The Victorian Christmas

The cosy Dickensian Christmas referred to in Queen Victoria’s diary for Christmas Eve 1860, was in great part popularized by Victoria and Albert after their marriage in 1840. During the 21 years that followed they did much to set their own particular stamp on how the festival is celebrated in this country.

Back Home in Dickensland

As children we were fearless. Mean, and muddy, and at times dispiriting it may have been, but the Medway Estuary was our paradise. My own daydreams draw me there still…

Mary Seacole, Creole Doctress, Nurse and Healer

In Crimea during 1854–5 Mary Seacole demonstrated that her home-grown Jamaican practice of hygiene, healthy food, natural remedies and kindness – had a lot more to offer than traditional medicine, making her nursing practice a far more modern, holistic one that people might have imagined.

Amazon’s Romanoffs vs the Real House of Romanov

It may be fiction but there is no doubt that it exploits the same tired old myth-making about the Romanovs that many Romanov historians and aficionados such as I are sick to death of seeing and reading about. It is time all these false claims and their attendant mythology were finally closed down…

Women in Trousers — From Bloomers to Rational Dress

The 1848 Women’s Rights Convention was the first of its kind to openly advocate women’s dress reform. All of the assembled women agreed that the time had come for the simplification of the cumbrous fashions they were obliged to wear.