Black Butterflies: 30 years after the Siege of Sarajevo

Black Butterflies: 30 years after the Siege of Sarajevo

Priscilla Morris

Sarajevo, spring 1992. Each night, nationalist gangs erect barricades, splitting the diverse city into ethnic enclaves; each morning, the residents – whether Muslim, Croat or Serb – push the makeshift barriers aside.

Zora, an artist and teacher, is focused on her family, her students, her studio in the old town. But when violence finally spills over, she sees that she must send her husband and elderly mother to safety with her daughter in England. Reluctant to believe that hostilities will last more than a handful of weeks, she stays behind. As the city falls under siege and everything they loved is laid to waste, black ashes floating over the rooftops, Zora and her friends are forced to rebuild themselves, over and over. 

Inspired by real-life accounts of the longest siege in modern warfare, only thirty years ago, Black Butterflies is a breathtaking portrait of disintegration, resilience and hope. 

In the video below, Morris tells us more about her personal connection to the siege and who inspired the characters in Black Butterflies. 

Black Butterflies
Priscilla Morris
Publication date: 5 May 2022
ISBN: 9780715654590

The Shadowy Third: Coda

Letter extract

The Shadowy Third: Coda

Julia Parry

A reader on the fringes of Ashdown Forest closes his hardback of The Shadowy Third. He remembers a bundle of correspondence he bought years ago, letters which had been sent to Elizabeth Bowen. Of particular interest to him were Virginia Woolf ’s letters; other correspondents were simply names at the foot of a page. Intrigued by Bowen’s affair with Humphry House, he wonders whether any of Humphry’s letters rest in the cardboard coffin in his study. He finds the box and begins to look through the letters. Musty with memories, the pages and people pass drily through his hands. Then, there it is. The name ‘Humphry’. It had meant nothing to him before. He reads carefully, conscious that the man before him now has some shape and colour. An hour later, he sits down at his computer and begins an email: ‘Dear Julia Parry . . .’

The six newly uncovered letters fill a key gap in the narrative. They are some of Humphry’s letters to Elizabeth written from India between July and September 1936. They are not the replies to her blistering rebukes of his early months in Calcutta. The first one refers to Elizabeth’s impressionistic missive of 29 June about the Norfolk Broads, which is full of soporific reflections, the girl from a Renoir painting and her capable Aunt Bertha (see Chapter 12). With this new find, the epistolary baton is passed to Humphry just as Elizabeth’s letters come to a temporary halt. Humphry indulges in an occasional whisper of their former intimacy – ‘I want to say little Bengali phrases to you. I can’t make love in Bengali’ – but the general tone is friendly and measured.

elizabeth bowen
Elizabeth Bowen

In the earliest letter there is an echo of his sentiments when he first arrived in Ireland; he feels occasionally ambushed by something ‘hugely and madly foreign’, despite his growing affection for Calcutta. His new friendships, which were among the most important elements of his time in the city, went some way to alleviating his feelings of strangeness. He details a daytrip with Sudhin Datta and John Auden to Chandernagore, one of the ‘islands of French India’, with its florid Catholic Church and riverside promenade. He writes of the journey, the ‘roaring racing air’ buffeting them all as their car dashes through a countryside of lush, ‘violent greens’.

Another letter begins with just the type of sketch Elizabeth would love: ‘My dear, two monkeys led on chains, one with a baby hanging upside down from its belly, have just gone by to a drum: probably advertising a cinema.’ He tells her of the joys of ceiling fans, the ‘curve of excitement’ when a huge storm hits, of the palm tree and lemon tree he sees from his window. He explains how one must never wear a white topi (the hat of colonial rule) as ‘they are either army or vulgar’, and talks with real affection for his students, commenting that he has never in his life enjoyed his teaching as much. Inevitably, there is more about the crooked operations of the state, the spying, the interception of letters. Elizabeth is treated to more details of police brutality than appear in letters to Madeline.

From what Humphry writes in one letter, it is clear Elizabeth had asked him about whether he had come across any Bengali short stories. At the time, she was editing a book of short stories for Faber (published in 1937). Her request might have been with a view to including a Bengali story in her selection; a bold and unusual choice for the time, but evidence of Elizabeth’s voracious interest in the genre. Humphry explains that the problem lies in the quality of translation before telling her he is going to attempt a translation of one himself – not bad for someone who had only been learning the language for a few months. Humphry rhapsodises about the Bengali language, and peppers the page with colloquialisms from Bengali English. Two words he writes out in Bengali to show her the shape and strokes of the script. One can understand why he might choose the word ‘Darling’; the word for ‘Printing Works’ less so.

humphry house
Humphry House

From what Humphry writes in one letter, it is clear Elizabeth had asked him about whether he had come across any Bengali short stories. At the time, she was editing a book of short stories for Faber (published in 1937). Her request might have been with a view to including a Bengali story in her selection; a bold and unusual choice for the time, but evidence of Elizabeth’s voracious interest in the genre. Humphry explains that the problem lies in the quality of translation before telling her he is going to attempt a translation of one himself – not bad for someone who had only been learning the language for a few months. Humphry rhapsodises about the Bengali language, and peppers the page with colloquialisms from Bengali English. Two words he writes out in Bengali to show her the shape and strokes of the script. One can understand why he might choose the word ‘Darling’; the word for ‘Printing Works’ less so.

These letters also cover Humphry’s spell in hospital with dysentery (discussed at the beginning of Chapter 12). Nothing, not even severe illness, would stand in the way of his desire to communicate. Nor, it seems, was any topic off-limits: ‘While this was in writing I had an enema, the effects of which laid me out into a flat expansive and exhausted sleep. I think a good enema now and then is very satisfying and delightful.’ The last letter sees Humphry restored to health and his old ways: ‘I am recovering from a thick night spent true to type; and before breakfast and since drank brandy which is conveniently among my medicines.’

