Friday, 30 October 2015

A Tangled Matrimonial Mess!

Whilst browsing through the news of the long 18th century, I found this rather scandalous little nugget of a very tangled marriage.. or five!

From The Bury and Norwich Post: Or, Suffolk, Norfolk, Essex, and Cambridge Advertiser, 18th July, 1804.

An Irish elopement

There are a man and his wife now living near Huddersfield, whose matrimonial history is rather singular. After living together for several years, and having had three children, the husband decamped and married a publican's daughter in the South. His quondam wife sough him in vain, and at length took consolation in the arms of another. This second husband deserted also. Passing into Lancashire, she took another trip to the altar of Hymen, and had a child by her third husband; but, "Frailty thy name is Woman!" an old man in the neighbourhood saw and admired, woo'd, and at length married the fair wandered dying soon afterwards, his property devolved on his wife, when she returned to --- in search of her first husband; they met, and were on the eve of exchanging vows of eternal constancy, when lo! another lady, with three small children appeared, and claimed the honour of calling the fickle swain husband, and enforced her demand with so much pertinancy, that his adventurous wife thought it advisable to relinquish her claim, and actually married a fifth husband, with whom she at present lives!

Clipping

Thursday, 29 October 2015

The Unthinkable Triangle

It's a pleasure to welcome Joana Starnes to the salon today to discuss her new novel, The Unthinkable Triangle

The winner of the giveaway is Cassandra Samuels; congratulations to Cassandra and thanks to everyone who entered!
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The Unthinkable Triangle
Many thanks, Catherine, for inviting me here today to talk about my latest release, The Unthinkable Triangle, a Pride and Prejudice variation based on a perhaps uncomfortable premise: what if Mr. Darcy’s rival for Elizabeth Bennet’s hand and heart was not some inconsequential stranger, but his dearest, closest friend?

As the blog tour is drawing to a close, I thought I might dwell a little on the nearest relations of the said close friend. By that of course I mean Colonel Fitzwilliam’s relations, for he is the third in the titular triangle.

The Colonel’s parents are unnamed in the original novel. But, thanks to a scene in the cherished 1995 Pride and Prejudice adaptation – namely the one where Mr Collins, ridiculous as ever, urges the ladies to make haste and return home to greet their illustrious visitors – they are widely known in many variations as the Earl and Countess of Matlock. More often than not, they are portrayed as a charming couple, eager to promote the new Mrs. Darcy’s entry in society and keen to disoblige the sour Lady Catherine in any way they can.

However, the chatelaine of Rosings is the very reason why, in a couple of my variations, I have chosen to view them in a different light. The earl is Lady Catherine’s brother and must have had the very same upbringing. If anything, the dictates of society would have been even more insistently drilled into the son destined to carry the title and continue the lineage. Therefore it might be assumed that he would share Lady Catherine’s prejudices and perhaps even her notions regarding Miss Anne de Bourgh as the most suitable wife for Darcy. He might favour an alliance that would clearly augment the couple’s wealth and standing in society. 

Likewise the countess. While I can easily picture her as heartily detesting her sister-in-law, I imagine she would have her own class prejudices too. It is unlikely that the earl married for love. He must have made a socially acceptable union with the daughter of one of the best houses in the land. Thus, while the countess might harbour no desire to promote the interests of Lady Catherine’s offspring, it is reasonable to imagine that she would turn her nose up at the daughter of a small country gentleman with little or no dowry and who, horror of horrors, also bears the stigma of relations in trade. It is fair to assume that she would try to steer Darcy away from such an unremarkable connection. And the objections she might have to Miss Elizabeth Bennet becoming Darcy’s wife would be multiplied a hundredfold if the prospective groom were her own son. Her younger son, moreover, who needs to marry money.

With deep apologies to the charming Lord and Lady Matlock, in my latest Pride and Prejudice variation Colonel Fitzwilliam’s parents are anything but charming. Which is one of the reasons why I have chosen a different name for them. In The Unthinkable Triangle they are to be Lord and Lady Langthorne – much like lady Catherine, a long and painful thorn in everybody’s side.

