Princess in D.I.Y Marriage

Princess in D.I.Y Marriage

As the daughter of a king Princess Augusta was denied access to men of her own rank except those in her immediate family for most of her life. Like several of George III’s daughters she found herself lonely and drawn into romances with gentleman at court whether they were suitable or not.

It is believed that Princess Augusta first met Sir Brent Spencer, an Irish general in the British Army, around 1800. Augusta later told her brother, the future George IV, the two entered into a relationship in 1803 while Spencer was stationed in Britain. Although the couple conducted their relationship with the utmost privacy, Augusta did petition the Prince Regent in 1812 to be allowed her to marry Spencer, promising further discretion in their behaviour. While no official record of a marriage between the two exists, it was noted at the court of Hesse-Homburg at the time of her sister Elizabeth’s marriage in 1818 that Augusta was “privately married.”

Princess Augusta Sophia was born at Buckingham House, London, the sixth child and second daughter of George III (1738–1820) and his wife Queen Charlotte. The young princess was christened on 6 December 1768, by Frederick Cornwallis, The Archbishop of Canterbury, in the Great Council Chamber at St. James’s Palace. Princess Augusta had an older sister Charlotte (born 1766) and her younger sister Elizabeth (born 1770). In 1771, the two oldest princesses started travelling to Kew to take lessons under the supervision of Lady Charlotte Finch and Miss Planta. The pair, who had formerly been very close to their older brothers now saw little of them, except when their paths crossed on daily walks. In 1774, Martha Goldsworthy, or “Gouly” was put in charge of their education which included the feminine pursuits of deportment, music, dancing, and the arts. Their mother also ensured that they learned English, French, German, and Geography.

In 1782, aged 14, Augusta made her court debut on the occasion of her father’s birthday. Being terrified of crowds; the princess was painfully shy, and stammered when in front of people she didn’t know; her mother gave her only two days notice of the event. That year she lost her two baby brothers, Prince Alfred and Prince Octavius. Alfred had a bad reaction to his inoculation against smallpox and died aged nearly two. Six months after Alfred’s death, her younger brother Octavius and her sister Sophia were taken to Kew Palace in London to be inoculated with the smallpox virus. (This may seem irresponsible today but smallpox was virulent and no respecter of rank so inoculation, even with its risks was still probably a better bet than not being inoculated at all.) Sophia recovered without incident, but like his brother, before him, Octavius became ill and died several days later, he was just four years old. As was traditional at the time, the household did not go into mourning for the deaths of royal children under the age of fourteen but Augusta, who had loved the children dearly, was distraught.

Her formal education now came to an end. Now her duty was to join her elder sister and her parents at court and accompany them to the theatre and the Opera. With six daughters to clothe and educate the royal budget was stretched. The royal princesses often appeared in what was basically the same dress each in a different colour to save money and at home, they wore plain, everyday clothes unlike their royal contemporaries in Europe.

By 1785, Augusta and Charlotte were reaching an age where they could be considered as potential brides for foreign princes. In that year the Crown Prince of Denmark (later King Frederick VI) indicated to her father that he was interested in Augusta but George decided he could not allow his lovely daughter to go to Denmark after his sister’s disastrous marriage to King Christian VII. As their friends at court found husbands the sisters began to wonder when their turn would come. Their father it seems was reluctant to see them leave and the subject was not one for discussion in case it disturbed the often addled mind of their sick father. So, the years slid by with neither of them married. This was when pretty Augusta made her own arrangements with the dashing officer, Brent Spencer.

Spencer was upper middle class not royal; he became a commissioned officer in 1778 and fought with great credit in the West Indies in 1779–1782 during the American Revolutionary War and again in 1790–1794 during the War of the First Coalition. He was a professional soldier who rose through the ranks, first to Brigadier General, serving in the wars against Napoleon in Europe and Egypt. He was eight years older than Augusta and served with Wellington as his second in command during the Peninsular War where he became a full General. After the war, he became the MP for Sligo.

Such a match would be considered wholly acceptable today but not in the 18th century. It is said that he and Augusta maintained their relationship through these years of separation and that he died with a picture of her in his hand at the age of 68. Augusta died on 22 September 1840 at Clarence House, aged 71.

Source: Wikipedia. Illustration: Augusta Sophia of the United Kingdom. Copy of the portrait exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1819 and now in the Museum of Fine Arts, Baltimore.

Julia Herdman writes historical fiction that puts women to the fore. Her latest book Sinclair, Tales of Tooley Street Vol. 1. is  Available on Amazon 

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The Man Who Took the Knife to London’s High Society

The Man Who Took the Knife to London’s High Society


By the 1780s John Hunter was the leading anatomist in Europe and an influential figure in Georgian high society: he had married a beautiful bluestocking poet, Anne Home, and was surgeon extraordinary to King George III.

During the day, the carriages of his wealthy patients blocked Leicester Square, where he lived with his family. In the evening, while Anne entertained London’s literati (“literary debates were decidedly not his idea of fun”), the Resurrectionists, or “Sack ‘Em Up Men”, would deliver corpses from London’s cemeteries to his back door. He was, as historian Wendy Moore says, “the Jekyll and Hyde of the Georgian period”.

At his country house in the “tranquil village” of Earl’s Court, Hunter kept an exotic menagerie: zebras and mountain goats grazed on the front lawn, prompting some to say he was the model for Dr. Dolittle. Hunter would sometimes be seen driving a carriage containing fresh supplies of fruit and vegetables from Earl’s Court to his Leicester Square townhouse, pulled by three Asian buffaloes. On the return journey, it would carry a gory cargo of dissected corpses. It was at Earl’s Court, he conducted experiments on animals of which Dr. Moreau would have been proud. The squealing of pigs and dogs vivisected in the name of science competed with the roar of his lions. In one of his more bizzare experiments he successfully grafted a cockerel’s testicle into the belly of a hen.

The place in British society of a man like John Hunter was rich in contradictions. As a surgeon, he treated some of the prominent men of his age – men like Adam Smith and David Hume (who called him “the greatest anatomist in Europe”), Gainsborough, Hickey, and the baby Byron, possibly James Boswell too. Many of these and other celebrities were personal friends of his and Anne’s – men like Joseph Banks, Joshua Reynolds, and Daniel Solander – highly respected members of civilised society.

Hunter kept a careful record of his surgical operations. This extract from his notebook details an unfortunate patient’s neck tumour:

‘John Burley, a Rigger, thirty-seven years of age, of a middle size, dark complexion, and healthy constitution; about sixteen years ago, fell down, & bruised his cheek on the left side, above the parotid gland. It was attended with a good deal of pain, which in four or five weeks went off, and the part began to swell gradually, and continued increasing for four or five years, attended but with little pain. At this time it was increased to the size of a common head, attended with no other inconvenience than its size and weight. He again fell and received a wound on its side, which gave considerable pain at first, but it got well in eight or nine weeks (This part is marked in the Drawing.) After this, the tumour increased without pain, on the lower part; as also at the basis, extending itself under the chin to the amazing size it now appears. Lately, he had perceived that its increase is much greater than what it was some time ago: he says he can perceive it bigger every month. The tumour is in parts the colour of the Skin, in other parts of a shining purple, where the Skin of the cheek is elongated. The beard grows upon it and is shaved in common. When by accident it is wounded, it heals kindly, because it is only the Skin that is wounded; and has sensation in common with the skin. It is hard to the feel some places, and in others softer, as if containing a fluid. It seems quite loose and unconnected with the skull or lower jaw and may be moved easily without giving Pain.’ 

Hunter performed the operation to remove this monster of a tumour on Monday, October the 24th, 1785. It lasted twenty-five minutes, and the man did not cry out during the whole of the operation. The Tumour weighed 144 ounces.

John Hunter died on October 16, 1793, after yet another heated argument with the out-dated surgeons at St George’s Hospital. He left huge debts, having spent all his money building up his unique anatomical collection which was opened to the public in 1788 at his Leicester Square home. The 14,000 items collected over 40 years – including Burley’s immense tumour – demonstrated the interrelatedness of all life on Earth. It also proved the originality of Hunter’s thinking. Seventy years before Darwin’s On the Origin of Species, monkey and human skulls were placed together in a series, and he told visitors that “our first parents, Adam and Eve, were indisputably black”.

He had hoped the nation would buy his collection, but William Pitt the Younger exclaimed: “What! Buy preparations! Why I have not got money enough to purchase gunpowder.” Hunter’s wife and children were left with nothing. His brother-in-law seized his unpublished works and plagiarised them ruthlessly to carve out a career for himself as a surgeon. The man whom Hunter had taught the art of anatomy then burnt his priceless research notes.

I gave the eponymous hero of my latest novel, Sinclair, a brush with Hunter at St Georges Hospital. Here are a few of Sinclair’s thoughts on London voluntary hospitals.

“I’ll have to look for a position at one of the voluntary hospitals. I was hoping that I’d never had to go into one of those sanctimonious places again. It’s not the patients that get me down, they can’t help being sick or poor, it’s all the praying and grovelling. Those hospitals are full of the most unpleasant people, Frank. Pompous and incompetent men, self-satisfied arrivistes and simpering clergymen.”

“Oh, life’s full of grovelling and doing what somebody else wants, in my experience. Just try being in the Army.”

“I know it has to be done from time to time, but I’m not good at it. Those poor patients have to pray for their souls and give thanks to their benefactors at least three times a day no matter how sick they are. A lot of them are at death’s door, but they still have to get on their knees and give thanks to God and their wealthy benefactors.”

“But it’s better than being left to die alone and without any care, isn’t it?” said Greenwood.

“Aye, I suppose when you put it like that it’s a small price to pay for a warm bed, medicine and a bowl of broth, but it sticks in my craw. Why should these people be grateful for so little when the undeserving seem to have so much? Besides, this so-called charity work is false. It’s the very thing that enables surgeons like Hunter to build their reputations and make fortunes in the City.”

“So why can’t you be like them, Jamie?”

“Because staff appointments aren’t made on merit, they’re made through connection and patronage, and I won’t prostitute myself for these corrupt men of money. I put my principles aside to join the East India Company. I thought I could make myself happy by getting rich in the colonies, but thankfully I was saved from that folly. I now realise a man must be happy with his conscience if he’s to be happy at all.”

“That’s the trouble with principles; they’re very expensive for a poor man. Most of my father’s friends, who are rich of course, claim to have principles, but somehow they make sure that they never have any that stop them making money or for which they cannot get others to pay.”

“I think you’re an even greater cynic than me, Frank.”

“Oh, that’s quite possible. My whole life has been spent in the company of politicians: I don’t need the newspapers to know how they think.”

——————————————-

Source: The Knife Man: The Extraordinary Life and Times of John Hunter, Father of Modern Surgery by Wendy Moore

Julia Herdman writes historical fiction that puts women to the fore. Her latest book Sinclair, Tales of Tooley Street Vol. 1. is  Available on Amazon 

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The Apothecary Poet

The Apothecary Poet

Like my hero Sinclair, the Romantic poet John Keats (1795-1821) studied to become doctor but unlike Sinclair’s his heart was not really in it. Keats’s letters to Fanny Brawne are among the most famous love letters ever written. As next-door neighbours, they exchanged numerous short notes, and occasionally more passionate letters.

Fanny Brawne

Keats trained as an apothecary at Guy’s Hospital from 1815 to 1816 and attended lectures on the principles and practice of surgery by the famous surgeon Sir Astley Cooper who also makes a brief appearance in my novel. In 1816, Keats received his apothecary’s licence, which made him eligible to practise as an apothecary, physician, and surgeon.

Keats’s desire to become a poet led him to abandon medicine soon after he completed his training. In his ‘Ode to a Nightingale’ recalls his experience of caring for the dying:

The weariness, the fever and the fret
Here, where men sit and hear each other groan;
Where palsy shakes a few, sad, last grey hairs,
Where youth grows spectre-thin, and dies.

Ironically, it was his medical training that made him such a good carer for his brother Tom when he died from tuberculosis. In giving that care Keats became infected with the disease himself; there was no inoculation at the time, the now well-know BCG vaccine was first used in humans in 1921. Infection for Keats meant certain death but not before, he fell in love and wrote some of the world’s greatest poetry and love letters. Here is one of them.

“25 College Street, London

My dearest Girl,
This moment I have set myself to copy some verses out fair. I cannot proceed with any degree of content. I must write you a line or two and see if that will assist in dismissing you from my Mind for ever so short a time. Upon my Soul I can think of nothing else – The time is passed when I had power to advise and warn you again[s]t the unpromising morning of my Life – My love has made me selfish. I cannot exist without you – I am forgetful of every thing but seeing you again – my Life seems to stop there – I see no further. You have absorb’d me. I have a sensation at the present moment as though I was dissolving – I should be exquisitely miserable without the hope of soon seeing you. I should be afraid to separate myself far from you. My sweet Fanny, will your heart never change? My love, will it? I have no limit now to my love – You note came in just here – I cannot be happier away from you – ‘T is richer than an Argosy of Pearles. Do not threat me even in jest. I have been astonished that Men could die Martyrs for religion – I have shudder’d at it – I shudder no more – I could be martyr’d for my Religion – Love is my religion – I could die for that – I could die for you. My Creed is Love and you are its only tenet – You have ravish’d me away by a Power I cannot resist: and yet I could resist till I saw you; and even since I have seen you I have endeavoured often “to reason against the reasons of my Love.” I can do that no more – the pain would be too great – My Love is selfish – I cannot breathe without you.  Yours for ever, John Keats