There is talk, inevitably, of mutual friends such as William Plomer and Maurice Bowra, and Humphry responds to news of Elizabeth’s summer visitors to Bowen’s Court. More intriguingly, Elizabeth had clearly told Humphry of her attraction to Goronwy Rees and asked him his opinion of Rees. Humphry writes: ‘His waywardness irritates me […] but even at the surface level on which I’ve known him I’ve felt his attractiveness in gusts.’ Humphry goes on to explain that he can’t give a definitive judgement of Rees’s character because ‘oddly, I don’t think I’ve ever seen him drunk’.

Though Humphry may have thought he was being magnanimous, one senses subtle hints of jealousy in his words. Of Elizabeth’s interest in Rees, Humphry concludes: ‘I’m glad this sudden turn has happened with him and you because I do think he can be remarkably good company on the right day: whether he has “integrity” or not I don’t know.’ Elizabeth was to find to her cost, just a couple of months later, that integrity was not Rees’s strongest suit: overnight, the wind changed direction and Rees began his affair with Rosamond Lehmann under Elizabeth’s roof at Bowen’s Court.

bowen's court 1930s
Bowen's Court in the 1930s

Lehmann herself makes an appearance in the correspondence thanks to a photograph Elizabeth had sent Humphry of a house party at Lehmann’s house (one that took place well before the debacle with Rees): ‘How does Rosamond – who I think is beautiful – come to have such a screwed up crusty-looking little daughter? or was it the camera?’ Humphry tells Elizabeth how much he enjoyed Elizabeth’s review of Lehmann’s novel The Weather in the Streets, before giving his own opinion of it. He deplores Lehmann’s use of ellipsis, complaining that it causes him ‘physical pain’, though he goes on to praise her subtle narrative style: ‘I found that queer feeling one has with some plays; what critics call the “necessity” of what happens happening. […] The situation fills out over night, but you don’t have to exclaim next morning.’

Another letter gives an engaging critique of W. H. Auden and Christopher Isherwood’s play The Ascent of F6, which he has read in proof copy courtesy of John Auden, to whom it is dedicated. He was ‘deeply and impersonally impressed’ rather than moved by the play because he felt there was ‘little emotion in it one could vicariously feel’. The protagonist, a mountaineer, he describes as ‘a man of absolute and self-contained ambition entirely insulated against the world except as giving him problems to solve: he solves the main problem of the mountain, & it kills him’. That this character struck a chord with Humphry is, perhaps, unsurprising: he could almost be describing himself. Events yet to come in his own life are painfully foreshadowed.

The detailed discussion of literary texts found in these letters is one of the key differences between what Humphry wrote to Madeline and to Elizabeth in the summer of 1936. Though one can understand that the Lehmann correspondence was of particular relevance to Elizabeth, the same cannot be said for The Ascent of F6. This is possibly further proof of his underappreciation of Madeline’s intelligence. That she had taken an English degree and had an active interest in literature seems to have escaped Humphry on many occasions. Humphry was probably also aware that what remained of the shared feeling with Elizabeth lay in the world of literature and ideas.

madeline house
Madeline House

Running like a vein under the skin of every letter is something of psychic importance to both Elizabeth and Humphry: her home, Bowen’s Court. Humphry admits to being besieged by memories of Ireland which arrive ‘in my mind without warning or reason, like images out of childhood’. Seeing her in his mind’s eye in the sun-sprinkled rooms of Bowen’s Court, he conjures a shared space: ‘looking out of my window here now the sky might be yours, blue and clear with thin white clouds that might collect and make rain.’

And it is Bowen’s Court itself, the house he had fallen in love with on his first visit to Ireland, that fittingly fills the final paragraph of Humphry’s last letter of this newly unearthed cache. Humphry undertakes a thought-journey, sending one of his roving selves off to Ireland, letter in hand. He goes as far as picturing himself as the letter. In his imagination, he walks up the drive towards her home. The trees of the long avenue billow loosely in the breeze; rooks scratch the air overhead. He closes: ‘So I must project one film of myself, a separate layer dismissed, & let him go there by this: he is a responsible deputy to the place: but send love separately, from me complete. Humphry.’

When I received news of these fresh letters I was thrilled, even more so when they arrived as digital photographs. Humphry’s beautiful tight handwriting, with its open ‘b’ and willowy ‘f ’, lay in front of me again. There were his customary long sentences; the beauty of his descriptions; his liking for the absurd; his penchant for semi-colons. His intellect and insecurity, his pedantry and prejudices. To read this treasury of letters was wonderful and moving. I am more familiar with the contours of my grandfather’s writing than of his face.

The contents of the letters were similarly exciting. Though Humphry covers some of the same ground in the letters to Madeline, these new letters add depth to his life in Calcutta. They also confirm that, after the bristling barbs of their break-up, Humphry and Elizabeth settled into a solid epistolary friendship in the summer of 1936.

elizabeth bowen letters
The Letters

But even as this new find fills in lacunae in the story, it also serves to question the very narrative I have constructed. Humphry’s letters to Elizabeth of the period are not all lost as I have stated. This fact does not worry me; indeed, I relish it. I have tried to honour the idea of there being different versions of a story, even in my own telling of it. I like the way that my version is subtly altered by this new discovery, as much as it is by every different reader. As I see it, through these whisky-coloured pages Humphry has added a latenight shot of vibrancy both to his tale and mine.

Looking back on all the years of this book – its inspiration, its gestation, its crafting, its polishing – I can see that one of the most meaningful journeys I have taken is in my relationship with my grandfather. Initially, I had allowed myself to adopt a single story about him, one defined by his behaviour towards women. ‘You’re very hard on Humphry,’ commented a dear friend of the early drafts. But little by little the mist of judgement lifted, and I was able first to appreciate him, then to feel for him, and finally to love him. The road I travelled with my remarkable grandmother was far less rocky; my heart chimed with hers, I held her hand from the beginning.