The following excerpt shows Lady Langthorne’s reaction at her son’s proposed marriage. He is recovering at Darcy’s London home from a life-threatening condition, but that is not deterring the great lady from voicing her opinions regarding his matrimonial intentions and the very vexing fact that the unsuitable Miss Bennet was suffered to play nurse:

* * * *

Excerpt from The Unthinkable Triangle

Darcy returned several hours later, to be greeted by a very flustered Georgiana.
“Brother! Thank goodness, you are here at last.”
“Why? What happened?”
“Our aunt is here. And she is not best pleased.”
“Lady Catherine?”
“Oh, no. Worse. Lady Langthorne.”
Foreboding spread through him like lightning.
“What happened?” he repeated.
“She arrived unannounced half an hour ago– ”
“Where was everybody?”
“Mrs. Annesley, Elizabeth and I were sitting with our needlework when Lady Langthorne stormed in, lost no time with civilities and demanded to see Richard. She was most put out when Elizabeth warned me that he might be asleep and offered to go up to check. And–… Oh, Brother! I wish you had been here. No sooner had Elizabeth said as much than our aunt drew herself up to her full height and asked me in her most forbidding manner who was the young woman who was making so free with her comings and goings to her son’s bedchamber. But I am sure she knew. She looked very grim when I made the introductions and said she would wait for a footman to go and check instead. Thomas went and confirmed that Richard was asleep, so our aunt installed herself in state in the drawing room, refused refreshment and demanded to see you– ”
“Where is Miss Bennet?” Darcy interjected.
“In her chambers, I think.”
“And her father? Is he with her?”
“No. He is not in. Mr. Bennet left right after breakfast to call on Mrs. Bingley.”
“Blast!” Darcy muttered. Her father’s support might have been welcome, both during and after the uncivil encounter. Why the blazes had he seen fit to tear across the turf in Hampstead Heath this morning? But he knew why, and pointless questions would not make the current situation any better. Just now, he needed to reassure himself that Elizabeth was well and not distressed unduly – but he could not very well seek her in her bedchamber.
Perhaps Georgiana might be sent to ask her if she would see him in the upstairs sitting room? It was a sensible solution, and it might have been a workable one as well. Sadly, an imperious voice rendered it utterly useless.
“Darcy! I see you have returned. Good. I would speak with you.”
His jaw set, he turned to acknowledge his relation with a bow and a terse “Lady Langthorne”.
“Pray join me,” her ladyship intoned, making him arch an eyebrow at having been peremptorily summoned into his own drawing room. Besides, he had his own opinions on the matter.
“Might I suggest my study? You would be more comfortable and you might prefer a private setting.”
“I am not concerned for my own comfort, Nephew, nor am I seeking to keep my opinions private. But you can have your wish. Let me to your study.”
Darcy squared his shoulders and showed her the way.
“Pray, be seated,” he said, once they were within and he had closed the door for further safety. “May I offer you refreshment?” he stalled with a civil offer, which was so brusquely rejected that it was beyond uncivil.
“Not now. Tell me about Richard.”
“He is alive and well.”
“Is this all you can tell me?”
“What would you wish to know?”
“A vast deal. But I should begin by thanking you. My housekeeper has written to inform me that you took the trouble of fetching him from Portsmouth.”
“I could have done no less.”
“I beg to differ,” the lady loftily retorted. “But firstly, is he safe?”
“Dr. Graham thinks so.”
“Good. Then he is fit to travel.”
“Might I ask where?”
“To be with his family.”
The lady’s crisp retort and her non-existent effort at civility could not fail to provoke him into replying, just as crisply:
“Forgive me, I was under the impression that he was with family already.”
“Then perhaps I should say, with those members of his family who are prepared to see to his best interest.”
“Pray tell me, how do I fail to qualify?” Darcy spoke up firmly, having determined it was time to bring matters into the open. He was not surprised when the lady instantly obliged.
“Frankly, Darcy, I am bitterly disappointed that you would contrive to force his hand by allowing the country chit at his bedside. I had every hope that he would conquer his preposterous infatuation, but how can he do so when you allow that person to ingratiate herself with him? Worse still, force him to keep his word, if it becomes known that she enjoys free access into his bedchamber.”
Violent anger choked him and goaded him into a sharp retort:
“No man of sense and feeling would need to have his hand forced into marrying Miss Bennet. She is the very best that anyone could hope for.”
“Is that so! Do you imagine me ignorant of her connections?”
“Richard does not object.”
“Seemingly not. But I do. And it is time I made my feelings known without equivocation. I would never consent to this disgraceful union.”
“That would make your ladyship’s situation more pitiable, but I doubt it would sway him.”
“Even if he finds himself deprived of every material comfort he is accustomed to?”
“Even so. I have it from him that a genteel sufficiency would suit him just as well, or even better.”
“I doubt that a colonel’s pay can guarantee it. And the war cannot last forever.”
“Then those of us who care for him might find a way to secure him advancement.”
“You would go this far? Wilfully act to disoblige your own relations?”
“Richard is my relation too. It would be an honour to oblige him.”
“And see him shunned, censured and despised in almost every circle that had once welcomed him?”
“Those are heavy misfortunes indeed. But his wife would provide such extraordinary sources of happiness that, upon the whole, he would have no cause to repine.”
“I beg your pardon?”
“Surely it does not surprise you that affection would outweigh the loss of any number of fashionable circles. Rest assured, he will be happy. I would have hoped that, as his mother, you would value this above all else.”
“Do not presume to lecture me on my feelings and duties as a mother. Affection indeed! Arts, allurements, my son’s wilful blindness and a young upstart’s wishes for self-aggrandisement do not make for a happy union.”
“You have said quite enough, Madam! I perfectly comprehend your feelings. But it would serve you well to comprehend another’s. Miss Bennet’s devoted care has brought my cousin from death’s door. I should have thought that this alone entitles her to your deepest gratitude– ”
“She would have my deepest gratitude if she removed herself from his path. But there is no hope now, is there? Tittle-tattle would oblige him– ”
“His sentiments would oblige him! And as for tittle-tattle, I can assure you that no one in my household would spread rumours that might endanger Miss Bennet’s good name. If rumour spreads, it could only come from Langthorne House!”

