Book Review – Death Caps for Dessert by Aggie Parris and Arielle Morisot

I’m determined to get back to book reviewing. For me, it’s the best way to broaden my reading habits, which are currently appalling with the exception of re-reading Essie Summers. So I went on to Amazon, where I have Kindle Unlimited and picked the first one that caught my eye. I sorted by cozy fantasy and newly published and found Death Caps for Dessert. I settled down, started reading and then I questioned whether I would make a good reviewer for this. On one hand I can’t give an amazingly wonderful glowing review and as an author I know how that will hurt. On the other hand, I feel there is an element of ‘live by the sword, die by the sword’. There are a few little bits and pieces that have niggled at me and which could be put down to lack of research. I’m writing about research. I’m going to be honest, but that honesty can also include the good bits, and I’m glad to be able to include those.

Death Caps for Dessert is written in the first person present tense, which isn’t my happy place but it works. It’s helped by the changes in narrator, so that the reader can get different points of view and insights. I think that it’s a great way of conveying lots of information to a reader without an info dump, especially as there’s a lot going on behind the scenes. You have a fairy princess, currently living in the mortal world, having to share information with a Detective Chief Inspector and there’s a lot of specialist knowledge to share.

The action takes place in a small English village during the first round of a televised baking competition. There isn’t much description of the village, but the background feel was very much that of an English country village and I felt relaxed about it. I spotted a few places where it showed that it was written by an American, but I can’t really quibble. The American author was much better at writing about England than I would be at writing about America.

This is quite a short book, and I felt that it suffered for that. There’s a lot of story there, and some interesting characters waiting to come out if they have enough space. I felt that there wasn’t enough time to know and sympathise with the murder victim. I’d like to know more about the set up and more about the backgrounds. It felt very pared down on the detail. This can be good, though, as it means you concentrate on the story, but I felt that it needed a little more around it.

It felt a little rushed at times. There were parts which I felt could have been explored more, including the actual murder. And here’s a big quibble of mine – I think that there was a lack of research. As you can tell from the title, the instrument of murder was poisonous mushrooms – deathcaps or death caps. The poisoning symptoms in the story weren’t the same as reported in places like Wikipedia (which can be wrong) and WebMD (which can be wrong). The authors gave a good and reasonable explanation why there should be a difference, and I’m a great believer in ‘this is fiction and includes fairies so why quibble’ but it niggled a little. I feel that there were lost opportunities with the poison.

The whole issue with the poisoning sums up my problems with the book. It felt like the scene had been shortened and compressed, just like the book. When I finished, I felt that I had read the first third of a book. It didn’t feel like I had the first book in a trilogy, but like I had read the first few chapters. The murder is resolved in the book, but it felt like there was a lot more to the story, just like I felt that there were more to the characters. What we saw of the characters was excellent, but it wasn’t much.

So much for my quibbles. There was a lot of good in the story. I thought it was an interesting plot and had a lot of potential. I was very happy to see another author agreeing with me about the nature of fairies and I very much enjoyed that aspect of the book. Surely the nature of the plots in the fairy courts need to be explored further. I need to also mention the excellent writing when it came to description. There was some really beautiful language in there, and there were moments when I just paused to enjoy it. For example, when Godive touches John, there is a connection: ‘Maybe, I think, it’s the physical contact between us that’s reminded him of the reality amid this hauntingly fantastical situation.’

Overall, it’s not a bad read. I think I will keep it on my ‘watch out’ list and dip back in for further stories. I think it will be best read as part of the series, and I very much intend to indulge when more of the promised series are out.

Research and the Author – Clothes Maketh Man

Why would anyone with any shred of sanity worry about researching clothes for a romantic novel set in the present day? Everyone knows what jeans look like. Everyone has a clue about the difference between polyester and wool. You can use adjectives to get the effect without fussing around the internet. After all, describing someone sliding sensuously out of an expensive silk blouse conveys plenty without having to study Vogue back issues for the last thirty years. I do not need to know the life cycle of the silkworm, the difference between chemical and plant dyes or pattern cutting techniques from 1932.

This is particularly important when you remember the point of research. The reason for research is to stop an author looking like an idiot. Surely the best thing from this point of view is to describe someone wearing a well cut warm woollen coat and not worry if it’s Hermes or Dolce & Gabbana. Okay, I did a little research on that last sentence. I buy my clothes from the supermarket and I have no idea what brands are good for coats. I was thinking about Kurt looking manly in a warm coat over his sweater, t-shirt and jeans, striding in his work boots, so I looked on eBay (other online auction sites are available), sorted by most expensive and picked two names. Looking at some of the fancy coats on there, I can’t see Kurt picking many of them, especially if he’s a motor mechanic. There would be too much of a risk of getting them dirty.  

The only reason I can think of to research clothing is if it’s important to the plot. Sane people would say that you don’t start a plot without knowing the background information. However there are far too many authors like me who get ambushed by plots with no idea about the detail and suddenly I’m trying to work out what an accountant does. Besides, I write about werewolves and vampires and I have no personal experience with either of them. If a story is knocking at your attention, you have to write it and research as you go. So let’s think about clothes in a modern day plot. The last time we saw Kurt and Gwendolyn in Machias, Maine, they were bumping into each other as she went to the post office while he was visiting the grave of his ancestor. Why would clothes matter?

Okay, let’s float some ideas. Kurt was visiting the grave of his great-great-grandfather. After Pearl Harbour, Kurt’s grandfather visited that grave before going off to Europe. Kurt’s grandfather had told his grandmother that he had just discovered the secret to a treasure, and that he would share everything when he came back. Perhaps something was hidden on the grave? I’m not sure about that. What would last in a grave? Wonderful things have been dug up on archaeological sites, but they’re the exception. As this article is about researching fashion – what clothing would last on a grave for eighty years?

I thought about belt buckles. Perhaps old Grandpa Kurt scratched some information into a distinctive belt buckle. I had a look on and lost a few hours of time. This sent my imagination off in several directions – a benefit of research when writing an actual story but sort of inconvenient here. After a strong cup of tea, I got back on track (more or less).

I had gone with the idea of designer clothes being useful in a plot, but the quick rummage I had showed me that there were far more uses of clothing than that. To my surprise, I found listings for some civil war belts on US A belt buckle would have a chance if it was hidden in a grave, especially if it was buried in a tin or well wrapped in oiled leather. My mind raced – how about… During the Civil War, a ship smuggling gold from the Confederate States to Canada to pay for war materials was shipwrecked on the coast of Maine. I’ve only seen the coast of Maine on Google Maps but it looks like a tricky place to sail. The gold was brought ashore and hidden, but the Confederate sailors died of fevers and injuries before they could retrieve it and take it to their contacts on Nova Scotia. Grandpa Kurt found it, years later, but had to leave for Europe before he could do anything with it. He scratched information on the back of a belt buckle that he found with the gold and left it in the grave, well wrapped up. That sounds like a great adventure.

Meanwhile, Gwendolyn can’t be left out. She’s unpacking a box of books left to the library by an elderly widow. There are some valuable first editions, some trashy novels and a small box. Inside there is a beautiful silk scarf wrapped around a scrimshaw broach. Grandpa Kurt sent back a fancy scarf when he made it to Paris in 1944. It couldn’t be Dolce & Gabbana because, according to their website, they weren’t founded until 1985 and Chanel closed during World War II, apart from perfumes and accessories (which could include scarves, I suppose). Hermes started producing scarves in 1937 which would make the scarf perfect for a soldier to send back to his loved ones in 1944 after the liberation of Paris. And the scrimshaw broach, also thrown up on eBay during the same search, could be a picture of the ship that smuggled the gold, scratched into a walrus tusk and set into a broach. She’d have to return something as expensive as that and, by coincidence, it came from the house that Kurt recently inherited. Little does Gwendolyn know that she’s about to meet up with that handsome hunk she bumped into on the way to the post office – the one she can’t get out of her mind…

And all of that came from looking up some stuff about clothes.

I should add, this shows my bias towards adventure and older things. But there are other ways that clothes can add to the plot. For example, who is the love rival who left the expensive Chanel scarf in Kurt’s pickup truck for Gwendolyn to find? Does Kurt’s Gucci belt mean that he came from wealth and is suddenly poor? Or is he hiding his money? And does the Versace dress that Gwendolyn found in a thrift shop lead to a mystery about a disappearing woman? These examples show that sometimes it’s worth worrying about the details as they can really boost the plot. For now, I think that I’ll stick with the Confederate gold, but who knows what may come up next?

Next time I’m going to talk about the sort of clothes and clothing that could affect the story as Lord Kurt and Miss Gwendolyn chase the dastardly vampire Count Dominic through London and beyond.  

You can find the rest of the posts on this here – Research and the Author, Collected Posts

Research and the Author – Fantasy Locations

In the previous articles, I’ve looked at researching locations for the modern world and in the nineteenth century. That should be fairly straightforward – you can look things up and find things out. Perhaps you can even get inspiration. You can’t do that for fantasy, at least not in the same way. I mean, if you’re making up a world with dwarves, elves, dragons and goblins, surely you can’t research a location? You underestimate the madness of this research junkie.

Image from Unsplash, taken by Dan Dimmock as I’m not ready to share the sad pile of scraps of paper that are my research

Why Do Research for Fantasy?

I am incredibly lazy. If I’m working with a fantasy location, I don’t want to work too hard trying to remember what I’ve set up. And that is why I use a little research to pin things down. My fantasy novel, King’s Silver isn’t currently in print, but while I may have sketched out a rough idea of what was where on the back of an envelope, I used ideas from modern locations if I was trying to work out things like weather, sunset times, landscapes, food etc. I have never had a lesson in geography in any classroom (there were a few issues with my education) so I don’t feel able to use ‘proper’ geography. However I can look at places in our world and take ideas from that. And if I get it wrong, I can say that it’s meant to be like that in my world

If I use a location from our world as a benchmark, I don’t need to worry about inventing too much. If I want a world with mighty quests from frozen tundra to steamy jungles I need to look at a place perhaps like Samarkand. It was one of the great cities on the Silk Road and so you could go north to the Russian steppe, south over the mountains to the jungles of India, east to the ancient and isolated civilisation of China or you could go west to the green and busy lands of Europe. You don’t have to use those particular routes. What you can do is have a quick check to see the sort of weather that Samarkand has, the seasons, sunset times, local wildlife and even local food. That can be imported wholesale into the fantasy city of Tarsh or could be used as a starting point. You don’t have to worry about building something from scratch.

For example, it’s 10th November (or the fantasy equivalent – there’s a calendar creator on so Kurt the Barbarian knows that the days are getting shorter and the longest night will soon be here. As the sun sets at 5.21pm (or the fantasy equivalent), Kurt the Barbarian pulls his cloak around him. It’s made of the fur of a Himalayan brown bear he hunted nearby and killed with his own hands. The weather is cool and dry, with a light wind ruffling his long hair and he is glad that Gwendolyn the Healer has a new cloak made from Angora wool from the local goats. She is back in their dwelling preparing a meal of rice with beef, mutton or goat and dried fruit, seasoned with exotic spices (I checked Samarkand cookery and the food looks amazing. I also checked on the wildlife in the area, Uzbekistan, and found a site that included mountain goats, ravens and ceratopsian dinosaurs. The dinosaurs caused some concern but perhaps it could be a plot hook).

Perhaps you want something a little more intimate. It could be a mystery set in a small town, perhaps with a feel of Tolkien’s Shire. Tolkien was an Oxford Professor, so let’s look at that. Sunset on 10th November in Oxford, England is at 4.22pm, and the rain is falling steadily in the chilly air. Kurt the Barbarian’s fur cloak is made from the pelts of wolves that he hunted alone in the wildlands but Gwendolyn the Healer has a cloak made of good local wool from the many sheep on the mountains to the west. She’s preparing a meal from bacon, barley and split peas.

On the other hand, you could consider something more maritime. I’ve randomly picked a date of 1200CE for the time to keep things consistent. There’s no reason why you can’t use the knowledge and inventions of, say, Oxford at 1200CE but the climate and general geography (altered to fit your plot) of the Caribbean. Kurt the Seafaring Barbarian has sailed into the harbour of the equivalent of Havana, grateful to be home as the storm season is ending. The sun sets slowly at the fantasy equivalent of 5.46pm and as the weather is warm, Kurt the Seafaring Barbarian has no need for more than his cotton tunic as he strides through the narrow streets to where Gwendolyn the Healer is preparing a pork stew, spicy with chillies and served with cornbread. As an aside, I thought cotton wasn’t indigenous to the Americas, but I checked just in case and the earliest fragment known comes from Mexico, closely followed by Pakistan. I love learning new things.

All of this information has been freely available and instead of trying to remember what I decided about the food or local animals, I can just refer back. I’m not doing this as a research project and I’m not getting marked for accuracy. If I say that there are tomatoes in a Medieval European setting in my world, then let there be swathes of tomatoes, because this is a fantasy world and as long as I keep things consistent, it doesn’t matter. In my flawed view, consistency helps the reader settle down into the plot and enjoy things. If Kurt the Barbarian hands Gwendolyn the Healer some chillies as a rare and exotic spice, then they shouldn’t be sold by the bucket in every small marketplace in the next chapter – unless it’s part of the plot.

And if you enjoy creating worlds with all the fun of plotting rivers and mountains and telling the story of why things as they are – go for it! If the setting is based on Ancient Rome but you have potatoes (introduced to Europe in the sixteenth century and long after the fall of Rome), then let them have fries by the bucketful! It’s your world and your story and the heck with anything else. I’d love you to share your world with me. And I’d love to hear any comments on thoughts of my ramblings on this matter – all are welcome.

You can find the rest of the posts on this here – Research and the Author, Collected Posts

Research and the Author: Location and the Lost City

This is another part of my series about Research and the Author. I’ve talked about time and variable sunsets, finding information about an unfamiliar location 3000 miles away and some of the pitfalls around places in Victorian London. This week, I’m taking Lord Kurt and Miss Gwendolyn out of Victorian London as they chase the vampiric Count Dominic.

For convenience, the date is the same 10th November 1875. It’s still useful to keep this in mind as a date can make all the difference. For example, if Count Dominic is preying on the people of the East Coast of the United States then it’s good to have the detail. Railways were being built, towns were being founded and the Mississippi River changed course dramatically at Vicksburg in April 1876. And while it will be obvious to any Americans reading that not all of the states in the USA came into being at the same time, it’s good for the rest of us to remember that in 1875 while Nebraska was a state, Colorado wasn’t quite there yet and became a state 1st August 1876.

And it’s also good to put in a reminder that this is fiction. The story is about two valiant vampire hunters and a vampire. It’s not about real things. If the research gets in the way of a good story, junk the research.

Let’s start with Count Dominic. He’s leaving London for places abroad – but where? There were a lot of options from London which was at the heart of a huge communications network at the time. If he was heading to Canada or the United States he could sail from Liverpool. The main train line to Liverpool from London has its terminus at Euston Station, London. If the dastardly count was headed to Europe, he would head for either Charing Cross or Victoria to get one of the boat trains that are organised to take passengers from London to places like Amsterdam, Brussels or Paris. Paris would be the perfect place to catch the luxurious Orient Express, but it didn’t start until 1883.

The real problem with research is that it can take you to strange places. I can’t even remember what I was looking for, but I found that for most of the nineteenth century, maps of Africa included a mountain range called The Mountains of Kong. It’s a wonderful name, deep in the jungles and forests of West Africa, near the source of the Niger River and close to the relatively well known Ivory Coast and Gold Coast. I have an atlas that I inherited from my great great aunt

which she dated 1898 but which I suspect was printed earlier. It has this map.

And if you zoom in, you can see the mountains – very faintly.

A comment from OneVikingGirl, who has a Baedeker, has left me deeply envious as I would love something so informative about travel at the time. I purchased a Times Gazetteer of the World 1899 edition a few years back. I bought it from eBay when under the influence of alcohol and it cost a fortune in postage.

I checked if it had a reference to the Mountains of Kong, and it did – it reported that it was a mistake, that someone had once believed that the mountains were there but in 1899 people knew the Mountains of Kong didn’t exist. At least, those with up to date maps. And those who thought that the new maps were just hiding a great lost city stuffed with gold. Or those who had heard travellers’ tales about these Mountains.

People love strange travellers’ tales. Back in the Middle Ages, stories of Prester John told tales about lands with dog headed men and people without souls. The conquistadors and adventurers who sailed to Central and South America came back with stories of El Dorado and Pirate Islands. The nineteenth century was no exception, and as more and more people became literate and had access to books and libraries, those tales were in desperate demand. Around the World in Eighty Days, published in 1872, was incredibly popular and there are five separate versions in Project Gutenberg. Later books in the same adventuring flavour are King Solomon’s Mines (1885) by H Rider Haggard, The Lost World (1912) by Arthur Conan Doyle and Tarzan of the Apes (also 1912) by Edgar Rice Burroughs. I read Tarzan of the Apes when I was far too young to deal with the racism, misogyny and dubious interpretation of the Theory of Evolution. I loved the adventure, though, and wondered about lost cities, forgotten kingdoms and strange worlds. If you are taking the flavour of an adventure, perhaps it’s good to remember that while everyone loves an adventure story, some ideas need to stay firmly in the past.