That these letters, like the box I inherited, arrived at ‘the hour arranged’ I do not doubt. As Elizabeth says, only when the sensibilities of the recipient are fully in tune with those of the writer can a letter be fully felt. These missives weren’t meant for me, but I receive them, welcome them, inhabit them as though they were. No longer hearts left to beat unheard.

The Shadowy Third: Love, Letters and Elizabeth Bowen
Julia Parry
Publication date: 17 February 2022
ISBN: 9780715654491

On the question of faith: The role of the Divine in The Maid of Gascony series

On the question of faith: The role of the Divine in The Maid of Gascony series


‘In hope there is love, in love there is grace, and in grace there is wisdom that surpasses all understanding..’

Ahead of the publication of the second book in the Maid of Gascony series, author Catherine Clover delves into the position of faith and divinity in charting the trials and tribulations of Lady Isabelle on her pilgrimage from Oxford to Rome.

When I first began work on The Templar’s Garden, I was in the final stages of my time living in Oxford as a graduate student. While preparing for my viva voce, the oral defense of my doctoral thesis, I came across an intriguing entry about Gascony in the Transactions of the Royal Historical Society (TRHS). Though I cannot remember all the particulars now, at the time it was striking enough to make me think it could form the basis of a fictional medieval family saga: The daughter of a noble Gascon family was kept prisoner in a tower by a wicked count following her unconsummated marriage; her parents, devastated upon hearing such news, sought papal intervention in order to save their daughter and free from her marriage contract; with her marriage annulled by the Pope and in receipt of her title and estates, the daughter was able to legally marry again and maintain her financial standing. Sound familiar?

I am often asked by readers, ‘just how much of The Maid of Gascony series is true’? Is it historically accurate? Did these people and their way of life really exist in the 1450s? My answer can only be summed up with the response: it’s a bit of both, actually.

First to address some of the truths. Yes, the Duchy of Gascony did exist until the Battle of Castillon. Yes, the English (and some Welsh) were in Gascony through the end of the English administration of the Duchy. Yes, Bazas is a real place, and yes, I did live there as a graduate student (and Père Francis was the priest whom I knew at the cathedral). Of the locations and characters who help bring colour and life to the words on the page, they are either A) real historical figures or B) characterizations based on individuals I have known in my lifetime (both good and bad).

Apart from the family residence in Gascony called Rosete (which is actually a combination of Harlech in Wales and a 14th-century papal residence called Villandraut, just outside Bazas), all the locations are very real.

So why make Lady Isabelle a mystic? Why bring God and theology into the series in the way that I have? As a medievalist, I believe that you cannot have a legitimate discussion or analysis of the period in which this story is set, and where its various locations are set, without bringing in aspects of mysticism and the Divine. Regardless of whether the reader is a spiritual person or not, I feel it is disingenuous to write about this time without including the role of the Church and how those in Europe, England, and Wales, related to it as an institution. It is a fact that for the average person living in the locations discussed, as well as the monarch and those in their court, the Church was the centre of their world in the fifteenth century. As the reader will note from what I outline in the series, the monastic hours, the monastic way of life, the presence of God; they were everywhere. The church bells rang, the nuns and priests and monks – those who sought or were in Holy Orders – were highly visible at this time in history.

Pembroke Castle

As the reader will also be aware if they have listened to the accompanying soundtrack to The Templar’s Garden entitled ‘Like as the Hart’, music, art, and poetry were all infused with Biblical themes. There were exceptions to this, of course, and the Italian Renaissance helped to usher in progressive changes that allowed for a vision of the world beyond the confines of theological doctrine and the Church in everyday life. But in my series, I want the reader to feel as though they are immersed in another world, both by means of the audio and visual senses, one that is set apart from how we are living today.

Likewise, the album(s) of music that accompany the books include recordings that will allow the reader to step back in time and hear how composers have addressed the very same themes I raise in the series in a musical format. ‘Like as the Hart’ does this very thing. It takes the reader through a number of choral interpretations of the same Biblical text, the words of Psalm 42:

Like as the hart desireth the water brooks, so longeth my soul after thee, O Lord

These words are meaningful in the life of Lady Isabelle as she experiences trauma and despair at different parts of the story. The Psalmist describes the emotions that all humankind can relate; that the human condition is fraught with pain and suffering, but also experiences moments of elation and joy. Even today, the discipline of reading the Psalms is a significant part of daily Christian liturgy and formation.

Book two, Queen of Heaven, also has an album of choral music to accompany the text. The pandemic has slightly derailed its recording and production, but it will come. And when it does, it is my hope that the emotional content of the pieces I have selected will serve to further heighten the drama of the events the reader experiences throughout the narrative.

Perhaps the reader also might find it helpful to consider the series and its main character in the context that it was envisioned. Lady Isabelle, who is also called Isa, is still a child in book one. Her voice is that of an adolescent, not a mature adult; it mirrors her age not the age of the reader. Isa has never lived anywhere but within the safety of her family structure. When the reader first meets her, she is an awkward fourteen-year-old mystic, sheltered and naïve to the ways of the world and men. But she is observant. She is independent-minded, and she is just starting to see what God’s purpose is for her. In book two, Isa is far more mature. Gone is any awkwardness and hesitance; she has become more assertive and is a strong self-advocate. Yet everything she does and in every relationship that she has, she speaks of the Divine. As its title suggests, in Queen of Heaven, the voice of God is presented to Lady Isabelle through the Virgin Mary; through a female leader; as a mother. This, in itself, is not unique. Isa has read and studied the words of Mother Julian of Norwich; she knows of Julian’s visions and that Julian, too, has been witness to the female Divine.

So as not to disappoint, I must caution that readers of Queen of Heaven will not find within its pages heavy panting or heaving thrusting; it is definitely not what many call a bodice-ripper. But for readers who enjoy an adventure led by a strong and articulate female protagonist, with detailed glimpses of medieval life set across Europe, England and Wales, dotted with notable historical figures of the time – among them Marsilio Ficino, Edmund, and Jasper Tudor, Margaret Beaufort (mother of Henry VII), plus many more – including a window to the Divine, then Queen of Heaven should not disappoint.