Their love story was made into a film – Bright Star in 2009. It stars Ben Whishaw as Keats and Abbie Cornish as Fanny. It was directed by Jane Campion, who wrote the screenplay inspired by Andrew Motion’s biography of Keats; Motion served as a script consultant on the film. The film was in the main competition at the 62nd Cannes Film Festival, and was first shown to the public on 15 May 2009.The film’s title is a reference to a sonnet by Keats titled “Bright star, would I were steadfast as thou art”, which he wrote while he was with Brawne.

For more see: http://englishhistory.net/keats/letters/love-letter-to-fanny-brawne-13-october-1819/

Julia Herdman writes #historical #fiction that puts women to the fore. Her latest book Sinclair, Tales of Tooley Street Vol. 1. is  Available on Amazon – Paperback £10.99 Kindle £2.29  Also available on:

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Nursing by Numbers

Nursing by Numbers

Throughout her life, Florence Nightingale’s gift for mathematics was often to be a source of frustration for her. This was because many of those she sought to influence simple did not understand numbers. In 1891 she wrote that: “Though the great majority of cabinet ministers, of the army, of the executive, of both Houses of Parliament, have received a university education, what has that university education taught them of the practical application of statistics?”

Nightingale came to prominence while training and managing nurses during the Crimean War, where she organised the tending to wounded soldiers. She gave nursing a highly favourable reputation and became an icon of Victorian culture, especially in the persona of “The Lady with the Lamp” making rounds of wounded soldiers at night. She was revered more as a representative of the female carer than the promoter of scientific medicine.

Florence Nightingale was born on 12 May 1820 into a rich, upper-class, well-connected British family at the Villa Colombaia,in Florence, Italy, and was named after the city of her birth. Florence’s older sister Frances Parthenope had similarly been named after her place of birth, Parthenope, a Greek settlement now part of the city of Naples. The family moved back to England in 1821, with Nightingale being brought up in the family’s homes at Embley, Hampshire and Lea Hurst, Derbyshire.

As a young woman, Nightingale was described as attractive, slender and graceful. While her demeanour was often severe, she was said to be very charming and possess a radiant smile. Her most persistent suitor was the politician and poet Richard Monckton Milnes, but after a nine-year courtship she rejected him, convinced that marriage would interfere with her ability to follow her calling to nursing.

In 1853, Nightingale took the post of superintendent at the Institute for the Care of Sick Gentlewomen in Upper Harley Street, London, a position she held until October 1854. Her father had given her an annual income of £500 (roughly £40,000/US$65,000 in present terms), which allowed her to live comfortably and to pursue her career. A year later, on 21 October 1854, Nightingale and a staff of 38 women volunteer nurses that she trained arrived in Scutari, the base for casualties from the war being waged in Crimea between the British, France, The Ottoman Empire and Sardinia on one side and the Russian Empire on the other.

Immediately, Florence calculated that deaths from disease were seven times those arising in battle and used the information to campaign for better food, hygiene, and clothing for the troops. She persuaded the government to commission Isambard Kingdom Brunel to design a prefabricated hospital to be shipped out to Scutari, though it arrived after hostilities had ceased.

Upon returning to England, Florence continued her work and calculated that, even in times of peace, mortality among supposedly healthy soldiers, aged 25–35 and living in barracks, was double that of the civilian population. She wrote to Sir John McNeill (who was conducting the inquiry into the mismanagement of the Crimean campaign): “It is as criminal to have a mortality of 17, 19 and 20 per thousand in the line, artillery and guards, when that in civil life is only 11 per thousand, as it would be to take 1,100 men out upon Salisbury Plain and shoot them.”