* * * *

If you would like to see the outcome of Mr Darcy’s instinctive response to Lady Langthorne malice, please leave a comment to be entered in the international giveaway of a Kindle copy of The Unthinkable Triangle. Thanks for stopping by to read the excerpt and thanks again, Madame Gilflurt, for the wonderful warm welcome! As always, it was a great pleasure and honour to visit your virtual abode.

About the author:

Joana Starnes lives in the South of England with her family. A medical graduate, in more recent years she has developed an unrelated but enduring fascination with Georgian Britain in general and the works of Jane Austen in particular, as well as with the remarkable and flamboyant set of people who have given the Regency Period its charm and sparkle. She has published five Austen-related novels, all available at Amazon in print and Kindle version:

  • From This Day Forward ~ The Darcys of Pemberley ~ A Pride & Prejudice sequel
  • The Subsequent Proposal ~ A Tale of Pride, Prejudice and Persuasion
  • The Second Chance ~ A Pride & Prejudice – Sense & Sensibility Variation
  • The Falmouth Connection ~ A Pride & Prejudice Variation set in Poldark territory
  • The Unthinkable Triangle ~ A Pride & Prejudice Variation, where loyalty comes at loggerheads with love


You can connect with Joana Starnes on http://www.joanastarnes.co.uk ; http://www.facebook.com/joana.a.starnes ; http://www.twitter.com/Joana_Starnes or visit ‘The Unthinkable Triangle Facebook page’ for details of giveaways and lots of images that have inspired this story.



Written content of this post copyright © Joana Starnes, 2015.

Wednesday, 28 October 2015

The Noisy Ghost of Poplar

The Morning Post dated 3rd October 1818 brings us a tale of terror and unexplained ghostly goings-on. Despite the efforts of the erstwhile Mr Bennett, magistrate, no update on the case was ever provided and it remains a tantalising, spooky snippet from the news...

