Downton Christmas 7

I hope you all had a lovely Christmas – I didn’t really as I managed to be horribly ill for the second year in a row which meant lying on the sofa weeping and feeling very VERY sorry for myself. The boys had a lovely time though with the six year old spending the whole […]

Christmas in the trenches 4

The night closed in early – the ghostly shadows that haunt the trenches came to keep us company as we stood to arms. Under a pale moon, one could just see the grave-like rise of ground which marked the German trenches two hundred yards away. Fires in the English lines had died down, and only […]

A Christmas Truce 4

Two letters home to my own beautiful county of Essex from the grim and freezing cold trenches of war torn France on Christmas Day 1914… ‘Christmas Day! The most wonderful day on record. In the early hours of the morning the events of last night appeared as some weird dream – but to-day, well, it […]

Roll up! Roll up! Blood Sisters is free! 7

Blood Sisters, my tale of POSH DOOM and woe during the upheaval of the French Revolution is FREE for Kindle from Amazon US and Amazon UK until Christmas Eve. ‘When the beautiful Comtesse de Saint-Valèry is dragged unwillingly from her Parisian home in the dead of night, her three young daughters are left to an […]

A vegan Christmas feast! 2

As a bit of a diversion, I have a cookery post for you today! Apologies in advance for the frankly ropey photography – I hastily took photographs with my iPhone before everything was devoured! We were supposed to go down to Cornwall at the weekend for a pre-Christmas meet up with my husband, Dave’s family […]

Prince Rupert of the Rhine 6

‘A few weeks earlier, the King’s dashing nephew, Prince Rupert had halted at Oatlands for a few days while on his way to France. The handsome Prince had once been sighed after by more than half the ladies at his uncle’s court but the war had been cruel to him and the disappointed, exhausted man, […]

Garrow’ Law 4

I don’t watch much television – mostly because most shows are awful but also because I work from home and like to be able to honestly say that I don’t spend all day watching really terrible television. Instead, I watch really terrible films. I’m in mourning right now as two of the few shows that […]

When the Devil Drives – Caro Peacock 1

When intrepid lady detective Liberty Lane is approached by a two very different clients – a diffident young man from the Essex countryside with a missing fiancée that he doesn’t seem to know very much about and a cultured music loving gentleman who is keen to protect a beautiful but mysterious foreign countess from creating […]

That Woman: The Life of Wallis Simpson 4

I’ve been wanting to read a proper book about Wallis Simpson for quite a long time so was really pleased to be asked to review That Woman by Anne Sebba for the Historical Novel Society. ‘You have no idea how hard it is to live out a great romance!‘ – Wallis Simpson. The charmingly rakish […]

Whitechapel snippets 10

Because it’s a cold miserable day here in Bristol and so perfect for some creepy Victorian carryings on, here’s the first snippet of the OTHER book I am working on, which is set during the Ripper murders in 1888. ‘Calais, 1887. I wish that I’d never looked out of that bloody window. It was Marie’s […]

Princesse Joseph de Monaco by Kucharski 2

One of my favourite art historians, Joseph Baillio contacted me last week to ask about the provenance of the portrait of Françoise de Choiseul-Stainville, Princesse Joseph de Monaco that I have featured several times on my blog as it looks like it may have been painted by Madame Vigée Lebrun, who knew the Princesse. I […]

Kindle Publishing and how it works. 24

Earlier this year, I decided on a whim to publish my first novel, The Secret Diary of a Princess on Kindle and well, it’s probably of no surprise to learn that I am still highly enamoured with Kindle publishing. Not just because the actual number of sales blows those of physical books out of the […]

The first wedding of Mary, Queen of Scots 2

‘All I can tell you is that I account myself one of the happiest women in the world‘ – Mary, Queen of Scots to her mother on the morning of her wedding. The ill fated wedding of Mary Stuart, Queen of Scotland and the Dauphin François of France took place on the 24th April 1558 […]

Mary, Queen of Scots 8

Today is the anniversary of Mary, Queen of Scots’ birth in 1542. I am breaking my self imposed ban on Tudor posts to bring you eight things that I have in common with poor old Queen Mary and also a relatively amusing reminisce: 1. We are both half Scottish. 2. We were both born in […]

The notorious murder on Ratcliffe Highway, 1811 4

The Ripper murders of 1888 were not the first time that the populace of the East End had been scared out their wits and the area had been discussed in hushed tones throughout the country. The crimes of the murderer known as Jack the Ripper are considered quintessentially Victorian nowadays thanks to their gin scented, […]