The Dangers of the Victorian Pleasure Garden

The Dancing Platform at Cremorne Gardens by Phoebus Levin, 1864.

When thinking of nineteenth century pleasure gardens, most of us instantly conjure up images of Vauxhall. But those in the Georgian era weren’t the only ones to enjoy a pleasure garden in London. In 1830 Cremorne Gardens was opened in Chelsea. Over the decades that followed, it offered concerts, circuses, dancing, and fireworks. It also offered military exhibitions and feats of dangerous daring, including high-wire acts and balloon ascents. Though many of these feats were successful, earning acclaim for various wire-walkers and aeronauts, still others ended in tragedy. Gruesome injuries and even fatalities occurred with some regularity—in full view of the Victorian public.[…]Continue Reading

The Vulnerable Victorian Governess

The Governess by Richard Redgrave, 1844.

A governess occupied a unique position in a Victorian household. She was neither servant, nor family member. She existed in a sort of in-between world which often left her feeling isolated and alone. To combat this, the young governess was advised to cultivate a tolerance for solitude. Author Susan Ridout addresses this in her somewhat depressing nineteenth century book of advice, Letters to a Young Governess on the Principles of Education and Other Subjects Connected with Her Duties (1840):[…]Continue Reading

Feline Dress Improvers: The Victorian Fashion in Bustle Baskets for Cats

“As the basket was padded and lined with satin, and bedizened with fringe and ribbons, pussy did not object to being a prisoner therein, and to being placed on the lady’s bustle as a pack.”

Truth, 1887

Kittens at Play by Henriette Ronner-Knip (1821-1909).

During the mid-1880s, the silhouette of women’s gowns was characterized by the size and shape of the bustle or “dress improver.” Unlike the more moderate-sized dress improvers of the 1870s, the bustle of the 1880s was—at its most extreme—large, protruding, and shelf-like. For fashionable ladies with cats, it provided a convenient ledge on which to strap a satin-lined cat basket.[…]Continue Reading

The Viscount and the Vicar's Daughter Blog Tour, Giveaway, and More!

It’s release day for my new Victorian romance novel The Viscount and the Vicar’s Daughter! To celebrate, there’s a blog tour with excerpts, reviews, and interviews. I’m also hosting a special Victorian-themed gift giveaway here at my website, featuring a wax sealing set and a signed paperback copy of my book. To top it all off, my debut novel The Lost Letter has been reduced to $0.99 for the entire week just to mark the occasion. So, without further ado, let’s get started![…]Continue Reading

The Lost Letter is ON SALE for $0.99

Dear Readers,

Tomorrow is release day for my new Victorian romance novel The Viscount and the Vicar’s Daughter! I’ll be over at USA Today this morning with an exclusive excerpt. To further mark the occasion, I’m thrilled to announce that the eBook version of my debut Victorian romance The Lost Letter is going on sale for just $0.99! This sale is for one week only. It runs from January 22-January 29. […]Continue Reading

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