Murder! Victorian Crime Firsts

The Victorians really would’ve loved all the crime channels we have nowadays. It was in this era that the thirst for all things crime really took off, and newspaper companies noticed this in their sales. Papers would see spikes in sales when reporting high profile crimes, which was bolstered by people’s belief in the CriminalContinue reading “Murder! Victorian Crime Firsts”

Lydia Gwilt in ‘Armadale’: Flame-Haired Femme Fatale

Lydia Gwilt is the standout character of Wilkie Collins’s ‘Armadale,’ so much so that her wicked ways horrified Victorian readers. It’s no surprise given her status in the story as a liar, bigamist, husband poisoner and temptress. She was truly the antithesis of the demure, domestic and good-natured Victorian woman. I mean, in her firstContinue reading “Lydia Gwilt in ‘Armadale’: Flame-Haired Femme Fatale”

205 Years On: Why did Napoleon fail at Waterloo?

Napoleon was initially successful in his European campaign, which spanned from 1803 to 1815, but this changed for the worse overtime. It was Napoleon’s own poor decision making that led to the depletion of the Grand Armée over time, which allowed the Coalition to eventually defeat him at the Battle of Waterloo in 1815. NapoleonContinue reading “205 Years On: Why did Napoleon fail at Waterloo?”

Lucrezia Borgia: Incest, Poison and Sexual Scandal?

Lucrezia Borgia’s reputation precedes her, as the debauched daughter of Rodrigo Borgia, more commonly known as Pope Alexander VI. The Borgia family dominated Renaissance Italy, and some describe them as Italy’s original crime family. What an iconic bunch. Lucrezia gets a lot of attention, especially in relation to her three marriages, and reputation as anContinue reading “Lucrezia Borgia: Incest, Poison and Sexual Scandal?”

Alec D’Urberville: Religious Fanaticism, Temptation and the Bible

Alec D’Urberville is ‘Tess of the D’Urbervilles’ big bad, as his rape of Tess sets all of the events of the novel in motion, leading Tess down a path of misery which ends in her death and his. Alec is initially portrayed as a bit of a moustachioed pantomime villain, but his later resurgence inContinue reading “Alec D’Urberville: Religious Fanaticism, Temptation and the Bible”

Plutarch on the Real Antony and Cleopatra

It’s difficult to separate the fact from the fiction, when dealing with Mark Antony and Cleopatra, as so little sources survive about their love affair. One that does and is fairly accessible, is that of Plutarch, a renowned Roman philosopher and biographer. Now, he wasn’t alive to witness these events first-hand, but his account isContinue reading “Plutarch on the Real Antony and Cleopatra”

Body Horror, Justice and Covid-19 in ‘Jurassic Park’

‘Entertainment is antithetical to reality’[1] Michael Crichton’s novel ‘Jurassic Park’ is certainly that, to the point where the readers are relieved by it. Crichton’s novel about genetically engineered dinosaurs running amok is a thrilling read, even if it’s not quite the same as actually seeing the dinosaurs for real on the big screen. What isContinue reading “Body Horror, Justice and Covid-19 in ‘Jurassic Park’”

The Changing Nature of Witchcraft in the 16th and 17th Centuries

Up to 40,000 people died during the early modern witch craze.[1] Throughout this time, peoples’ understanding of witches frequently changed, in relation to ‘maleficia’ and the nature of witches, their gender, the law, the Reformation and the scepticism that emerged during the Enlightenment. It was originally believed that witches practised magic, or ‘maleficia,’ on theirContinue reading “The Changing Nature of Witchcraft in the 16th and 17th Centuries”

The Queer Displacement of Desire in ‘Frankenstein’ and ‘Dracula’

Today we navigate through the dangerously queer displacements of desire in ‘Frankenstein’ and ‘Dracula’! Before we start, some definitions: ‘Displacement’ originates from Freud and is defined as the unconscious ‘shifting of energy’ from one person to another, the ‘energy’ in question being desire. [1] ‘Queer’ refers to anything that opposes the dominant ideals that humanityContinue reading “The Queer Displacement of Desire in ‘Frankenstein’ and ‘Dracula’”

Defeating Covid-19 with ‘Little Women’

This post contains full spoilers about ‘Little Women’! Louisa May Alcott’s semi-autobiographical novel has charmed the hearts of Americans for generations. I only took notice of it following the release of Greta Gerwig’s adaptation in December 2019, which prompted me to read the book. Although I wouldn’t describe it as the most gripping read, itContinue reading “Defeating Covid-19 with ‘Little Women’”