‘Sex and Sexuality in Victorian Britain’ by Violet Fenn – BLOG TOUR

Hi guys!

(Just want to start by saying the blog post could contain topics not suitable for anyone under the age of 18, so if you are a minor please don’t read!!)

I don’t know about you but I just love learning about history. Specifically the topics that aren’t taught in schools! My favourite topics to read about are women’s fashion history, LGBT history and anything that proves the people of the past weren’t as prudish as we might think! So when I got the chance to part of this book tour it was perfect!

Pen and Sword Blog Tour Promo Image

I have read a lot of Pen and Sword books in the past, but never a book by Violet Fenn so I was super excited to get started!

I already have a little bit of knowledge on some of the areas discussed in this book, for example Jack the Ripper, the treatment of gay men, prostitutes and photographic pornography. But it was still fascinating to read about these topics from another perspective and some in more depth.

Naturally, as an LGBT woman the chapter I found most interesting was the one on homosexuality titled ‘A Walk on the Wilde side’ (I enjoyed the play on words a lot here!). It breaks my heart to read about how the people in the book were treated, and how easily men could’ve been arrested for what was referred to as ‘gross indecency’, especially as this would make it a lot easier for them to be convicted as hard evidence was less of a necessity.

I also found the chapter that talked about sex toys to be very interesting. A lot of theories were debunked due to being unrealistic; like the fact that victorians invented the mechanical vibrator to cure hysterical perimeter when the patriarchal society meant that interest in female anatomy was minimal and most examinations were done with the patient fully clothed therefore it isn’t likely that “a doctor would instruct a female patient to lie on the couch and display her most intimate regions to him while he brought her to orgasm”.

The chapter titled ‘Hidden in Plain Sight’ talked about sex and sexuality in art and literature. My favourite thing was the talk about Bram Stoker and Dracula and all the sexual subtext. Because let’s be honest, there’s not much more that’s sexier than a vampire! Fenn also talked about how it’s possible that Bram Stoker himself was a homosexual, based of of certain pieces of evidence including a letter with a LOT of homerotic subtext and vexing very close to Oscar Wilde. Although this isn’t very strong evidence, and Stoker later goes on to make a strong stand against homosexuality so who knows!

My only gripe with this book is that Fenn says we shouldn’t judge Victorians by modern standards and I don’t agree with that, especially with some of the more sensitive topics. One of the best things about history is that we can look back, make judgements and learn to do better!

In conclusion, you can tell this book was written by someone with a genuine passion for history, and who actually enjoys researching and writing about these topics. It is one of the few history books I have found where the writing is very accessible, and although taken seriously is still written in a chatty and easy to read way!

I give this book 3.5/5 stars!

(keep scrolling is you are interested in reading and would like to know what possible triggers to be wary of!)

See you soon!

Elizabeth

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If anyone is planning on reading this book I just want to give a warning that there are a lot of sensitive topics discussed in this book that can be quite hard to handle. A full list of these possible triggers will be listed below!

[rape, child murder, child prostitution, postpartum depression and psychosis, sexual abuse, child harm, suicide, death, violence]

My ‘Unrealistic’ Goals 2019

Hello!

I was catching up with one of my favourite bloggers, Hello Miss Jordan, when I saw a suggested post of hers come up! And it was her ‘Unrealistic’ Goals List! I was so fascinated by the idea that I just had to write a list of my own!! And how fun it will be to look back in a year and see if I achieved these things!

1) Reach 10k on Instagram!

This is probably my big one, and although I’m only a little under 5k at the moment, I feel like it’s not entirely impossible! Especially as I plan on improving the quality of my content, I’m hoping to reach 10k by next May!

2) Sew a complete costume!

It probably doesn’t sound like much of a goal, but I feel like it should be on this list as it has been something I have wanted to do for a very long time! Whether it’s a cosplay, an outfit for a LARP character, or a historical garment, I really would love to have completed something before the year is up!

3) Start taking more outfit photos!

