Monthly Archives: February 2015

As The Actress Said to the Cabinet Minister …(2)

Part 2: Mrs. Sarah Siddons Mrs. Sarah Siddons (née Kemble) was by far the leading tragic actress of her day. She was born in Brecon, while her theatrical mother and father were on tour, but she was very much a … Continue reading

Posted in Theatre | Tagged

The C18th British Secret Service under Pitt (1)

Part 1: Establishment and Growth This is the first instalment in a series of posts dealing with spies and clandestine operations between 1790 and 1815. As the end of the 18th century approached, Britain faced a serious problem. Looming war … Continue reading

Posted in Keeping the Peace, Secret Service

As the Actress said to the Cabinet Minister…

Part 1 On New Year’s Day, 1785, a famous actress, a star of the London Theatre and admired by the most famous people of her day , wrote this note to a rising young politician and member of parliament: a … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized

The Perils of Travel

One of the hardest elements of writing my mysteries is making sure I do not have people moving about the country much more quickly than would have been possible at the time. People did travel quite a lot, but the … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized

The Case for Historical Fiction

Why Historical Fiction? If history is the study of past events, why not stick to that? Explore what really happened. Research and collect the evidence. Sift out the truth by means of analysis and logic. Every historical novelist bumps up … Continue reading

Posted in Writing

Crime and Punishment

In Georgian times, you could be hanged for stealing anything worth more than a few shillings, as well as for a huge list of additional offences, few of which strike anyone today as deserving death. First offences attracted a sentence … Continue reading

Posted in C18th Norfolk, Crime

1782 Advertisements and Public Notices

Advertisements Sadly, newspapers don’t carry advertisements like these any more. From The Norfolk Chronicle, March 2, 1782: To the Ladies. Bound in Duty to return my most grateful Acknowledgements to those Ladies that have honoured me with their Commands, and … Continue reading

Posted in C18th Norfolk

How the Revolution broke Britain and France apart

THE FRENCH REVOLUTION WAS LIKE A TORNADO which threatened to tear up the foundations of Europe. Though there had been many changes before, it is probably fair to say they were mostly dynastic. One ruler or family of rulers gaining or … Continue reading

Posted in Background Research