Happy reading! Ite missa est!

Rowan Cope signs first titles since joining the Duckworth Books team

Rowan Cope signs first titles since joining the Duckworth Books team


Duckworth’s very own Rowan Cope has signed Priscilla Morris’ Black Butterflies and Carmel McMahon’s In Ordinary Time, as her first acquisitions since joining us in August.

Morris’ Black Butterflies will take readers inside the siege of Sarajevo through the eyes of Zora, an artist and teacher who finds herself trapped in the Bosnian capital. While the siege deepens, she tries to withstand the unstoppable degradation and destruction, eventually escaping to safety with her daughter in England during the bitter winter of 1992.

Cope acquired UK and Commonwealth rights from Sophie Lambert at C&W, for publication in May next year.

Mc Mahon’s non-fiction debut In Ordinary Time is a hybrid work of essays, poems and photographs drawing on the author’s family story and those of Irish women in the Celtic, early Christian and modern eras to explore themes of trauma, time, memory, and how we construct and record our history.

World English language rights were acquired from Paul Feldstein at the Feldstein Agency, for publication in February 2023.

Cope said: “I am thrilled to announce these two books, both by supremely talented and stimulating writers, as my first acquisitions for Duckworth. Both these titles and authors fit so well with the exciting direction in which we are taking the Duckworth list. Priscilla Morris’ debut novel set during the siege of Sarajevo is captivating, heartrending – an irresistible and beautifully crafted portrait of a woman and her city falling apart. As one is swept up in Priscilla’s storytelling, one also inevitably calls to mind the still-shocking fact that this siege, the longest in modern warfare, and the larger Balkans conflict of which it was part, happened on our doorstep and in our lifetime. We will publish to mark the thirtieth anniversary of the start of the siege (1992–96).

“Where the action of Black Butterflies focuses intensely on one unfolding event, Carmel Mc Mahon’s brilliant In Ordinary Time takes a broader view, reaching back into Irish history to tell a personal yet universally engaging story about family, class, trauma, grief, addiction, time and reconciliation. It is one of the most thought-provoking and absorbing works of creative non-fiction I have read all year, and recalled to me books such as Notes to Self, Motherwell and A Ghost in the Throat, though Carmel’s gift is all her own. Both these books mark the start of outstanding publishing careers.”

Rest in Pieces sources

Rest in Pieces sources


Please note, the material below is arranged in alphabetical order by corpse, including the bodies mentioned in sidebars.


Bianchi, Robert S. “Hunting Alexander’s Tomb.” Archaeology 46 (July/August 1993).

Cummings, Lewis V. Alexander the Great. New York: Grove Press, 2004.

Curtius, Quintus. History of Alexander. Book X. Translated by John C. Rolfe. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1946.

Doherty, Paul. The Death of Alexander the Great: What—or Who—Really Killed the Young Conqueror of the Known World? New York: Carroll & Graf, 2004.

Empereur, Jean-Yves. Alexandria Rediscovered. Translated by Margaret Maehler. New York: George Braziller, 1998.

Erskine, Andrew. “Life After Death: Alexandria and the Body of Alexander.” Greece & Rome 49, no. 2 (October 2002): 163–79.

Fox, Robin Lane. Alexander the Great. New York: Penguin Books, 2004.

Gialoúris, Nikólaos. The Search for Alexander: An Exhibition. New York: Little, Brown, 1980.

Saunders, Nicholas J. Alexander’s Tomb: The Two Thousand Year Obsession to Find the Lost Conqueror. New York: Basic Books, 2006.

Stoneman, Richard. Alexander the Great: A Life in Legend. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2008.


Flynn, Errol. My Wicked, Wicked Ways: The Autobiography of Errol Flynn. New York: Cooper Square Press, 2003.

Kobler, John. Damned in Paradise: The Life of John Barrymore. New York: Atheneum, 1977.

Mank, Gregory William, Charles Heard, and Bill Nelson. Hollywood’s Hellfire Club: The Misadventures of John Barrymore, W. C. Fields, Errol Flynn and “the Bundy Drive Boys.” Los Angeles: Feral House, 2007.

Murphy, Edwin. After the Funeral: The Posthumous Adventures of Famous Corpses. New York: Carol Publishing Group, 1995.

Peters, Margot. The House of Barrymore. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1990.

Schickel, Richard. The Men Who Made the Movies. New York: Atheneum, 1975.

Wallace, David. Lost Hollywood. New York: St. Martin’s Press, 2001.


Butler, John. The Quest for Becket’s Bones: The Mystery of the Relics of St. Thomas Becket of Canterbury. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1995.

Koopmans, Rachel. Wonderful to Relate: Miracle Stories and Miracle Collecting in High Medieval England. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2010.

Morgan, Christopher and Andrew Alderson. “Becket’s Bones ‘Kept Secretly at Canterbury for 460 Years.’ ” Sunday Times (UK), June 22, 1997.

Thornton, W. Pugin. “Surgical Report on a Skeleton Found in the Crypt of Canterbury Cathedral (1888).” Archaeologia Cantiana XVII (1889): 257–60.

Walsham, Alexandra. “Skeletons in the Cupboard: Relics after the English Reformation.” Past and Present 206, supplement 5 (2010): 121–43.


Bankl, Hans and Hans Jesserer. “The Discovery and Examination of Bone Fragments from Beethoven’s Skull.” Edited by William Meredith. Translated by Hannah Leibmann. Beethoven Journal 20, nos. 1 & 2 (Summer/Winter 2005): 66–73.

Breuning, Gerhard von. Memories of Beethoven: From the House of the Black-Robed Spaniards. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 1992.

