The Comtesse de Chastellux

Angélique Victoire de Durfort, Comtesse de Chastellux (2nd December 1752-14th November 1816) depicted in a wonderful sculpture by Louis Simon Boizot. This piece currently lives in the Louvre. Angélique was daughter of Aymeric Joseph de Durfort, Duc de Civrac, and his wife Anne-Marie de La Faurie de Monbadan, and was sister to the Marquise de […]

The tragic fate of Sleeping Beauty’s daughter, Émilie de Sainte-Amaranthe 1

Sadly, not much is known about Émilie, who was reputed to be one of the most beautiful women in Paris in the early 1790s. She was born Charlotte-Rose-Émilie Davasse de Saint-Amarand on the 18th July 1775 in Paris and although her mother was married to Monsieur de Saint-Amarand (Sainte-Amaranthe was a flouncy affectation) at the […]

Sherlock – series two begins 8

To the delight of many, the new three part series of Sherlock started last night and opened with a real corker. I am well aware that the vast majority of my readership is based in America so as usual won’t be making assumptions that you’ve seen it too… I’ve lost all of whatever small enthusiasm […]

Great Expectations 6

Even my costume drama hating husband enjoyed the BBC adaptation of Great Expectations that was shown over three nights last week. This is saying a great deal as he really isn’t a fan of Dickens, but I maintain that he would be if he would only give it a fair chance. It was a good […]

Happy new year! 6

Bonjour! I’ve been hard at work on my novel about Henrietta Stuart so may have been a bit quiet lately – sorry about that! I’ve also been gorging like a GLUTTON on Agatha Raisin murder mysteries. I keep promising myself that THIS one will be the last but then find myself reading the next one […]

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 […]