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Molly Megrim frightened at the #ghost of her first husband (1811)

EXTRAORDINARY GHOST

SHADWELL. - A respectable lady, named JERVIS, residing at Regent's-street, Poplar, applied to Mr BENNETT, the Sitting Magistrate, on Thur-day last, for advice how to act under the following ludicrous circumstances:- She stated that she was the owner of a house situate next door to the White Hart, High-street, Poplar, and resided there for a length of time, but in fact she and a former tenant had literally been driven out by the frightful noises and ghostly appearances of some evil spirits which repeatedly haunted the place after the hours of twelve and one in the morning, by which not only the inmates of the house were alarmed, but the whole neighbourhood. For the last three years their unnatural visitations have nightly been witnessed by the hundreds of persons who gather in the adjoining streets, waiting anxiously staring at the house till the restless spirit who is "doomed for certain hours to walk the night" issues fort her with his usual direful sounds, disturbing the whole neighbourhood- when the sleepy inhabitants rise from their slumbers, with heads resembling "quills upon the fretful porcupine." The parish officers, agreeable to render all assistance, on several occasions, repaired to the house in order to ascertain from what source the noise proceeded, or how the evil spirits gained admission into the house; when, to the utter astonishment of all, no discovery could be made, there being no appearance of access, of anything else whereby any human could form could enter, the windows, doors and every other place being fastened. Notwithstanding, at the hour of its appearance, it is made known by a general shout, "There it is -- the ghost -- the ghost!" and in an instant the street is filled. It then commences its task, by knocking violently against the wall, as if done with a large maul, and on proceeding to the spot where the knocking is heard, it removes to a different spot, and when followed, as it aggravated, it screams in a most terrific manner, and can be heard at a great distance. A violent noise is then heard, like some person running heavily towards the stairs, similar to a person with draymen's shoes, and then runs up and down the stairs, during which time a terrible yell is heard, as from under the ground, and continues for several hours; and what is more surprising, the more it is followed, the more it disturbs and still cannot be seen. By these practises, the house remains on the owner's hands, every body being afraid even to live near the place.

The above was corroborated by other persons who attended.

MR. BENNETT, the Magistrate, being fully satisfied that this nocturnal visitor could be no more or less than flesh and blood, gave immediate orders to Neale, Fair, and other officers, to repair to the house, and endeavour, if possible, to apprehend the Ghost, and being him before him and he would meet with his due reward for his past labour, but cautioned them not to shoot him, as no doubt, he was a poor harmless ghost.


Tuesday, 27 October 2015

Nosferatu: A Review

Today we move away from the long 18th century just a little and step into the Victorian era as I bring you a review of Nosferatu, a stunning new play that is currently touring.



Taking its lead from Murnau's 1922 vampire classic, Nosferatu, itself an unauthorised adaptation of Bram Stoker's legendary, Dracula, Proper Job Theatre's new production eschew castles and abbeys and instead give the tale a more nautical feel.

To the haunting cello music and vocals of Anna Scott we find ourselves on the pitch black deck of the Russian vessel, Demeter, as it makes its doomed final voyage from Varna to Whitby with a mysterious cargo. Of those who set out to brave the ocean, a series of mysterious deaths leave only three remaining crewmen: the Captain (Brendan Weakliam), devout Christian Peter (Tim Cunningham) and the superstitious and fearful Leishman (Rick Ferguson). To the sound of mournful shanties and the gritted teeth cheer of worksongs they go about their now daily duties, disposing of those who have died in the night and hoping only to survive the last, dark hour before the dawn and the final day of sailing.

Whilst the Captain, a man of science, does his best to keep the ship on course, Leishman becomes convinced that the skipper is responsible for the crew deaths. Certain that the Captain should die but afraid to take action, he tries to convince Peter that he must do the deed, that the man who steers their ship is the devil himself.

In the hands of playwright Ian McMillan time is an ephemeral and terrifying concept; the sky seems never to lighten, the dawn the men seek never to arrive and all the time something lurks in the hold. The script is lyrical and poetic and in the hands of the performers, all of whom utterly inhabit their roles, we find ourselves drawn into a world of terror and superstition and cannot help but ask whether one of these men is the vampire that we know is hiding below decks.