She bombarded the commissioners with questions about the relationship between the death rates in barracks and such factors as the provision of water, sewerage, ventilation, accommodation, and food, using a ‘coxcomb’ chart (a sort of pie chart)  to press home her points. She used her contacts to ensure that her views received publicity in newspapers. The commission reported in 1863, accepting most of her recommendations and Florence then used her royal connections to ensure that they were put into effect. Death rates fell by 75 percent.

Florence’s campaigns continued to the end of her life,1891. She didn’t get everything right. Her analysis of the 19th‑century cholera epidemics convinced her that they were caused by foul air, not polluted water and her influence was such that she probably hampered the fight against the disease. But, despite such miscalculations, she was certainly a passionate statistician and reformer.

Sources: Wikipedia, http://www.historyextra.com/article/people-history/florence-nightingale-nursing-numbers

Illustration: A portrait of Florence aged about 20 by August Egg.c. 1840.

Julia Herdman writes historical fiction that puts women to the fore. Her latest book Sinclair, Tales of Tooley Street Vol. 1. is  Available on Amazon – Paperback and Kindle.  Also available on:

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The Leadams of Tooley Street

The Leadams of Tooley Street

Tooley Street in Southwark is the location of my new novel Sinclair. Today is it’s one of London’s best known streets, home to London Bridge Station and the London Dungeon, and is close to the London Shard and City Hall.

Running parallel to the Thames on the south side Tooley Street is one of the oldest streets in London. Its name is said to be a strange corruption of its former name, St. Olave’s Street, which is hard to believe but I suppose we’ll just have to accept what the local experts tell us on that one.

It’s a thriving place today with state of the art offices, clean and tidy streets and modern communications and although it was no less thriving in the past it was a very different place then. Here are some of the residents and trades listed as living and operating in the area in the 18th and 19th century:

Wharfingers (warehouse owners), merchants, instrument makers, factors, and agents; outfitters, biscuit-bakers, store-shippers, ship-chandlers, slop-sellers, block-makers, rope-makers, engineers, and then there were the surgeons who worked at the great charitable hospitals: Guy’s, St Thomas’ and the London.

My novel is set in eighteenth century Tooley Street in a house inhabited by my family’s ancestors for three generations. They owned an apothecary shop at No. 65 and worked as surgeons at Guy’s Hospital just a stone’s throw away. Members of the Leadam family pop in and out of the historical record; appearing in trade directories, hospital correspondence, or as witnesses in Old Bailey cases or giving evidence to Government enquiries on issues such as public health.Some members of the family are mentioned in magazine and newspaper articles of the day and some have published obituaries and their own publications.

In my story which is a fiction not a family history, a Scottish doctor down on his luck comes to live at No 65 Tooley Street after the unexpected death of Christopher Leadam who is based on the real Christopher Leadam who was born in Yorkshire and worked at Guy’s hospital as a surgeon and was secretary to one of its weekly committees. He died young leaving a widow, whom I have called Charlotte Leadam in the book and a teenage son. My story focuses on his widow’s struggle to keep the apothecary shop open and get her son, John, trained as a surgeon.

Illustration: Guy’s Hospital, London, opened 1725.

You can read my fictionalised account of life at No. 65 Tooley Street in Sinclair.

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The Apothecary Poet – John Keats

The Apothecary Poet – John Keats

John Keats – The Apothecary Poet

The poet John Keats trained as an apothecary and a surgeon before deciding to dedicate himself to poetry.

Keats had first-hand experience of serious illness and death. His father died after falling from a horse, and his mother and uncle died of what was called ‘an unspecified decline.’ Keat’s only brother Tom was to die of tuberculosis in December 1818. Keats nursed his brother through his final months catching the deadly virus in the process. Keats’ disease became apparent early in 1820. Known as consumption in those days the disease was common, distressing and lethal.

Keats Early Life

Aged just 14 years old Keats was apprenticed to the family’s doctor, Thomas Hammond. In the summer of 1810, Keats moved in above Hammond’s surgery in Edmonton, North London. While an apprentice, Keats would have performed such tasks as making up medicines, cleaning the surgery, preparing leeches (blood-sucking worms that were used to bleed patients), and bookkeeping. As he progressed he may have moved on to dressing wounds, drawing teeth and visiting the sick.

Keats’s poetry received some harsh criticism form literary snobs because he was an apothecary. Having such a profession was seen by some to be beneath the dignity of a poet. The Tory critic John Gibson Lockhart, writing anonymously in Blackwood’s Edinburgh Magazine, Lockhart advised Keats that ‘It is a better and a wiser thing to be a starved apothecary than a starved poet.’