———. “The Skulls of Beethoven and Schubert.” Edited by William Meredith. Translated by Hannah Leibmann. Beethoven Journal 20, nos. 1 & 2 (Summer/Winter 2005): 58–60.

Davies, Peter J. Beethoven in Person: His Deafness, Illnesses, and Death. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 2001.

Mai, François Martin. Diagnosing Genius: The Life and Death of Beethoven. Montreal, Canada: McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2007.

Martin, Russell. Beethoven’s Hair. New York: Broadway Books, 2000.

Meredith, William. “The History of Beethoven’s Skull Fragments: Part One.” Beethoven Journal 20, nos. 1 & 2 (Summer/Winter 2005): 1–25.

———. “Essential Facts and Principles Concerning the Beethoven Skull Fragments.” Beethoven Journal 20, nos. 1 & 2 (Summer/Winter 2005): 94–95.

Murphy, Dave. “Beethoven Skull Fragments Resurface.” San Francisco Chronicle, November 18, 2005.

Steen, Margaret. “Unravelling a 19th Century Mystery.” Stanford Business, May 2006.


Harte, Negley. “Radical Pants and the Pursuit of Happiness.” Times Higher Education Supplement (UK), September 9, 2005.

Marmoy, C. F. A. “The ‘Auto-Icon’ of Jeremy Bentham at University College, London.” Medical History 2, no. 2 (April 1958): 77–86.

Rachlin, Harvey. “Jeremy Bentham: A Philosopher for the Ages.” In Lucy’s Bones, Sacred Stones, and Einstein’s Brain: The Remarkable Stories Behind the Great Objects and Artifacts of History, from Antiquity to the Modern Era, 203–7. New York: Henry Holt, 1996.

Richardson, Ruth. “Bentham and ‘Bodies for Dissection.’ ” Bentham Newsletter 10 (June 1986): 22–33.

Richardson, Ruth and Brian Hurwitz. “Jeremy Bentham’s Self-Image: An Exemplary Bequest for Dissection.” British Medical Journal 295 (1987): 195–98. doi: 10.1136/bmj.295.6591.195.

University College London Bentham Project. “Auto-Icon.”


Billy the Kid Museum. “About Billy the Kid.”

Slatta, Richard W. The Mythical West: An Encyclopedia of Legend, Lore, and Popular Culture. Santa Barbara, CA: ABC-CLIO, 2001.


Harris, Paul. “Osama bin Laden Death: What to Do with Body Poses Dilemma for US.” Guardian (UK), May 2, 2011. -burial.

Kakutani, Michiko. “Bin Laden’s End, from the Beginning.” Review of Manhunt, by Peter L. Bergen. New York Times, May 3, 2012.

Lawrence, Chris. “ ‘No Land Alternative’ Prompts bin Laden Sea Burial.”, May 2, 2011.

Leland, John and Elisabeth Bumiller. “Islamic Scholars Split Over Sea Burial for bin Laden.” New York Times, May 2, 2011.

Lithwick, Dahlia. “Habeas Corpses: What Are the Rights of Dead People?” Slate, March 14, 2002.

“The ‘Manhunt’ to Capture Osama bin Laden.” Review of Manhunt, by Peter L. Bergen., May 1, 2012. http://www.npr .org/2012/05/01/151766454/the-manhunt-to-capture-osama-bin-laden.

Matus, Victor. “On the Disposal of Dictators.” Policy Review, no. 134 (December 1, 2005).

Schmidle, Nicholas. “Getting bin Laden: What Happened That Night in Abbottabad.” New Yorker, August 8, 2011.

US Department of Defense. “DOD Background Briefing with Senior Defense Officials from the Pentagon and Senior Intelligence Officials by Telephone on US Operations Involving Osama bin Laden.” Transcript. May 2, 2011.

Van Woerkom, Barbara. “Timeline: The Raid on Osama bin Laden’s Hideout.”, May 3, 2011.

Weitz, Yechiam. “ ‘We Have to Carry Out the Sentence.’ ” Haaretz, July 26, 2007.


King, Melanie. The Dying Game: A Curious History of Death. Oxford, UK: Oneworld Publications, 2008.

Trask, Kerry A. Black Hawk: The Battle for the Heart of America. New York: Henry Holt, 2006.

Wesson, Sarah, ed. “Makataimeshekiakiak: Black Hawk and His War.” Davenport (Iowa) Public Library.


Bentley, G. E. Jr. The Stranger From Paradise: A Biography of William Blake. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2001.

City of London. “Bunhill Fields Burial Ground.”

Friends of William Blake. “Blake Society’s Proposed Design.”

Garrido, Luis and Carol Garrido. William Blake’s Final Resting Place. Self-published, 2005. Available at


Barber, Thomas Gerrard. Byron—And Where He Is Buried. Hucknall, UK: H. Morley & Sons, 1939.

Crane, David. The Kindness of Sisters: Annabella Milbanke and the Destruction of the Byrons. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2002.

Dash, Mike. “Erotic Secrets of Lord Byron’s Tomb.” Dry as Dust: A Fortean in the Archives (blog).

Eisler, Benita. Byron: Child of Passion, Fool of Fame. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1999.

Houldsworth, Arnold E. “Opening of Lord Byron’s Vault, 15 June 1938.” In The Life of Byron, by Elizabeth Longford, 223–26. Boston: Little, Brown, 1976.

Lewis, Anthony. “At Last Lord Byron Gets Place in Poets’ Corner in Westminster.” New York Times, May 7, 1968.

MacCarthy, Fiona. Byron: Life and Legend. New York: Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 2002.

Minta, Stephen. On a Voiceless Shore: Byron in Greece. New York: Henry Holt, 1998.

Rogers, Byron. Me: The Authorised Biography. London: Aurum, 2009.

Whipple, A. B. C. The Fatal Gift of Beauty: The Final Years of Byron and Shelley. New York: Harper & Row, 1964.


Herath, Dharmaratna. The Tooth Relic and the Crown. Colombo, Sri Lanka: s.n., 1994.