The 80 minute production has no interval and as the clouds grow thicker and the songs more mournful, the tension of the crew is palpable and bewitching. It is heightened by Sarah Beaton's dramatic and expressionistic sets, all jagged lines and sharp angles that suggest a boat that has already wrecked. We cannot see what the ship is sailing into, only the darkness beyond the prow.

All of the cast possess strong and evocative singing voices and Anna Scott's Voice of the Sea provides a haunting and unforgettable soundtrack to the horror unfolding on stage. With Halloween approaching, or even if it weren't, this is a production I recommend wholeheartedly; I can't wait for Proper Job's next theatrical excursion.

Nosferatu tour dates

Production photographs courtesy of Richard Mulhearn atwww.richardmulhearn.org


Monday, 26 October 2015

A Gallery of William Hogarth

William Hogarth (London, England, 10th November 1697 – London, England, 26th October 1764) 

The legendary William Hogarth died on this day in 1764; in the past, I have offered a closer look at three of his paintings and below, you can find a gallery of this famed artist's work!

I'll be tweeting other Hogarth paintings throughout the day too...

The Shrimp Girl 
A snapshot of Georgian England...

The Painter and His Pug
A beloved pet is captured on canvas.

Miss Mary Edwards
A most unusual patroness...


The Gaols Committee of the House of Commons
The Gaols Committee of the House of Commons
Wedding of Stephen Beckingham and Mary Cox
Wedding of Stephen Beckingham and Mary Cox

Self Portrait
Self Portrait

The Graham Children
The Graham Children

The Court
The Court

A Scene from the Beggar's Opera
A Scene from the Beggar's Opera


The Lady's Last Stake
The Lady's Last Stake

Friday, 23 October 2015

The Salon Digest

This week we gazed at the stars, heard a grisly tale from Ireland and took a poignant trip to Trafalgar... it's the salon digest!

A Spoon, a Devil and Terrible Fate for a Tongue
From the newspapers of 1824... this is not a tale for the faint of heart or sensitive of stomach!

A Letter from Trafalgar 
A poignant missive from a sailmaker at Trafalgar...

Ad Astra
Suzanne Adair is your guide to astronomy in the 18th century...

Thursday, 22 October 2015

Ad Astra

Suzanne Adair is my guest to discuss the matter of astronomy and her new release, Deadly Occupation!


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My latest mystery, Deadly Occupation, is set in Wilmington, North Carolina, January 1781. The American Revolution there has entered its seventh grueling year of conflict between Crown forces and those residents who want independence from King George III. In chapter two, a nerdy, telescope building astronomer named Carlisle is beside himself with glee after having discovered an object in the sky that’s either a comet or a planet. My detective, Michael Stoddard, is a practical man who doesn’t share Carlisle’s enthusiasm or nocturnal hours.

The character of Carlisle is loosely inspired by astronomer William Herschel, who is credited for finding the planet Uranus. Carlisle is my nod to the state of astronomy and science in the eighteenth century. As such, Carlisle represents an element that fascinates me about this century: the abundance of scientific discoveries made in the Western world during that time. These discoveries happened during a period when certain religious institutions and governments were more permissive of intellectual freedom than they’d been in previous centuries.

Today, Westerners take that intellectual freedom for granted. However astronomers didn’t always have it so easy. Nicolaus Copernicus, who proposed a heliocentric model of the solar system, had his astronomy equipment destroyed in 1520 by the Teutonic Order. In 1615, the Roman Inquisition investigated Galileo Galilei over his support of the heliocentric system, then forced him to spend the rest of his life under house arrest.
Herschel
Herschel

In 1781, William Herschel was living in England, with King George III his monarch. Herschel was one of several astronomers to observe Uranus. At first, he thought he’d found a comet, but meticulous observation and recording of the object’s motion soon convinced him that it was a primary planet. Like my fictitious astronomer, Herschel was a busy fellow. In addition to his discovery of Uranus, he observed and catalogued double stars, comets, nebulae, star clusters, and moons around Saturn and Uranus. He discovered infrared radiation, coined the term “asteroid,” and voiced his belief that there was life on other worlds. He came close to figuring out the effect of the eleven-year sunspot cycle on agriculture.