He seems to have left before his apprenticeship was completed, but he had done enough to satisfy the requirements of the 1815 Apothecaries Act, which came in while Keats was in the next stage of his training at Guy’s Hospital. Keats entered Guy’s Hospital as a student on 1 October 1815 and, with incredible speed, was promoted to the role of ‘dresser’ on 29 October 1815, less than a month after he had arrived at the hospital and just before he turned 20.

The Apothecaries Act had come into force on 12 July 1815 and was an attempt to regulate and professionalize apothecaries. To be allowed to practice, there was now a required minimum degree of training and an exam. Keats had done enough of his apprenticeship, the requisite six months of hospital training, and then passed the difficult exam (which his two housemates failed). He qualified for his apothecary license on 25 July 1816.

Keats Poetry

His knowledge of the human body and its suffering can be found in his narrative poem Lamia which was published in 1820. The poem was written in 1819, during the famously productive period that produced his 1819 odes. It was composed soon after his “La belle dame sans merci” and his odes on Melancholy, on Indolence, to a Grecian Urn, and to a Nightingale and just before “Ode to Autumn”. It tells how the god Hermes hears of a nymph who is more beautiful than all the rest and he goes searching for it but he finds Lamia, trapped in the form of a serpent. She reveals the previously invisible nymph to him and in return, he restores her human form. Her transformation into a woman contains all the pain and horror he had witnessed in his hospital work. It shows the knowledge of chemistry he gained at Guy’s Hospital. Lamia foamed at the mouth her eyes wild ‘Flash’d phosphor and sharp sparks’ (Part 1, ll. 148-52). The beautiful colours that had characterized her mythological, serpent body are replaced with the ‘pain and ugliness’ of human mortality and the change was horrible, physically painful ‘She writh’d about, convuls’d with scarlet pain’ (Part 1, l. 164; l. 154). Scarlet is, of course, the colour of blood and in his phrase ‘scarlet pain’, Keats describes the agony of Lamia’s transition into a fully mortal woman.

Keats Death

During 1820 Keats’ health declined. He suffered two lung haemorrhages in the first few days of February and lost a lot of blood. At the suggestion of his doctors, he agreed to move to Italy with his friend Joseph Severn. He took a house on the Spanish Steps in Rome, today the Keats–Shelley Memorial House museum. Despite the care of Severn and Dr. James Clark, his health rapidly deteriorated. Keats was placed on a starvation diet of one anchovy and a piece of bread a day intended to reduce the blood flow to his stomach. He was bled, a standard treatment of the day to reduce the agitation of his blood. Weak and knowing the fate he had in store Keats tried to poison himself with opium without success. His friends hoping to save him from himself took the opium away and Keats died in agony with nothing to ease the pain.

John Keats died in Rome on 23 February 1821 and was buried in the Protestant Cemetery. His last request was to be placed under a tombstone bearing no name or date, only the words, “Here lies One whose Name was writ in Water.” Severn and his doctor Brown erected the stone. On it they had a relief of a lyre with broken strings cut into it with the epitaph:

This Grave contains all that was Mortal of a  Young English Poet Who on his Death Bed, in the Bitterness of his Heart at the Malicious Power of his Enemies Desired these Words to be engraved on his Tomb Stone:  Here lies One  Whose Name was writ in Water. 24 February 1821. The text echoes a sentiment from Catullus LXX. Sed mulier cupido quod dicit amanti, in vento et rapida scribere oportet aqua  which means ‘ What a woman says to a passionate lover should be written in the wind and the running water.

About the author

Julia Herdman is a novelist writing about 18th and early 19th century London. Her debut novel Sinclair is about a family of apothecary surgeons working at Guy’s and St Thomas’s Hospitals at the dawn of modern medicine. Available on Amazon – Paperback £10.99 on Kindle

Julia Herdman is a novelist writing about 18th and early 19th century London. Her debut novel Sinclair is about a family of apothecary surgeons working at Guy’s and St Thomas’s Hospitals.

What people are saying about Sinclair.

5 stars – Fantastic Tale of the 18th century

This book is superbly written and pulls the reader right into 18th-century life! Truth be told, I am not usually a fan of historical fiction, but Sinclair has changed that for sure! I was fully immersed in this tale, and have recommended it to all of my friends & colleagues! C.Miller, USA

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