Manseau, Peter. Rag and Bone: A Journey Among the World’s Holy Dead. New York: Henry Holt, 2009.


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Hickey, James T. “Robert Todd Lincoln and His Father’s Grave Robbers: Or, Left in the Lurch by the Secret Service.” Illinois Historical Journal 77, no. 4 (Winter 1984): 295–300.

Hill, Nancy. “The Transformation of the Lincoln Tomb.” Journal of the Abraham Lincoln Association 27, no. 1 (Winter 2006).

Power, John Carroll. History of an Attempt to Steal the Body of Abraham Lincoln. Springfield, IL: H. W. Rokker, 1890.

“Rare Photos of Lincoln’s Exhumation: Strange History Brought to Light.” Life, February 15, 1963.


Jeal, Tim. Livingstone. New York: G. P. Putnam’s Sons, 1973.

Livingstone, David. The Life and African Explorations of Dr. David Livingstone. New York: Cooper Square Press, 2002.

Murphy, Edwin. After the Funeral: The Posthumous Adventures of Famous Corpses. New York: Carol Publishing Group, 1995.

Pettitt, Clare. Dr. Livingstone, I Presume?: Missionaries, Journalists, Explorers, and Empire. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2007.

Ransford, Oliver. David Livingstone: The Dark Interior. New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1978.

Seaver, George. David Livingstone: His Life and Letters. New York: Harper & Brothers, 1957.

Watson, Jeremy. “Heroes of Livingstone’s Last Trek Revealed.” Scotland on Sunday (UK), May 20, 2007.


Gay, Kathlyn. Mao Zedong’s China. Minneapolis: Twenty-first Century Books, 2008.


Associated Press. “Groucho Marx’s Ashes Taken.” New York Times, May 19, 1982.


Giunta, Jacopo. The Divine Michelangelo: The Florentine Academy’s Homage on His Death in 1564. Introduced, translated, and annotated by Rudolf and Margot Wittkower. London: Phaidon, 1964.

Walker, Paul Robert. The Feud That Sparked the Renaissance: How Brunelleschi and Ghiberti Changed the Art World. New York: HarperCollins, 2002.


Barton, Carol. “ ‘Ill Fare the Hands That Heaved the Stones’: John Milton, a Preliminary Thanatography.” Milton Studies 43 (2004):198–260.

Howell, A. C. “Milton’s Mortal Remains and Their Literary Echoes.” Forum 4, no. 2 (Autumn 1963): 17–30.

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“The Opening of Famous Tombs.” New York Times, June 12, 1897.

Read, Allen Walker. “The Disinterment of Milton’s Remains.” PMLA 45, no. 4 (December 1930): 1050–68.

Sitwell, Edith. English Eccentrics. New York: Vanguard Press, 1957.


Brown, Frederick. Père Lachaise: Elysium as Real Estate. New York: Viking Press, 1973.

Crowley, Martin, ed. Dying Words: The Last Moments of Writers and Philosophers. Amsterdam: Rodopi, 2000.

Gaines, James F. “Le Malade Imaginaire.” In The Molière Encyclopedia, edited by James F. Gaines. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 2002.

Murphy, Edwin. After the Funeral: The Posthumous Adventures of Famous Corpses. New York: Carol Publishing Group, 1995.

Palmer, John. Molière. New York: Brewer & Warren, 1930.

Scott, Virginia. Molière: A Theatrical Life. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2000.


Aubrey, John and Richard Barber. “Sir Thomas More.” In Brief Lives, edited by Oliver Lawson Dick. Suffolk, UK: Boydell Press, 1982.

Chambers, Robert, ed. “July 6.” In The Book of Days: A Miscellany of Popular Antiquities in Connection with the Calendar. Vol. 2, 25–26. London: W. & R. Chambers, 1832.

Guy, John. A Daughter’s Love: Thomas More and His Dearest Meg. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 2009.

Hall, S. C. “Pilgrimage to the Home of Sir Thomas More.” Harper’s New Monthly Magazine 1, no. 3 (August 1850): 289–96.

Knight, Charles. “Canterbury.” In The Land We Live In: A Pictorial, Historical, and Literary Sketch-Book of the British Isles. London: W. S. Orr, 1853.

Marshall, Peter. “The Last Years.” In The Cambridge Companion to Thomas More, edited by George M. Logan, 116–38. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2011.

Simpson, W. Sparrow. “On the Head of Simon of Sudbury, Archbishop of Canterbury.” Journal of the British Archaeological Association 1 (1895): 126–47.


Abert, Hermann. W. A. Mozart. Edited by Cliff Eisen. Translated by Stewart Spencer. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2007.

Dickey, Colin. Cranioklepty: Grave Robbing and the Search for Genius. Denver: Unbridled Books, 2009.

Karhausen, L. R. “The Mozarteum’s Skull: A Historical Saga.” Journal of Medical Biography 9, no. 2 (May 2001): 109–17.

Landon, H. C. Robbins. 1791, Mozart’s Last Year. New York: Schirmer Books, 1988.

Stadlbauer, Christina, Christian Reiter, Beatrix Patzak, Gerhard Stingeder, and Thomas Prohaska. “History of Individuals of the 18th/19th Centuries Stored in Bones, Teeth, and Hair Analyzed by LA–ICP–MS—A Step in Attempts to Confirm the Authenticity of Mozart’s Skull.” Analytical & Bioanalytical Chemistry 388, no. 3 (2007): 593–602.

Wakin, Daniel J. “After Mozart’s Death, An Endless Coda.” New York Times, August 25, 2010. /music/25death.html?adxnnl=1&adxnnlx=1344812637-3i6PWFN2Ys+7gWO6BkF5ag.


Manseau, Peter. Rag and Bone: A Journey Among the World’s Holy Dead. New York: Henry Holt, 2009.


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Bosworth, R. J. B. Mussolini. London: Arnold, 2002.

