Monthly Archives: June 2011

Why Minette?

‘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 laugh. ‘We are expected at […]

Q&A with Karleen Koen, author of Before Versailles

‘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 can get—including his brother’s wife. […]

I write books and apparently they aren’t awful.

  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 for an update about the […]

M-Shed – Bristol’s newest museum

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 occasion) but were so busy […]

Cross Bones graveyard, Southwark

‘I have heard of ancient men, of good credit, report that these single women were forbidden the rites of the church, so long as they continued that sinful life, and were excluded from Christian burial, if they were not reconciled before their death. And therefore there was a plot of ground called the Single Woman’s churchyard, appointed for them far […]

Toulouse-Lautrec and Jane Avril: Beyond the Moulin Rouge

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 find absolutely irresistible. ‘Nicknamed La Mélinite after a […]

Thirty one things about Bristol

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 that we lived in when […]

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

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 partners-in-crime to express their artistic […]

The Apotheosis of Mary Kelly – Christopher Scott

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 victim of Jack the Ripper. […]

Anne Boleyn at The Globe

I’ve been to The Globe only once for a bit of a mooch around but am ashamed to admit that I have yet to actually watch a play there. I think that maybe my time has come though as they will be reviving Howard Brenton’s brilliant play Anne Boleyn for their summer season and what could be more perfect than […]