Tag Archives: Henry Mayhew

The Groundsel Man

Keeping singing and fancy-birds was very popular in mid-Victorian London. People of all classes shared their front-parlours with caged live birds, such as canaries or linnets or bullfinches. They may also have kept stuffed specimens, perched on idealised undergrowth beneath … Continue reading

Posted in Art, Historical, London, Urban History | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Bartleby the Apparition

Certain figures from nineteenth century gothic horror fiction are still very much part of mainstream culture. One thinks of Frankenstein’s monster, Dracula the vampire, and Doctor Jekyll’s murderous alter-ego Mr Hyde. Less well-known, but more unsettling in my opinion, is … Continue reading

Posted in American History, Herman Melville, Historical, Literary, Literary Criticism | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Sambourne House

My cultured friend and I recently visited Sambourne House, a West London terraced home preserved pretty much as it was in the 1890s, complete with its original contents and furnishings. We have all trailed around aristocratic country mansions, but what is … Continue reading

Posted in Historical, London, Urban History | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

The Strange World of Arthur Munby

Like Hugh Shimmin and Henry Mayhew, Arthur Munby was a well-heeled gentleman who liked to observe Victorian society’s lower reaches. But unlike them Munby was not a professional investigator who published his findings, indeed he stipulated that his papers should … Continue reading

Posted in Historical, Literary, Women's History, Women's Rights | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Hugh Shimmin’s Liverpool

The action in my latest novel has moved to Liverpool and features an expedition to some of the lowest quarters of the city’s North End in 1864. My research for this has sent me back to reading the little-known journalism … Continue reading

Posted in Historical, Liverpool, Liverpool Past and Present, Urban History | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment