Author Archives: Tessa Arlen

Making do in WWII

I have just made–even if I say so myself–a spectacular dinner: roast pork with scallions and fennel, and buttered cabbage. A simple luscious meal for a cold autumn evening. I didn’t have to queue for an hour at the butcher … Continue reading

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The Indomitable Air Raid Warden

The Blackout and the Dark of Night To make it difficult for the German Luftwaffe (air force) to locate built up areas, the British government imposed a complete blackout during the years of WWII. The occupants of all buildings had … Continue reading

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Little Buffenden’s American Army Air Force Base

The fictional village of Little Buffenden is home not only to Poppy Redfern and her grandparents, but the American Army Air Force in their new airfield built for them on Poppy’s grandfather’s farm Reaches. When America ‘joined the war’ after … Continue reading

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Stories my Father Told Me About the War

My father was given a thrashing because he and his cousin sat up on the roof of their house in Greenwich with their Spam sandwiches to watch a dogfight between Messerschmidts and Spitfires over the London docks. Continue reading

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A Blog on Blighty

I have just finished the copyedit for DEATH OF AN UNSUNG HERO – Lady Montfort and Edith Jackson’s fourth adventure together which takes place at home in Blighty in 1916 as the Battle of the Somme raged on for most of … Continue reading

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The Redoubtable Edwardian raises a glass . . . or two

It is a well-known fact that the Edwardian lady did not drink whiskey –or, for some strange reason, other dark colored alcoholic drinks like port, brandy, beer or stout. It was considered unfeminine and ‘low’. Working class women drank gin … Continue reading

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An Edwardian Christmas at Iyntwood

In 1901 when Clementine, Lady Montfort was a young mother with three young children in the nursery it snowed that Christmas Eve as the Talbot family and their servants walked down St. Bartholomew’s church in the village for the evening … Continue reading

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British Tea and the Proper Wielding of Teapots.

I want to try to clarify some of the rules bout the ritual of tea time as it is probably one of the most misrepresented of British traditions.  

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Winston Churchill in Death Sits Down to Dinner

“Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.” ~ Winston S. Churchill Winston Spencer Churchill was the son of Lord Randolph Churchill, the third son of John Spencer-Churchill, 7th Duke of Marlborough and Lady Randolph Churchill  (née … Continue reading

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Sir Thomas Beecham and the Importance of Starting, and Finishing, Together

  April 29, 1879 – March 8, 1961 There are two golden rules for an orchestra: start together and finish together. The public doesn’t give a damn what goes on in between. —Sir Thomas Beecham Beecham’s grandfather, also Thomas Beecham, … Continue reading

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