The Trickster Prince

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

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 · 1 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 · 3 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

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

What’s in a name?

I sent a book manuscript out into the world, and it came back with a different name. It left me as The Prince of Tricksters: Cultures of Confidence in 1920s … Continue reading

June 3, 2015 · 2 Comments

It’s all in a name

On 11 June 1925, two sisters marry two friends at St Matthew’s Church, a short walk from Westminster Abbey and the Houses of Parliament. But who was who, and why … Continue reading

March 13, 2015 · 6 Comments

Can you judge a book by its cover?

Working on the assumption that we all judge a book by its cover, what do you think of this as inspiration for the front of The Prince of Tricksters? Because … Continue reading

January 20, 2015 · 7 Comments