Madame Guillotine


About Madame Guillotine

Authoress of novels of Posh Doom and historical iniquity, GIN TASTER, Ripperologist and Victorian Prostitute Re-enactor.


The Lost Life of Eva Braun

A depressingly long time ago, as a fresh faced young undergraduate at the University of Nottingham, I signed up to a module devoted to art in Nazi Germany, which was taught by Dr Fintan Cullen. Fintan and I never really got along all that well (this is a massive understatement – we absolutely loathed each other) but he was, I have to admit, a really impressive and rather floridly verbose teacher who really came into his element when dealing with the robust imagery and political ramifications of Nazi era art. At the time, WWII had ended just fifty years earlier […]


The Scandalous Lady W

I remember thoroughly enjoying Hallie Rubenhold’s brilliant The Scandalous Lady W (originally published in the UK as Lady Worsley’s Whim) when I read it several years ago and so was absolutely thrilled when I heard that not only was it going to be dramatised for television but it would also be starring the excellent Natalie Dormer as the eponymous Seymour Fleming, Lady Worsley, who caused a furore in the eighteenth century when she eloped with one of her lovers, prompting her husband, who according to the mores of the day considered his wife to be his property, to sue the […]


Marianne and France

One of my definite highlights from last year was finally seeing inside Windsor Castle – however, although I very much enjoyed poking around the gloriously opulent state rooms, my favourite bit was having a good old look at Queen Mary’s Dolls House, which is on permanent display in the castle and is a beautiful masterpiece of miniature art. However, rather ignored by the castle’s visitors, there are two other examples of amazing miniature art close by in the metre high persons of pretty blonde France and charming brunette Marianne, the two lovely dolls presented by the children of France to […]


Dismaland

“This event is so much more than just an art show, well, two things more. It’s got a bar and a cinema. Think of this as a fairground that embraces brutality and low level criminality – so a fairground then. Here you’re encouraged to consider, not just consume, to look, not just spectate and most important of all – beware of uneven floor surfaces.” — Banksy. Many, many years ago when I was growing up in Aberdeenshire, I used to be forced to spend rather too much time at a place called Anderson’s Storybook Glen, a most miserable little spot […]


Buckingham Palace, Summer 2015

My blog has provided me with several pinching myself to check that it is real moments over the years but perhaps none were quite so grand or amazing as Wednesday morning’s adventure when I was invited to a very special function in an otherwise empty of visitors Buckingham Palace where we were promised cake and a private tour of the state apartments in the company of the curators of this year’s special summer exhibition, which focuses on the splendid royal receptions held at the palace while the Queen is in residence. To our joy and amazement we were given unprecedented […]


Poldark competition!

I am still so in love with the recent BBC adaptation of Poldark that I had a dream about it last night. Not that I’m complaining, mind as after all, who wouldn’t want to have a period costumed Aidan Turner holding hands with them during the night? Exactly. In my dream I told him how he almost hit my husband with his bike on the Bristol Harbourside (true) and then I sat near him at the BFI Poldark screening but I was too scared to say hello (also true) and he put a finger on my lips and just said, […]