Now that I know that there is a reference to fabled and non-existent mountains, I have to send Lord Kurt and Miss Gwendolyn there. How could I resist? I know that boats sail from Southampton to South Africa at the time, where diamonds were discovered in 1867 (gold was discovered later) so there would be ships along the West Coast of Africa. Some may have called in to supply missionaries, traders and forts along the coast. Looking at a grossly inappropriately named map which you can find here, but I feel uncomfortable sharing, even if it was normal to use those terms back in 1736

The mountains shown at the top appear to be the fabled Mountains of Kong. They aren’t labelled but there are no mountains in that area on the current Google Maps. Looking at the combination of this elderly map and current Google maps, the best course of action, from my point of view, is to get a ship to St Louis in Senegal which was a French colony at the time. Then Lord Kurt and Miss Gwendolyn could sail along the Senegal River to where it joins the Niger River, and then, at the right moment, head north to the mountains, no doubt silhouetted against the tropical evening sky.

Image from WikiCommons in the public domain and a wonderful pic of the actual Senegal River near St-Louis

St-Louis is near the Tropic of Cancer and going back to the old variable sunset, the sunset on 10th November is 6.33pm, no doubt hauntingly beautiful and strange to the English lord and his awestruck companion. Looking at weather averages for St-Louis, it is going to be hot but dry. Rain rarely falls during November and the temperature range is from 21C to 34C but is most likely around 28C or 82F. It isn’t exactly the depths of the Sahara Desert, but it’s an arid, hot area. It’s hard to imagine a vampire heading to a desert. Apart from anything else, prey would be scarce for the bloodthirsty Count Dominic. My research has led me down a dead end street. I love those mountains, but I can’t imagine sending a vampire there. Perhaps they may go back later for a different adventure. As it is, this is a great example of too much research leading the story astray. It won’t work.

For now, Lord Kurt and Miss Gwendolyn arrive at Southampton only to find that the dastardly count has misled them. He’s not heading to those fabled, deserted mountains. He’s headed somewhere else. That mission can wait. Next week I’ll share some ideas of locations for Kurt the Barbarian and Gwendolyn the Healer in the fantasy city of Tarsh.

You can find the rest of the posts on this here – Research and the Author, Collected Posts

Research and the Author – Ye Olde Location: Victorian London

In the first of this series on research, I wrote about the manly Kurt and the sweet Gwendolyn in three different settings. The first was a modern day romance, the second was Victorian vampire hunters and the third was a fantasy adventure and I talked about how timings like sunset could vary and why keeping it consistent could support the plot. After all, if Kurt is escorting Gwendolyn through autumnal fallen leaves on Monday, it needs a very good reason for him to be meeting her under spring blossom on Tuesday.

In the second of this series, I had a quick browse around an unfamiliar location where Kurt and Gwendolyn could enjoy a gentle romance in a current setting. It’s unnervingly easy to find out menus for restaurants that are around 3000 miles away.

This time I want to write about the issues an author can have if they’re writing alternative history, such as steampunk. If you are an author writing an historically accurate work then you already know far more about research than I do. In those settings, details matter. However, in alternative history, it’s not quite as important to be immaculately correct. Instead, the author can insist that the detail may not apply to our world, but it’s like that in his work of fiction. There are pitfalls, however, when writing about the past, and it’s worth being aware.

In the first article, our heroes were chasing vampires in the foggy heart of London in 1875, and I’ll keep to that. And the first important note is that modern maps can’t be completely trusted. If you look at an online map of London today, you can see all sorts of details about roads and houses and features. It’s a great resource if you are going to visit, and a lot of London is exactly the same as it always was. The Tower of London is in the same place that William the Conqueror left it, and Buckingham Palace is still suffering bad feng sui at the end of the Mall. However a lot has happened to the city between 1875 and now. London was badly affected by bombing between 1940 and 1945, but it was even more damaged by the reconstruction, urban renewal and modern architecture that followed. If a detail of a road or building is important to the story, it’s best to check that things were the same back in 1875.

