Filed under romance



This seems to be the book that makes most people prick up their ears when I mention the title. Which is great, because it is an amazing story, full of humour and surprises. It also provides a lot of challenges to the notion that women were powerless.  When trawling through old newspapers some years ago … Continue reading


Walking and Talking

Walking and Talking

This is a subject that is of increasing concern to me as communities across Britain battle to preserve open spaces. In Cardiff the Central square is now a huge building site. It feels threatening, the metal monsters rising where once was windswept bus shelters and skateboarders and people able to catch sight of the sky. … Continue reading

A Heroic Daughter

Here’s a great story from Highways & Byways of Northumberland, yet another strong young woman showing immense bravery. My question here is why no male relative took such action. “On the roadside by the hamlet of Buckton [near Tweedmouth] is a plantation called Grizzy’s Clump where Grizzle Cochrane robbed the mail of he warrant for … Continue reading

Clandestine Marriages

A bit of historical romance to celebrate International Women’s Day, from the wonderful Highways & Byways series: One of the famous images of 18th century England, often repeated in cheap novels was the young heiress inveigled by an unscrupulous seducer to flee with him to be married at Gretna Green, pursued by relatives attempting to … Continue reading

Romantic Songs that Aged Badly

There’s been a lot of scandals in the past few years involving celebrities misbehaving with young people, which makes some commentators ask if anyone was not doing bad things back then, but without condoning any of this, things were different. IN Antonioni’s popular film ‘Blow Up’, the photographer David Hemmings is practically stalked by a … Continue reading

Cougar in Debt

Old newspapers sometimes comment on ancient customs, such as that if a woman married in a shift or undergarment, this freed her of any debt, hence her new husband would not be held responsible. I have seen this mocked a few times, but here seems to be a case where the minister acknowledged the tradition: … Continue reading

Cash ‘For Luck’

When researching my book on wife selling, I often found mention of the price including money returned ‘for luck’. It seemed like a nice thing to do, but it seems that, like so much about the process, it did have a sound basis in history and commerce. This is from Paul Jennings’ ‘The Living Village” … Continue reading

Wife Sells Husband

I have been trawling the British news archives and this might be  a first. In Cumberland Pacquet & Ware’s Whitehaven Advertiser of 22 August 1815 they claim a woman sold her husband with a halter round his neck at Dewsbury market. She got oy 4s 6d for him!

Death of a Pauper

This is again from The Life of Silas Told, the sort of gross injustice the Georgian justice system is so infamous, executing a man for stealing a few pennies. That said, the crime wsa so stupid, it is hard to feel sorry for the man, but then, he had clearly reached the end of his … Continue reading