Bracker, Milton. “Slain by Partisans: The Inglorious End of a Dictator.” New York Times, April 30, 1945.

Calvino, Italo. “Il Duce’s Portraits.” New Yorker, January 6, 2003.

Falasca-Zamponi, Simonetta. Fascist Spectacle: The Aesthetics of Power in Mussolini’s Italy. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1997.

Foot, John. “The Dead Duce.” History Today 49, no. 8 (1999).

Hamburger, Philip. “Letter from Rome.” New Yorker, May 19, 1945.

Hevesi, Dennis. “Domenico Leccisi, Italian Political Figure, Dies at 88.” New York Times, November 5, 2008.

Moseley, Ray. Mussolini: The Last 600 Days of Il Duce. Dallas: Taylor Trade, 2004.

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Perrottet, Tony. Napoleon’s Privates: 2,500 Years of History Unzipped. New York: HarperCollins, 2008.

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Rachlin, Harvey. “Napoleon’s Penis.” In Lucy’s Bones, Sacred Stones, and Einstein’s Brain: The Remarkable Stories Behind the Great Objects and Artifacts of History, from Antiquity to the Modern Era, 190–96. New York: Henry Holt, 1996.

St. Denis, Louis-Étienne. Napoleon From the Tuileries to St. Helena: Personal Recollections of the Emperor’s Second Mameluke and Valet. New York: Harper & Brothers, 1922.

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Zbarksy, Ilya and Samuel Hutchinson. Lenin’s Embalmers. Translated by Barbara Bray. London: Harvill Press, 1999.


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Adams, Franklin Pierce, Robert Benchley, Heywood Broun, Edna Ferber, Ruth Hale, Dorothy Parker, and Donald Ogden Stewart. Bon Bons, Bourbon, and Bon Mots: Stories from the Algonquin Round Table. El Paso, TX: Traveling Press, 2011.

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Meade, Marion. Dorothy Parker: What Fresh Hell Is This? New York: Villard Books, 1988.

———. “Estate of Mind: Dorothy Parker Willed Her Copyright to the NAACP—An Organization Her Executor, Lillian Hellman, Detested.” Bookforum, April/May 2006.


Fong-Torres, Ben. Hickory Wind: The Life and Times of Gram Parsons. New York: Pocket Books, 1991.

“Gram Parsons Dies; Rock Star Was 27.” New York Times, September 21, 1973.

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Kaufman, Phil and Colin White. Road Mangler Deluxe. Glendale, CA: White Boucke, 1993.

Meyer, David N. Twenty Thousand Roads: The Ballad of Gram Parsons and His Cosmic American Music. New York: Villard, 2007.

Wasserzieher, Bill. “Gram Parsons Dies in Desert.” Village Voice, September 27, 1973.


Fraser, Nicholas and Marysa Navarro. Eva Perón. New York: W. W. Norton, 1981.

Martínez, Tomás Eloy. Santa Evita. Translated by Helen Lane. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1996.

Ortiz, Alicia Dujovne. Eva Perón: A Biography. Translated by Shawn Fields. New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1996.

Perón, Eva. Evita: In My Own Words. Translated by Laura Dail. New York: New Press, 2005.


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Johnson, Lyman L., ed. Death, Dismemberment, and Memory: Body Politics in Latin America. Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 2004.


Brumfield, Sarah. “Poe Fans Call an End to ‘Toaster’ Tradition.” Associated Press, January 19, 2012.

Miller, John C. “The Exhumations and Reburials of Edgar and Virginia Poe and Mrs. Clemm.” Poe Studies 7, no. 2 (December 1974): 46–47.

“Poe’s Memorial Grave.” The Edgar Allan Poe Society of Baltimore, March 6, 2012.

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Walsh, John Evangelist. Midnight Dreary: The Mysterious Death of Edgar Allan Poe. New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press, 1998.

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Associated Press. “4 Accused of a Plot to Take Presley Body.” New York Times, August 30, 1977.

———. “Four Arrested in Plot to Steal Elvis’ Body.” Sonora (CA) Daily Union Democrat, August 29, 1977.

———. “Police Seize Three Men Fleeing Elvis’ Tomb.” Miami News, August 30, 1977.

Brown, Peter Harry and Pat H. Broeske. Down at the End of Lonely Street: The Life and Death of Elvis Presley. New York: Dutton, 1997.

Brown, Scott. “Elvis Presley: It’s a Hound Dig.” Entertainment Weekly, October 6, 2000.,,277847,00.html.

Comfort, David. The Rock & Roll Book of the Dead: The Fatal Journeys of Rock’s Seven Immortals. New York: Citadel Press, 2009.

Denenberg, Barry. All Shook Up!: The Life and Death of Elvis Presley. New York: Scholastic Press, 2001.

Doss, Erika. Elvis Culture: Fans, Faith & Image. Lawrence: University Press of Kansas, 1999.

Eicher, Peter. The Elvis Sightings. New York: Avon Books, 1993.

Gregory, Neal and Janice Gregory. When Elvis Died. Washington, DC: Communications Press, 1980.

Hayslett, Chandra M. “Elvis’s empty crypt an $800,000 steal?” Memphis (TN) Commercial Appeal, August 9, 1997.

Lacy, Patrick. Elvis Decoded: A Fan’s Guide to Deciphering the Myths and Misinformation. Bloomington, IN: AuthorHouse, 2006.

Marcus, Greil. Dead Elvis: A Chronicle of a Cultural Obsession. Garden City, NY: Doubleday, 1991.

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Ponce de Leon, Charles L. Fortunate Son: The Life of Elvis Presley. New York: Hill & Wang, 2006.

Rawls, Wendell Jr. “Presley Associates Say Torment and Drugs Marked Final Months.” New York Times, September 23, 1979.

Reed, J. D. and Maddy Miller. Stairway to Heaven: The Final Resting Places of Rock’s Legends. New York: Wenner Books, 2005.