I really want to achieve this one! My confidence isn’t great, so this could be a struggle but how can I be an aspiring fashion blogger/cosplayer/larper is I never take photos of myself? I definitely need to start!

Earrings and Bookmark from @literaryelfling on instagram!

4) Work with more companies on collaborations!

I have only worked with a couple of companies so far, but I dream of working with more! My dream collab would be with Holy Clothing, so if I can achieve that I will be over the moon!

5) Open up my own Etsy shop and start selling my art and other creations!

My dream is to be completely self-employed and earn completely from my art and instagram. So to open up an Etsy and get at least 50 sales would be a complete dream come true!!

I’m calling these goals ‘Unrealistic’ because they aren’t all entirely likely to happen, and honestly some of them are out of my controls But I will work hard and try my best, and hopefully I will be back here in a year telling you that I achieved them all!!

See you next time!

Elizabeth

Links:

Hello Miss Jordan Blog: https://www.hellomissjordan.com/?m=1

Hello Miss Jordan Instagram: https://instagram.com/hellomissjordan?igshid=j2ened4887wm

My Instagram (daintybeth): https://www.instagram.com/daintybeth/

Interpreting the Ripper Letters (Pen and Sword)

Hi guys!

Today I am going to be talking about this incredible book; Interpreting the Ripper Letters by M.J. Trow!

I have been fascinated by Jack the Ripper ever since I was about 16 years old! I have read so many books, watched shows and films and even visited a couple of the locations in London!! This books is definitely up there among the best ones I have read!

I don’t know whether it’s because I am super interested in the subject, but this book was just so easy to read! I read most of it in one day! The first chapter is all about the murders, intruding you into the mystery, so it’s a great book for people who haven’t read anything else before!

This book also talks about evidence and points that I haven’t read about anywhere else. It also dismisses evidence with proof that it wasn’t from Jack the Ripper, with evidence I have never seen explained away before!

I loved the photos and excerpts in the middle section of this book. It showed some of the letters supposedly sent by Jack the Ripper, doodles that were in some of the letters and photos of some of the suspects and police that worked on the case! It helps me a lot to see things connected to what I’m reading about when reading historical books. It helps to make it more real, and forces me to remember that this was actually a horrific time for Whitechapel, and one of the worst serial killers!

This book has definitely reignited my fascination with Jack the Ripper, an Im definitely going to go back and reread some of my other books and compare some of the new things I know!

I couldn’t recommend this book enough! Whether you are interested in serial killers as a whole, Jack the Ripper specifically or just want a more accurate portrayal of victorian police work, this book is AMAZING!

I definitely rate this book 5/5⭐️

See you next time!

Elizabeth

A Victorian Lady’s Guide to Fashion and Beauty Review

I have been eyeing this book up for so long, and I was so grateful when Pen and Sword Books sent me a copy of it to review!

The Victorian Era is one of my all time favourite periods for fashion! Every decade is so different, and this book takes you through each one, explaining what changed and why! It covers everything in so much detail, from undergarments to the most fashionable way to style your hair to the increasing popularity of jewellery!!

I absolutely loved learning all the little tips and tricks from the era, it that I will be using a lot of them in my routine as they are a tad impractical in modern life, but it was fascinating to imagine what life must’ve been like!

This is definitely a book I will keep returning to, and referencing from on my historical fashion journey, as although I know a fair amount, I feel like I will never know as much as in this book!

If you are at all interested in victorian fashion, I definitely recommend this book! It does require a little bit of previous knowledge as some of the words used they assume you already know! But as long as you either know them, or are fine with looking it up, then this is the perfect book!!

I rate this book 4.5/5, only due to the nature of the advanced vocabulary used!!

See you soon!

Elizabeth

Christchurch Mansion

Hello!

I wanted to break up my book reviews a bit with a slightly different post! So I decided to keep it really simple and just do a bit of a ‘photo dump’! These photos are of one of my favourite places in the world, Christchurch Mansion! It is such a pretty historical building, I just adore looking at all the rooms and imagining what it must’ve been like to live in!

I hope you enjoy looking through these photographs! Tell me about any historical places you like to visit!