Of course, Herschel had the wealth to dabble and dream his way to many of these discoveries. However had he been born in the previous century, or in a place where the culture wasn’t as permissive as Georgian England, that wealth would have counted for less. His beliefs would likely have put him in hot water with the Church, as his astronomer predecessors had been. He might have had to disguise or curtail his discoveries, or study only what the state approved.

So here’s to the eighteenth century Western world’s freedom to explore the sciences!

Resources:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_astronomy
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nicolaus_Copernicus
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Galileo_Galilei
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Herschel

About the Author
Award-winning novelist Suzanne Adair lives in Raleigh, North Carolina. Her mysteries transport readers to the Southern theater of the American Revolution, where she brings historic towns, battles, and people to life. She fuels her creativity with Revolutionary War reenacting and visits to historic sites. When she’s not writing, she enjoys cooking, dancing, hiking, and spending time with her family.

Social media links:
Web site and blog: http://www.SuzanneAdair.com
Quarterly electronic newsletter: http://tinyletter.com/Suzanne-Adair-News

Written content of this post copyright © Suzanne Adair, 2015.

Wednesday, 21 October 2015

A Letter from Trafalgar

Three years ago, a remarkable letter was found that contained an eyewitness account of the battle of Trafalgar. Robert Hope was a sailmaker aboard the Temeraire and when his ship reached Portsmouth a fortnight after the battle, he wrote the letter to his brother, John, a carpenter in Kent.

The letter is now held in the collection of the National Maritime Museum and tells a nerve-wracking account of the Temeraire's role in the battle, fighting alongside Victory on that fateful, legendary day.

HMS Temeraire
Portsmouth Nov 4th 1805

Dear Brother

This is with my love to you hopeing 
It will find you in good health As I bless god 
I am at present, what do you think of us Lads 
Of the Sea now, I think they wont send their fleets 
Out Again in a hurry, I suppose you know more 
About the Action than I can tell you, the first 
Ship that we Engaged was the Santa Trinadada 
The Spanish four Decker, we engage her three 
Quarters of an hour when the Victory fell 
Along side of him we dropt a Stern when five 
More of the Enemy’s Ships came upon us and 
Engage us upon every Quarter, for one hour and 
Sixteen Minutes, when one Struck but being so 
Closely Engaged that we could not take possession 
Of her at that time, two more Seemed to be quite 
Satisfied wh [error] with what they had got so Sheered 
Of, But the Other two, was determined to Board 
Us, So with that Intent. one Dropt on our Starboard
Side, Called the La Fue and other dropt on our 
Larboard Side called Le Doubtable, they Kept 
A Very hot fire for some time But we Soon 
---
Cooled them for In the height of the smoke 
Our, men from the upper decks Boarded them 
Both at the same time, And soon Carried the 
Day, at this time, at this time [error] I Counted when 
Smoke Cleared away Seventeen Prizes and one 
All on fire, But we have only got four Into 
Gibraltar, for a Gale of wind Came on the day 
following that we was Obliged to Scuttle them 
for they was so very leaky, Taken & Destroyed

In twenty five, we had forty three Killed 
And Eighty five wounded, And twenty Seven 
Drowned In the Prizes, I sent a letter to my 
Father from the Rock, So when you receive
this Please to let him know that I am arrived 
In England for I long very much to hear 
from him. And Give my love to my Sister 
and your Answer upon the receipt of this will 
Oblige your loveing Brother
Robert Hope

Clipping

Tuesday, 20 October 2015

A Spoon, a Devil and Terrible Fate for a Tongue

My occasional dip into the newspapers of the glorious Georgian era today today finds us leafing through Trewman's Exeter Flying Post, or, Plymouth and Cornish Advertiser, dated 12th August 1824. Be warned though, this tale of devils and drink is not for the squeamish. 

