I got really involved with all the characters and the surprising ways in which they changed during the course of the book.
Had you decided on all these changes before you started ?
Or did the characters develop themselves as you went along ?
With reference to your great-great-grandfather...
I read that you started your research through the 1911 census
What would we do without the internet now ?
I have looked at images of the ballroom and as you say it looks magnificent.
I'm glad that you found out that not all was doom and gloom at the asylum and that many people were well cared for and cured.
Thank you to Anna and to Gransnet !!!
I hadn't decided on all the characters, no. Charles came into the book once I'd started writing but I found him so compelling I had to carry on with him. And I agree, the internet is a great resource for research. (Although can be a huge distraction for writers!)