Monthly Archives: June 2011


Why Minette? 3

‘It was bitterly cold that morning and I could hardly bear to get out of bed, not that it made any difference as the threadbare cotton of my sheets were barely able to keep my freezing toes warm, no matter how much I curled them under. ‘Come on sleepy head,’ my brother said with a […]


Q&A with Karleen Koen, author of Before Versailles 3

‘Louis XIV is one of the best-known monarchs ever to grace the French throne. But what was he like as a young man—the man before Versailles? After the death of his prime minister, Cardinal Mazarin, twenty-two-year-old Louis steps into governing France. He’s still a young man, but one who, as king, willfully takes everything he […]


I write books and apparently they aren’t awful. 22

  The fact that I write books (hey, I’m a Proper Writer now as the Romantic Novelists Association have let me join as a full member and everything! Anyone else going to their Regency Heyer and Austen day in October?) seems to have caused some ripples of surprise lately so I thought it was time […]


M-Shed – Bristol’s newest museum 1

It’s pretty serendipitous that the newly revamped Bristol museum, M-Shed should have opened in the week that we became Bristol residents once again and of course we couldn’t wait to visit and see what all the fuss is about! We were actually supposed to go at the weekend (I even booked timed tickets for the […]


Toulouse-Lautrec and Jane Avril: Beyond the Moulin Rouge 3

Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec Jane Avril au Jardin de Paris, 1893 © Museum of Modern Art, New York I’m really excited about this latest exhibition at the Courtauld Gallery in London! I’m not a big fan of the Impressionists to be honest, but there’s something about Toulouse-Lautrec’s scenes of the brittle, glittering underbelly of fashionable 1890′s Parisian life that I […]


Thirty one things about Bristol 7

Hello again! Sorry for the silence (although I’m sure the gorgeous guest posts more than compensated!) but I’ve been busy (very VERY busy) moving house this week. It was hideous but then, isn’t it always? However, we’re all moved in now and feeling rather pleased with ourselves as we’ve moved back to the same area […]


Blashfield & Eakins’ portraits of their wives – fab art history guest post by @MadMissLiza! 5

Hello, all of Mme. Guillotine’s readers! I am your guest hostess for today, Miss Liza, and I am here to take you on a little trip across the pond to 19th century Philadelphia. We’re going to look at some portraits of American artists’ wives, and talk a bit about how different artists used their lovely […]


The Apotheosis of Mary Kelly – Christopher Scott 20

As I have mentioned on here before, alongside my books set in seventeenth and eighteenth century France, I am working on a novel (once charmingly described by someone who read a snippet as a ‘cross between Bret Easton Ellis and Catherine Cookson) about the woman known to posterity as Mary Jane Kelly, the final canonical […]


Belle Georgiana and Beau Brummell 14

On this day, 7th June, Georgian society would have resounded with the sound of the clattering of dice, popping of champagne corks, squeals of happiness over exquisitely wrapped gifts of diamonds and the fizzing of Alka Seltzer as it was the birthday of those noted society arbiters of style and fashion, Beau Brummell and Georgiana, […]


Empress Alexandra 10

The Empress Alexandra Feodorovna of Russia was born on this day, 6th June 1872 to Grand Duke Louis VI of Hesse and by the Rhine and his wife, Princess Alice, who was the second daughter of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert. The baby princess was given the name of Alix Viktoria Luise Beatrice. Her first […]