Review of ‘Comin’ Thro’ the Rye’ by Helen Mathers (1875): Victorian Melodrama with an Horrific Victorian Patriarch

I can't find the edition I read, which is certainly at least 120... I’ve written before about how my parents renovated rambling country houses, and the problem of those many empty bookshelves my mother filled up with bargain job lots from auctions, which often consisted of late Victorian and early Edwardian popular fiction. That was … Continue reading Review of ‘Comin’ Thro’ the Rye’ by Helen Mathers (1875): Victorian Melodrama with an Horrific Victorian Patriarch

Review of Rhoda Broughton’s ‘The Game and the Candle’: A Romantic Novel With An Unhappy For Now Ending

These days, it is a firm convention of romantic novels that there must be a happy ending – otherwise, it confounds reader expectations. While some writers and readers hold out that a ‘happy for now’ is sufficient – ie, it is left up to the reader to decide whether the new found happiness between hero … Continue reading Review of Rhoda Broughton’s ‘The Game and the Candle’: A Romantic Novel With An Unhappy For Now Ending

Writing 150 Novels with Different Versions of the Same Plot

I ordered a copy of Balzac’s ‘The Black Sheep’ (in translation, naturally; my French isn’t up to that!) from an online bookstore, and it didn’t turn up, so I have been thrown back on what unread books I have to hand... I am dismayed about the price of second hand paperbacks online. Before the pandemic, … Continue reading Writing 150 Novels with Different Versions of the Same Plot

Titles From Victorian Romantic Melodramas to Make You Smile

The news generally being fairly grim – again – and there being nothing like a laugh to raise the spirits, I thought I’d write some more about looking through the titles of best sellers of  the Victorian and Edwardian  era. And what better way than to begin with some of those by the subject of … Continue reading Titles From Victorian Romantic Melodramas to Make You Smile