Penny Dreadful

As it’s well known that I am of a somewhat goth persuasion, it’s probably of absolutely NO SURPRISE to absolutely anyone that I am a massive fan of the series Penny Dreadful, which plunges hapless viewers into the darkly beating heart of the terrifying demimonde of 1890s London. In Penny Dreadful, most of the capital’s citizens are still reeling from […]

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London Trip: Day Three

Gosh, it seems like AGES ago that we got back from our impromptu family visit to London and I still haven’t finished bombarding you with posts about what we saw while we were there! Never mind, here’s the last update – which might turn out to be pretty short as I’m not entirely sure that I can remember everything that […]


Phryne Fisher Fashion

I have now run out of Miss Fisher’s Murders episodes to watch and probably have one hell of a wait to endure before the third season of Phryne Fisher’s escapades land on Netflix. Sad times. I’m consoling myself with the books, which are very entertaining but so very different to the series that they’re just making me feel even more […]

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Love for Love at Bristol Old Vic

One of the best things about living in Bristol (and let’s be fair, there are MANY great things about living in this amazing, vibrant city) is being able to hang out at the beautiful Old Vic theatre on King Street, which still retains many of its original Georgian features and is absolutely lovely both inside and out. In fact it […]


Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries

Who doesn’t love a really good Netflix binge? I know that I certainly do! We don’t actually watch normal terrestrial television because ugh reality shows and adverts and yuck (I make very rare exceptions for the likes of Peaky Blinders, Poldark, Wolf Hall, Game of Thrones and Ripper Street, which I watch on catchup an hour after everyone else has […]

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Greenwich Maritime Museum

When I was a very little girl, I used to spend a lot of time in London visiting my great grandmother and other family members. We lived in the Scottish Highlands at the time and would get the sleeper train down from Aberdeen and make a real event of the whole thing, visiting the Tower of London, making special shopping […]


Dover Castle

Thank you so much to everyone who entered my recent English Heritage giveaway! The winner has been notified and will hopefully have their membership cards in their clutches very soon! I absolutely love being a member of English Heritage as they really do have something for everyone – from Roman forts to cottages to castles to stately homes, including Osborne […]

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The Roman Baths

Even though I have lived in the West Country for over ten years, I am ashamed to admit that until just a few weeks ago I had never set foot inside the famous Roman Baths at Bath. This oversight becomes even more peculiar when you consider that I live in Bristol, which is probably less than fifteen minutes away from […]


Last Day in Edinburgh

I had such an amazing time during my recent research trip to Edinburgh. I’ve already shared posts about my first few days, which were spent researching my three upcoming Marie de Guise books at various royal palaces associated with her residence in Scotland and to cap it all off, here is a post about my last day in the Scottish […]

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Linlithgow Palace

Of all the places that I visited during my recent research trip to Edinburgh, Linlithgow Palace was perhaps the biggest surprise. I went along one rainy morning expecting to find a completely empty shell but instead discovered that there is much more than that left standing of the former pleasure palace of the Stewart Kings of Scotland where both James […]


WWII at Dover Castle

As long term readers of my blog probably already know, I’ve been on a bit of a massive quest over the last twelve months or so to properly educate myself about WWII, a period of history that I somehow never managed to learn about at school or university and about which I was woefully ignorant about until quite recently when […]

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Marie Antoinette: An Intimate History

I’m so sorry about taking a month off from my blog but I hope you’ll all forgive me when I reveal that the reason for my absence was a brand new book about Marie Antoinette, based on decades of pretty obsessive research (both primary and secondary) and thoughts and questions from all of you. A couple of years ago I […]


Falkland Palace

James V and Marie de Guise, anon artist, c1542. Photo: National Trust for Scotland. Oh dear, it’s now over a month since I returned from my amazing research trip to Edinburgh and I still haven’t finished writing up all of my adventures for this blog! In my defence, I’m incredibly busy right now with my other writing projects so haven’t […]

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Bletchley Park – The Imitation Game

Long term readers (you poor poor things) may well recall that around a year ago, I came clean about my shameful lack of knowledge about the Second World War. This was not entirely my fault – despite going to three different secondary schools, all of which have since been ranked as ‘outstanding’ by Oftsed (God only knows how or why), […]


Outlander

Oh Jamie Fraser, how I love you. Sorry Poldark fans but he could totally take Ross in a fight. And he’s much hotter too. I actually first tried to read Cross Stitch, the first Outlander book, about fifteen years ago when I was pregnant and feeling all bored and fed up and enormously fat. I didn’t get very far as […]

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Stirling Castle

Although I am hardly what one might call a morning person, I was still up bright and early for my second day in Scotland, which was to be spent at Stirling Castle, where the infant Mary Queen of Scots was crowned and lived until she was whisked away to the safety of her mother’s native France in 1547. Of all […]


Alexander McQueen – Savage Beauty

Although I might not look it, I am actually pretty fashion literate, in that I take more than a passing interest in the work of various designers, even if I will probably never be able to actually own anything that they make. As you might expect though, my tastes definitely lean more towards the gothic and historically inspired and so […]

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Edinburgh Day One

Writing books can be a really long, hard, thankless slog but there are a myriad of compensations for the misery, not least the fact that if you’re really canny about subject matter, you can justify going on epic research trips to amazing places. It should come as no surprise whatsoever therefore to learn that as soon as I got my […]


Poldark redux

One of my happiest memories is a brief period just after the birth of my youngest son, when all I was fit for was lying on the sofa and feeding him while watching every single episode of Poldark. I’d read the books as a child (veteran readers of this blog may recall that I wasn’t allowed to read normal children’s […]

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