Review of ‘My Lady Ludlow’ by Elizabeth Gaskell.

‘My Lady Ludlow’ could be classed among Elizabeth Gaskell’s novels, being over 60,000 words long. Still, it's a good deal shorter than the three volumes that were considered a respectable length for a novel by Victorians, and is included among her shorter and more minor works. Besides, the structure is frankly faulty; or anyway, the … Continue reading Review of ‘My Lady Ludlow’ by Elizabeth Gaskell.

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

‘East Lynne’ (1861): the sensationalist best seller by Mrs Henry Wood (Ellen Wood): Review

Spoilers throughout! Many years ago, my mother came by leather bound copies of the mid-Victorian magazine ‘The Argosy’ as part of a job lot in an auction. These ended up on my parents’ endless bookshelves, and I read a couple of the stories. I vaguely remember that my mother said that most of the content … Continue reading ‘East Lynne’ (1861): the sensationalist best seller by Mrs Henry Wood (Ellen Wood): Review

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

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

‘Martin Coninsby’s Vengeance’ by Jeffrey Farnol: Swashbuckling Adventure From a Former Era

Jeffrey Farnol, who wrote ‘historical swashbucklers’ and was a huge infuence in historical novels in the early twentieth century, had a writing career spanning from 1907 until his death in 1952, but now his reputation has now largely sunk into obscurity. Historical swashbucklers intended largely for a male audience seem – unless I am  missing … Continue reading ‘Martin Coninsby’s Vengeance’ by Jeffrey Farnol: Swashbuckling Adventure From a Former Era