Visiting the Aiken-Rhett House, Charleston

Welcome to Charleston, South Carolina, and the Aiken-Rhett House. I’ve been so excited to get exploring the US and their house museums, and the Aiken-Rhett House certainly did not disappoint. What was so interesting about the Aiken-Rhett House was the focus of the visitor interpretation: so much research has been done into the enslaved members…

Lola Montez: The Fascinating Life of a Queen of Reinvention (1821-1861)

London Stereoscopic and Photographic Company, Portrait of Lola Montez, unknown date. Scottish National Portrait Gallery, PGP 837.28. Today I wanted to write about a female figure in history who completely fascinates me: Lola Montez. I first heard about Lola Montez in a song (a fantastic song you can find here) by Volbeat, and after listening…

Review: “Jane Austen’s Inspiration: Beloved Friend Anne Lefroy”, by Judith Stove

I’ve been lucky enough to start working with the lovely people at Pen and Sword books in reviewing history books – and could my first choice be anything but Jane Austen themed? Judith Stove’s “Jane Austen’s Inspiration: Beloved Friend Anne Lefroy” looks to Jane’s close friend (and aunt to the famous love interest of Jane’s,…

A Tour of Christian Dior: Designer of Dreams

Look 24 Dress, Christian Dior by John Galliano, Autumn/Winter 2004. If there is anything I learned last Saturday morning in the beautiful Christian Dior exhibition at the V&A, is that Dior really is the Designer of my Dreams. Firstly, it was a dream to get a ticket to the extended run of the sold out…

Walking in the footsteps of Jane Austen in Hampshire

Even though I wax lyrical on every single platform about how much I love Jane Austen, I’ve never visited her house at Chawton or her grave in Winchester Cathedral – until this week. We went on a lovely trip to Hampshire and had a beautiful day (helped by the British sunshine) exploring Jane Austen’s House…

Pre-Raphaelites, Dragons and a Cabinet of Curiosity: A Visit to Wallington

Wallington is a beautiful William and Mary period country house in the Northumberland countryside – the house as seen today, including the beautiful big clock tower you walk underneath as you enter the grounds, was largely remodelled by Sir Walter Calverley Blackett, who had inherited the house from his party-loving and debt-ridden uncle, Sir William…