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Victorian Britain

1837-1901 in Britain

Anno Dracula by

Anno Dracula by Kim Newman

The last of my RIP reads, and my All Hallows Swap book. What if Van Helsing had lost? What if Dracula had won that battle, married Queen Victoria, and taken power? What would Victorian England make of vampires coming out of the shadows, into high society, and becoming fashionable as well as powerful? Anno Dracula does just feature the cast

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Timeless by

Timeless by Gail Carriger

An Alexia Tarabotti novel, The Parasol Protectorate: Book the Fifth Seeing as this it the fifth, and final, book in this series, knowing anything about the plot probably counts as spoilers for the previous books. So consider yourself warned. It has been three years since the end of Heartless and in that time Lord and Lady Maccon haven’t had to

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Josephine Butler

Josephine Butler

I work in a library headquarters, this means that we process the new stock [1] . Part of this processing means that we have to write the accession number and the call number, or collection code on the new books. We do this in three places. Back of the title page, on page 19, and on the date label. And

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A study in emerald (Fragile things group read – week 1) by

Default fox is the defaults - Image taken from page 40 of 'Travels in Africa during the years 1875-1878 (1879-1883-1882-1886) ... from The British Library

Carl is hosting another group read. This time of Neil Gaiman’s Fragile Things. A collection of 32 stories, so that is 4 stories over 8 weeks. Not too intense. But it is always a bit of a challenge to stop reading after only 4 stories and I’ve decided to post on each individual story as I go along. First up

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Heartless by

Default fox is the defaults - Image taken from page 40 of 'Travels in Africa during the years 1875-1878 (1879-1883-1882-1886) ... from The British Library

An Alexia Tarabotti novel, The Parasol Protectorate: Book the Fourth The first book in this series introduced us to our heroine, Alexia Tarabotti, and in some ways the very first line of this book is a spoiler for that one because Alexia now has a different surname. But from the moment you started reading Soulless you should have guessed that

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Lady of Quality by

Default fox is the defaults - Image taken from page 40 of 'Travels in Africa during the years 1875-1878 (1879-1883-1882-1886) ... from The British Library

Miss Annis Wychwood is in her late twenties, and as she is still unmarried, she believes her future to hold nothing but remaining single. However she is not about to retreat into the clutches of her brother’s family and become “the spinster aunt”, as much as she loves her sister-in-law, there are some things which simply can not be allowed to happen. So she has set up home in Bath, with an elderly cousin to live with her, for propriety’s sake. On a journey from her brother’s establishment to her own, she comes across a broken down chaise and offers her assistance. The young woman she rescues is most thankful for not being left at the side of the road, but things are about to change in Miss Wychwood’s life, for she is the ward of Mr. Oliver Carleton, and she has run away.

Okay, anyone who has ever read any Georgette Heyer will probably already know that Miss Wychwood shall not remain single. And that she will end up falling madly in love with Carleton, and that they will live happily ever after. But speculation about that aspect of the plot is not why anyone reads Heyer. Instead you read her to enjoy her writing, her characters, and her dialogue. And in all those aspects this book is a success.

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Drood by

Drood by Dan Simmons

by Dan Simmons

On the 9th of June, 1865, ten passengers were killed when a train crashed at Staplehurst. Among the passengers who survived the disaster was the novelist Charles Dickens. Meeting his friend, Wilkie Collins, soon afterwards Dickens describes a strange individual he came across at the site of the crash. This man, Drood, is to drag both Dickens and Collins into the depths of Victorian London’s criminal and poverty stricken underbelly. Will he also lead to murder and insanity?

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Blameless by

Default fox is the defaults - Image taken from page 40 of 'Travels in Africa during the years 1875-1878 (1879-1883-1882-1886) ... from The British Library

by Gail Carriger
If you haven’t yet read Soulless and Changeless then I am afraid that this review will contain spoilers for those two books. Always the way with reviewing books in a series.
I’ve just realised that I’ve never really mentioned the covers in my review of these books, but just take a second to take a proper look at them. Aren’t they wonderful! I’m not sure if that is exactly how I picture Alexia, she always seems, how would she put it, more substantial than the model on the cover, but the are so very appropriate. And just look at that othnithopter over Paris. Oops, spoilers, because yes, Alexia heads to France and then on to Italy. How exciting.

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Changeless by

Default fox is the defaults - Image taken from page 40 of 'Travels in Africa during the years 1875-1878 (1879-1883-1882-1886) ... from The British Library

by Gail Carriger

If you haven’t yet read Soulless then I am afraid that this review will contain spoilers. It is the second book in a series after all. However, the spoilers are, in a way, not spoilers, because you pretty much knew what was going to happen simply becasue of the conventions of a romance. But nevertheless, consider your self warned.

Soulless ended with Alexia becoming Lady Maccoon after marrying Conall Maccon, as well as muhjah to Queen Victoria. Muhjah being the traditional preternatural advisor to the monarch, alongside a hiveless vampire and a packless werewolf. Changeless begins with her husband disappearing off to Scotland after his old pack. A strange lack of supernatural ability in London. And Alexia following Conall to Scotland on the trail of whatever caused the temporary supernatural-less-ness. And she travels on a dirigible. How very steampunk!

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The Young Victoria dir. by

Default fox is the defaults - Image taken from page 40 of 'Travels in Africa during the years 1875-1878 (1879-1883-1882-1886) ... from The British Library

The problem I have with films that centre on the British monarchy is that I’m Irish[1] And so predisposed to dislike them. All that pomp and ceremony that exalts the royal person. Bleurgh I hates it. I’m pretty far from a royalist. So there were a few moments during The Young Victoria when my hackles were raised. But for the

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The Little White Horse by

Default fox is the defaults - Image taken from page 40 of 'Travels in Africa during the years 1875-1878 (1879-1883-1882-1886) ... from The British Library

The carriage gave another lurch, and Maria Merryweather, Miss Heliotrope, and Wiggins once more fell into each other’s arms, sighed, gasped, righted themselves, and fixed their attention upon those objects which were for each of them at this trying moment the source of courage and strength.

I picked this book up on a total whim, I have the vaguest recollections of a tv series by the same name, which may or may not have existed. But if it did I think I found it boring. Still I’m a horse fan. It was cheap, and short. I gave in.

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