The Trickster Prince

Matt Houlbrook: mobile historian; beard growing, head shaving; occasional cycling.

On not writing (again)

I started writing this blog because I could not write anything else. Struggling with the white noise of not writing I looked for a way out by starting small and … Continue reading

November 9, 2015 · 6 Comments

A tragedy to those that feel: the world according to Josephine O’Dare (1928)

 Josephine O’Dare to Chief Inspector George Yandell (6 August 1928). From National Archives: MEPO 3 / 441: Theresa Agnes Skyrme alias Josephine O’Dare and others: forgery and uttering will of … Continue reading

August 3, 2015 · Leave a comment

Proofs positive

I sent a book manuscript out into the world, and it came back defaced and different. Marginal comments in blue, deletes and edits tracked in green, strange symbols and odd … Continue reading

July 28, 2015 · 2 Comments

On the problem of being charming (in 1920s Britain)

Note: this is not a self-help guide or an introduction on how to be charming. Being charming was a big deal in 1920s Britain. Charm denoted a cluster of personal … Continue reading

July 27, 2015 · 10 Comments

In those few enchanted hours she lived

In April 1930 the 19 year-old typist Hilda Lewis was prosecuted for stealing from her employers, the publishers Messrs Baines and Scarbrook, after “masquerade[ing] … as the millionaire heiress of … Continue reading

July 21, 2015 · 1 Comment

Public reputation and the celebrity pathologist in 1930

Sir Bernard Spilsbury made himself an unlikely kind of celebrity in the first four decades of the twentieth century. For rather than a film star or a sportsperson, Spilsbury was … Continue reading

July 17, 2015 · Leave a comment

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