Vauxhall Gardens: The Business Side

Susana's Parlour


The Vauxhall Pleasure Gardens is one of the places I’d love to slip back in time to visit, just to catch a glimpse of what it was like. After recently splurging to buy this lovely coffee-table book, I thought it might make a wonderful subject for a new blog series. But do buy the book too, if you can!

Vauxhall’s huge success after Jonathan Tyers’s acquisition of the property, which had been in existence for seventy years as the “New Spring Gardens”, can be attributed to the man’s perception that his idealistic dream must be counter-balanced by sound financial practices. An essential element of this was publicity, and of this, Tyers proved to be a master. How did he do this?

Promoting Vauxhall

He promoted the gardens as a sort of “heaven on earth,” a magical sort of place to lift one’s spirits after a hard day in the real…

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History Behind the BBC Series “The Last Kingdom”

Every Woman Dreams...

MV5BMjE1MzYzNjk3OF5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwMzk0MzYwNzE@._V1_SX214_AL_I am watching “The Last Kingdom” on BBC America (Saturday’s at 10 P.M.). It is a tale of Saxon history, with England struggling to become a “nation” in itself, without the rule by the Danes. Although I possess a “working knowledge” of the time period, this is not an era of which I am well versed; even so, I find the series fascinating, even though the author of the book upon which it is based is said to have taken great liberties. Again, I cannot speak to those liberties, but I am certain some of my history novel friends can.

From imdb we learn, “The Last Kingdom is an adaptation of Bernard Cornwell’s Saxon Stories. The books follow Uhtred of Bebbanburg from a boy taken from his birthright and raised by Vikings, later fighting for King Alfred the Great and his son Edward. Shield walls, blood, revenge and the forging of many…

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Dot, dot, dot – the difference between clean and dirty?


800px-Amor_Vincet_Omnia Caravaggio: Amor vincit Omnia

Some things get to me. One of those things is the label “clean” which is used to refer to books that lack any sexual content. Why? Because per definition, the antonym to clean is dirty, ergo all books that do have sexual content are soiled and tawdry. I also find it interesting that there is a perceived need to label lovestories as clean – sex-free – but should such novels contain violence, even brutal death, that’s okay. Readers, apparently, are more disturbed by explicit depictions of love-making than they are of murders.

Hmm. My books have sex in them – my protagonists are consenting adults in loving relationships, and in my experience such relationships tend to include sex. Do I perceive my books as dirty? Absolutely not – they are an attempt at depicting the complexities in life, spiced up with time travelling, historical…

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