From Whitechapel GIN necklace giveaway!

Morning world. Well, the launch week of From Whitechapel is drawing to a close now and I have to say that I am so staggered and touched by the kind reception that it received. You’re all brilliant and I really hope that those of you who bought copies have enjoyed reading it. To say thank you for being so marvellous and to celebrate From Whitechapel‘s publication, I thought it would be fun to do a giveaway to mark the occasion. As you probably all know, I am a MASSIVE FAN of Bete Noire’s beautiful jewellery and as the book involves […]

Queen Victoria – Portraits of the Week

Queen Victoria at the Drury Lane Theatre, November 1837, Parris, c1837. Photo: Royal Collection © Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. Queen Victoria died on this day in 1901 at the age of eighty one after reigning for almost sixty four years. I’ve been reading a lot about Victoria lately, mostly from the perspective of her children and household, which wasn’t generally complimentary. When I was a very little girl, I remember being somewhat bewitched by the romantic image of Victoria as she was depicted by Winterhalter – all swirling silk and tulle skirts, floral garlands and coy smiles and it […]

The Guildhall Gothic

Mother, Dan Hillier, 2006. Photo: Dan Hillier. I was lucky enough to be invited along to see the superb new Victoriana: The Art of Revival exhibition at the Guildhall Art Gallery in London, which explores the current fascination with Victoriana in all its most macabre and peculiar manifestations. ‘From the macabre to the quaint, the sensational to the surreal, ‘Victoriana: The Art of Revival’ is the first ever exhibition in the UK to offer a major examination of Victorian revivalism in all its forms. Featuring graphic design, film, photography, ceramics, taxidermy, furniture, textiles and fine art, this multi-media show explores […]

Guest Post – Goldcord Asylum

Hello there campers! I am having a day off today as I’m hosting a guest piece by upcoming authoress of doom and GIN fuelled misery, Jude Starling whose new book Goldcord Asylum came out this week and is BRILLIANT. I’d DEFINITELY recommend this one to anyone fascinated by Victorian asylums. An unfortunate looking patient in a reinforced strong dress. You know that scene in the Coppola adaptation of Dracula in which we see inside Jack Seward’s 1890s ‘lunatic asylum’ and the patients are being hosed and beaten with sticks by attendants who appear to be wearing hamster cages on their […]

A Visit to Tyntesfield

(‘TAKE A PHOTO OF ME IN THE JACK THE RIPPER HAT!’ I yelled at my poor husband, snatching the said hat off The Eight Year Old’s head as other parents stared at us in aghast horror and silently ushered their own children away.) It was a bank holiday weekend here in the UK so we made the absolute most of it with a visit to the SS Great Britain and M Shed on the Harbourside in Bristol on Saturday, an epic walk around Leigh Woods (a huge and very well looked after forest belonging to the National Trust which is […]

This week’s dress – vivid magenta and an attack of mauve measles

Magenta dress, Madame Vignon, Paris, c1870. Photo: Victoria and Albert Museum, London. Isn’t this the most fabulous dress? I just love its vibrant magenta colour, it’s so bold and dramatic and sumptuously romantic. I couldn’t wear it though as it would clash horribly with my hair! This gown was made in around 1870 by Madame Vignon, one of the most fashionable couturiers in Paris, who was a great favourite of the ultra stylish Empress Eugénie. The vivid hue is the result of the amazing new synthetic aniline dyes that came into use in the late 1850s thanks to the experimentation […]