---oOo---

The following account of the unfortunate issue of another attempt to cast out a devil in Ireland is from the Dublin Star:-

A poor humble man, named Halloran, residing near Loughren, in the neighbourhood of Kilchrist, being in a state of lunacy, his relatives were persuaded by their Confessor that he was possessed of a devil. In such an exigency no time was to be lost; and as the Holy Father who had made the discovery was a celebrated exorcise, he was immediately employed to dispossess the demoniac of his troublesome spiritual tenant. Having, therefore, procured a sufficient quantity of strong spirits for the occasion, his Reverence commenced his exorcisms by taking a potion, to prepare him the better for the spiritual warfare in which he was about to engage. The demoniac was then stretched on a bed, in the presence of his mother and several spectators, who assisted in the operation. After opening his mouth by means of a gag, the exorcist forced a large spoon down the unfortunate man's throat, for the purpose of bringing up, as he said, the demon! but, instead of bringing out a spirit, he pulled the tongue out of the lunatic's mouth, in consequence of which he expired shortly afterwards! - Why was this horrible transaction passed over without investigation? Was there not an inquest held on the body? Perhaps it maybe  said the officiating Priest was insane. To this we answer in the negative; for, after undergoing the trifling punishment of three months suspension from his duty, to which he was sentenced by his superiors, he was restored to his clerical situation and is now invested with full authority to perform all his spiritual functions.

A terrible tale indeed and one that is not easily forgotten at any time of the year, let alone as Halloween approaches!


Monday, 19 October 2015

A Bumper Salon Digest

It's been so busy here at the salon these past two weeks that we've barely had time to catch our breath, so let's ease ourselves into the new week with a dumper salon digest...

An Evening with Jane Austen
News of a wonderful new theatrical venture starring Adrian Lukis, aka Mr Wickham, and Caroline Langrishe. As a little extra, the link above features a video of Mr Wickham giving Mr Darcy's first proposal!

Byron, Rebellion, and the Greeks! 
Caroline Warfield goes roaming with the infamous poet.

A Ghost at Bermondsey
A murdered woman returns to wreak havoc...

Murder on the Thames... or was it?
Liz Lloyd investigates a seemingly terrible murder...

Darkness and Light: Exploring the Gothic
News of a fantastic exhibition in Manchester.

Helen Maria Williams: a lost reputation in defence of liberty 
Sarah Agnew visits revolutionary France in the company of a remarkable woman.

Lord and Lady Grange; Or, Why It Is a Great Pity the 18th Century Never Got Around to Inventing Reality TV
Undine tells the tale of a society marriage gone horribly, horribly wrong.

Napoleon's Exorbitant Expense Account
What did it really cost to live like an emperor? Lally Brown reveals all...

A Digest of Marie Antoinette
On the digest of the late queen's death, we follow her through the salon and all the way to the scaffold!

Friday, 16 October 2015

A Digest of Marie Antoinette

Maria Antonia Josepha Johanna (Vienna, Austria, 2nd November 1755 - Paris, France, 16th October 1793)

On this day in 1793, Marie Antoinette died on the guillotine. The late queen has visited the salon many times and is a key figure in my forthcoming book, Life in the Georgian Court. Given the date, I thought it would be a fine opportunity to look back on the posts in which she has featured.

I hope you will enjoy this gad into the archives in search of a most unfortunate queen.

My Blood Alone Remains
The final hours in the life of Marie Antoinette

The Queen's Last Journey
An iconic sketch by a master of Revolutionary propaganda.


A poignant memorial to the late queen's children, written in her final hours. 

The Queen's Possessions

The queen's very own make up chair!

A painting depicts the young dauphine in her musical element. and read more about the magnificent harp that the queen adored.

All that remains of a magnificent dress...

And the dainty shoes that might have accompanied it...

A picture of the queen in her lingerie causes a sensation!

A Royal Marriage


Maximilien Robespierre Welcomes Louis XVI
What happened when a young Robespierre waited in the rain to greet the king and queen...

A Parisian Fireworks Disaster
When a crowd gathered to celebrate the marriage of Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette, terrible tragedy struck.

The Marriage of Marie Antoinette and Louis XVI
A happy day for the Dauphin and Archduchess.

Life in the Georgian Court, true tales of 18th century royalty, is available at the links below.

Pen and Sword
Amazon UK
Amazon US
Book Depository (free worldwide shipping)