Let’s set the scene. It’s 10th November 1875. The fog is falling heavily and the streets are shrouded in a typical London Peasouper. Our valiant vampire hunters are stalking the bloodthirsty Count Dominic through the lamplit streets. Count Dominic sweeps his way out of a theatre where he has been charming the lords and ladies of high society and heads for the sordid slums of the East End of London. There are a number of contemporary maps around for London online but I’m going to use current Google Maps (other online maps are available) for ease of reference and to avoid getting sucked down my usual rabbit holes of research. I don’t know London well in real life, but I’m not letting that stop me.

Embarrassingly, I wasn’t sure where exactly the West End of London was in relation to the East End, so I put ‘West End, London’ into the search bar and found it. According to the map, it’s near the Ritz, the Savoy and the Embankment and includes Covent Garden and Soho. As this is not an exam under test conditions, I’m not going to stick rigidly to the area shown by the map, but it’s a start. I zoomed in and looked for theatres. The Garrick Theatre looked promising, but according to its website, it wasn’t opened until 1889. As this is fiction with vampires, I don’t have to stick to that. However, the reason I stick to things like dates is so that if I go back to theatres later on in the story, I don’t need to remember which ones I’ve made up, which ones I’ve opened ‘early’ and where I’ve put the dratted things. I can just quickly check online on the sites and move on. It’s laziness, but it’s also efficient.

I scrolled around a little more and found the Lyceum Theatre. This was a little better, as it had been on or near that spot since 1765. I had a quick look at the website, then went on to Wikipedia. That’s when I realised that I had been lucky. Not only did it talk about the famous Victorian actor, Henry Irving, being resident at the theatre, but Bram Stoker was a business manager there. The author of Dracula worked at that theatre! Now that I know that snippet, I have to use the Lyceum Theatre. According to Wikipedia, Bram Stoker started work there in 1878, three years after Lord Kurt and Miss Gwendolyn are creeping through dark places, but perhaps he heard stories. Or I can fudge the dates as long as I remember what I’ve done. Looking around for locations has helped with plot and story ideas and that’s the useful side of research.

Back to the locations – how far is it from the Lyceum Theatre to, say, Whitechapel? It’s around three miles, which isn’t very far, certainly not for the vampiric Count Dominic. But if it’s a dark, foggy night with the cold creeping in, it’s quite a way for the intrepid Lord Kurt and the dauntless Miss Gwendolyn. They could get a hansom cab, but would a cab driver be willing to take them down Whitechapel Road at that time of night? If it’s useful for the story, then Lord Kurt and Miss Gwendolyn can absolutely rattle through the dark streets behind a horse and driver. But perhaps they take the Underground with trains running underneath London?

Trains are tricky. Lots of people are really keen on trains and are willing to share their knowledge with the flimsiest of excuses. If you get details about trains wrong without a good reason in the plot, there may be complaints. The nearest underground station to the Lyceum Theatre is the Temple, and Lord Kurt could stride in and purchase tickets there without any problem as it opened in 1870. If he wanted to go to Whitechapel Station, however, he would have something of a wait as it didn’t open until 1884. It’s going to have to be a chase by hansom cab.

The slums of the East End of London were notoriously cramped, crowded and difficult to navigate, full of alleys and small yards. I personally wouldn’t try and use the exact streets of the East End in fiction. The chances of getting things wrong are a little too high for me even if I could find a decent map of the correct date, and it would take far too long to be completely accurate. Instead, I would focus on the things that I know that I could get wrong and that people would easily notice. That includes things like – is Whitechapel north or south of the River Thames? If Miss Gwendolyn is searching through documents in the British Museum (Reading Room opened in 1857), is it easy for Lord Kurt to hurry back to her from a meeting with a German professor, Dr Ernst Baum, at the Reform Club (the starting point of Around the World in Eighty Days by Jules Verne, published in 1872).

And taking inspiration from Jules Verne, perhaps Dr Baum has news that Count Dominic has left London and travelled abroad for his own dark reasons. In the next article, I’ll discuss the pitfalls of charting Lord Kurt and Miss Gwendolyn’s journey away from the well-trodden paths of Victorian London and into the wider world.

I’d love to hear what you think, and if I’ve made any mistakes I would seriously love to know as it will help me learn. Thank you for reading and I hope that you enjoyed this

You can find the rest of the posts on this here – Research and the Author, Collected Posts

Websites used for this article


List of London Underground Stations

Google Maps

Lyceum Theatre, London

The History of London

List of German Baby Names of the 1890s which I thought was near enough