About me

I’m Emily, an apprentice journalist, a nearly-done PhD student, a writer and an occasional picture-maker. My thing is the long nineteenth century and Neo-Victorianism in literature, art, and the archives, whether it’s ‘asylums’ or activism, science or the supernatural – and particularly when these intersect with folklore or cabaret or horror. Here are some of my […]

‘Lizzie Borden took an axe’: See What I Have Done by Sarah Schmidt [spoilers]

[This story was published on April 7 on the BAVS Neo-Victorian blog. Read the original story at victorianist.wordpress.com/2017/04/07/neo-victorian-review-lizzie-borden-took-an-axe-see-what-i-have-done-by-sarah-schmidt-spoilers.] Lizzie Borden took an axe, and gave her mother forty whacks When she saw what she had done, she gave her father forty-one   History remembers August 4, 1892 as the date that the mutilated bodies of Andrew […]

Review: Poison Panic, by Helen Barrell

[This story was published on March 10 in the BAVS Newsletter. Read the original article in the BAVS Newsletter 17.1 at bavs.ac.uk/wp-content/uploads/2016/12/Newsletter-March-2017-2.] Poison Panic: Arsenic Deaths in 1840s Essex, by Helen Barrell, (Great Britain: Pen & Sword True Crime, 2016), 197pp., 41 B&W illustrations, £14.99, (paperback) ISBN 147-3- 8520-72 Arsenic has connotations inextricably linked with nineteenth […]

Willkommen, Bienvenue, Welcome

[Image: Nameless and Friendless, 1857, Emily Mary Osborn] Hello, friends, Romans, and lovers of the creative, historical, queer, and macabre! Thank you for taking the time to visit my attempted cabinet of curiosities. For anyone who may have stumbled across this blog and might be wondering who I am, my name is Emily, I’m a writer […]

Darwin, Photography, and the ‘Screaming Victorians’ of Anthony Rhys’s Visual Biofiction

Or; Whose Biofiction is it Anyway? [This story was published on September 23 on the BAVS Neo-Victorian blog. Read the original story at victorianist.wordpress.com/2016/09/23/neo-victorian-review-darwin-photography-and-the-screaming-victorians-of-anthony-rhyss-visual-biofiction-or-whose-biofiction-is-it-anyway/.] [Image: Asylum Feeding, by Anthony Rhys. Reproduced with kind permission of the artist.] If you attended the BAVS conference held in Cardiff earlier this year, you may have had time to explore the […]

Tales from the Archives: Pub’s place in history of Sussex smugglers

This story was published on July 21 in the Observer series. Read the original story at chichester.co.uk/news/local/nostalgia-pub-s-place-in-history-of-sussex-smugglers-1-7486021] [All images: West Sussex Record Office] Inns around the Sussex and Hampshire coast and countryside were often used as resting places by smugglers, and back in the 18th century what is now known as the Royal Oak at Langstone […]

Justice for Joan: Arundel’s cold case revisited in new book

This story was published on June 23 in the Observer series. Read the original story at bognor.co.uk/news/local/arundel-s-cold-case-revisited-in-new-book-1-7443395.] [All images: Martin Knight] An author has written a controversial book about an unsolved murder which took place in Arundel in 1948. The murder made world wide news at the time and continues to intrigue local historians today. After […]