Ripper Street Season Three

It’s hard to believe that just a year has passed since the end of the second season of Ripper Street and the terrible news that the stupid BBC had decided to cancel what was one of the best series on television. Thankfully all of the resultant fuss and campaigning paid off and the show was taken over by Amazon instead to be screened on Amazon Prime and then repeated by the BBC in early 2015. I was pleased as punch about all of this and especially when I heard that the new season would have a much bigger budget and […]

A Real Life Sherlock – Guest post by Angela Buckley

On the evening of 6 December 1886, Arthur Foster left the Queen’s Theatre, Manchester, with a pocket full of gold and a bejewelled lady on his arm. He hailed a hansom cab and as the couple settled into the carriage, a shadowy figure slipped in beside them. The yellow light of a gas lamp revealed him as an older man, dark-haired, with a full beard and moustache. Foster, AKA the Birmingham Forger, recognised the stranger immediately: the intruder sitting in his cab was Detective Chief Inspector Jerome Caminada, who had once again caught his man. The year before the début […]

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 […]

Mary Jane Kelly – International Woman of Mystery

For those of you who missed it, here is the original draft (I made some amendments on the day) of the talk I gave at the 2013 Jack the Ripper Conference about Mary Jane Kelly, the last accepted victim of the Whitechapel Murderer. I’ve entitled this talk, Mary Jane Kelly – International Woman of Mystery because that is how she has always appeared to be to me. I suppose that as a historical fiction writer, I am drawn towards Mary Jane precisely because of the air of mystery, much of which I think was cultivated by herself, that surrounds her. […]

All Aboard Brunel’s SS Great Britain

I can’t believe that I haven’t posted about the SS Great Britain before – even though it is my absolute favourite thing in my hometown of Bristol! Now, unlike my sons, I have to admit that I’m not all that crazy about ships but there’s something really special about the SS Great Britain that really captures my imagination and it’s really no surprise at all that it has been hailed as one of the country’s finest visitor attractions. Due to my aforementioned lack of interest in ships and maritime history, it took a really long time (about eight years!) before […]

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 […]