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Redoubtable Edwardians

Welcome to my blog REDOUBTABLE EDWARDIANS featuring articles about the colorful eccentrics who populated the era of my books. I hope you will find them as fascinating as I do!

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Gertrude Jekyll and Old Roses

I have taken the tremendous liberty in A DEATH BY ANY OTHER NAME, which releases on March 14, 2017,  of including among my quirky characters the redoubtable garden designer Gertrude Jekyll.     Miss Jekyll designed some of the most beautiful gardens in England,  Europe and America. She bred a number of herbaceous specimens that we grow… Read the full article >>

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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 carol service.   I remember from my own childhood that nothing captured the spirit of… Read the full article >>

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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.   Whenever I need information on the strangely intricate and unbending conventions that surround the Edwardians and their eating habits I consult Mrs. Thwaite, the cook at Iyntwood,… Read the full article >>

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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 Jennie Jerome) daughter of an American millionaire. As a third grandson of a… Read the full article >>

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Lady Montfort, Mrs. Jackson and the Agatha nomination

We, that is Clementine, Jackson and I have been nominated for an Agatha award for Best First novel: DEATH OF A DISHONORABLE GENTLEMAN. Sometimes it takes a day or two for good news to sink in and then its like drinking champagne all night without the headache the next morning. A sort of exhausted, nervous euphoria. If… Read the full article >>

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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, was the rich industrialist who owned Beecham’s Powders, a laxative and cure-all for headache and… Read the full article >>

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Mrs. Jackson and the Lancashire Witches

On All Hallows’ Eve downstairs in the servants’ hall at Iyntwood the maids light their turnip jack o’ lanterns and settle down with their cider and toasted nuts casting hopeful looks at the housekeeper to see if she is in the mood to tell them a story.  And Mrs. Jackson –who comes from Lancashire –does not disappoint,… Read the full article >>

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Maud, Lady Cunard and the Wounding Repartee

  ‘Let me introduce you to the man who killed Rasputin,’ Maud Cunard said to guests attending her large dinner party for the Grand Duke Dmitri Pavlovich. Pavlovich and his friend Prince Felix Yasupov were indeed the men who had taken hours to kill the Mad Monk, Rasputin, the favorite of the Tsarina who resisting poison, bludgeoning… Read the full article >>

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Mrs. Jackson and the Golden Rules

It was between the wars that the whodunit murder mystery reached its greatest popularity. We call them cozies today, because they contain a minimum of violence –although the murder can be gruesome –and there is no sex whatsoever; even romance is kept firmly under control. The most well known writers of this time were Margery… Read the full article >>

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Why does the Britain of the early 1900s intrigue and delight so many of us?

Today the great houses of Britain’s landed aristocracy with their vast, exquisite interiors and views of sweeping parkland attest to the power of rank and wealth of a bygone age. They also provide a stunning backdrop for elegantly clothed men and women with gracious manners who star in numerous costume dramas acquired for Masterpiece Theatre… Read the full article >>

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