Rosenbaum, Ron. “Among the Believers.” New York Times Magazine, September 24, 1995.

Smith, I. C. Inside: A Top G-Man Exposes Spies, Lies, and Bureaucratic Bungling in the FBI. Nashville, TN: Nelson Current, 2004.

Sperry, Paul. “FBI Witness: Presley Clan Staged Elvis Grave-robbing.” WorldNet Daily, August 13, 2002. http://rc-dfw-wnd-app1

Strausbaugh, John. E: Reflections on the Birth of the Elvis Faith. New York: Blast Books, 1995.

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———. “Presley Body Snatch Plot a Hoax?” Ellensburg (WA) Daily Record, August 31, 1977.


Adamson, J. H. and H. F. Holland. The Shepherd of the Ocean: An Account of Sir Walter Ralegh and His Times. Boston: Gambit, 1969.

Trevelyan, Raleigh. Sir Walter Raleigh: Being a True and Vivid Account of the Life and Times of the Explorer, Soldier, Scholar, Poet, and Courtier—The Controversial Hero of the Elizabethan Age. New York: Henry Holt, 2004.


Cook, Andrew. To Kill Rasputin: The Life and Death of Grigori Rasputin. Stroud, UK: Tempus, 2005.

“Erotic Museum ‘Remembers’ Rasputin.” St. Petersburg Times (Russia), August 6, 2004.

King, Greg. The Man Who Killed Rasputin: Prince Youssoupov and the Murder That Helped Bring Down the Russian Empire. Secaucus, NJ: Carol Publishing Group, 1995.

Page, Jeremy. “Museum Claims Rasputin Has Returned to St. Petersburg as an Old Member.” Times (UK), May 7, 2004.

Radzinsky, Edvard. The Rasputin File. Translated by Judson Rosengrant. New York: Nan A. Talese, 2000.

Rasputin, Maria and Patte Barham. Rasputin: The Man Behind the Myth: A Personal Memoir. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall, 1977.


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Buckley, Richard, et al. “’The king in the car park:’ New light on the death and burial of Richard III in the Grey Friars church, Leicester, in 1485.” Antiquity 87, no. 336 (2013): 519-538.

University of Leicester. “The Discovery of Richard III.” (Multiple pages within.)


Gray, Francine du Plessix. At Home with the Marquis de Sade: A Life. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1998.

Schaeffer, Neil. The Marquis de Sade: A Life. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1999.

Thomas, Donald. The Marquis de Sade. London: Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 1976.


Manseau, Peter. Rag and Bone: A Journey Among the World’s Holy Dead. New York: Henry Holt, 2009.

Rufus, Anneli. Magnificent Corpses: Searching Through Europe for St. Peter’s Head, St. Chiara’s Heart, St. Stephen’s Hand, and Other Saints’ Relics. New York: Marlowe, 1999.


“Anatomical Examination of the Bari Relics.” St. Nicholas Center.

Bennett, William J. The True Saint Nicholas: Why He Matters to Christmas. New York: Howard Books, 2009.

Craughwell, Thomas J. Saints Preserved: An Encyclopedia of Relics. New York: Image Books, 2011.

Davidson, Linda Kay and David M. Gitlitz. “Bari (Apulia, Italy).” In Pilgrimage: From the Ganges to Graceland: An Encyclopedia. Vol. 1. Santa Barbara, CA: ABC-CLIO, 2002.

“Devotion and Use of the Manna of Saint Nicholas.” St. Nicholas Center.

Farmer, David Hugh. The Oxford Dictionary of Saints. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press, 2004.

Geary, Patrick J. Furta Sacra: Thefts of Relics in the Central Middle Ages. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1990.

Head, Jonathan. “Turkey Seeks Return of Santa Claus’ Bones.” BBC News, December 28, 2009.

“Is St. Nicholas in Venice, Too?” St. Nicholas Center.

Jones, Charles W. Saint Nicholas of Myra, Bari, and Manhattan: Biography of a Legend. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1978.

McBrien, Richard P. Lives of the Saints: From Mary and St. Francis of Assisi to John XXIII and Mother Teresa. San Francisco: HarperSan-Francisco, 2001.

Papirowski, Martin. In Search of Santa Claus. Smithsonian Channel, 2009.

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Quigley, Christine. Skulls and Skeletons: Human Bone Collections and Accumulations. Jefferson, NC: McFarland, 2001.

“Relics of St. Nicholas—Where Are They?” St. Nicholas Center.

“Santa Claus’s Bones Must Be Brought Back to Turkey from Italy.” Today’s Zaman (Turkey), December 28, 2009.–100-santa-clauss-bones-must-be-brought-back-to-turkey-from-italy.html.

Seal, Jeremy. Nicholas: The Epic Journey from Saint to Santa Claus. New York: Bloomsbury, 2005.

Sora, Steven. Treasures from Heaven: Relics from Noah’s Ark to the Shroud of Turin. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, 2005.


Bieri, James. Percy Bysshe Shelley: A Biography. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2008.

Crofton, Ian. The Totally Useless History of the World. London: Quercus, 2007.

Holmes, Richard. “Death and Destiny.” Guardian (UK), January 23, 2004.

Lee, Hermione. “Shelley’s Heart and Pepys’s Lobsters.” In Virginia Woolf ’s Nose: Essays on Biography. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2005.

Norman, Arthur M. Z. “Shelley’s Heart.” Journal of the History of Medicine and Allied Sciences X, no. 1 (1955): 114–16. doi:10.1093/jhmas/X.1.114-a


Sima, Qian. The First Emperor: Selections from the Historical Records. Translated by Raymond Dawson. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press, 2007.


Carvalho, Joaquim, ed. Religion and Power in Europe: Conflict and Convergence. Pisa, Italy: Edizione Plus, Pisa University Press, 2007.

Kammen, Michael G. Digging Up the Dead: A History of Notable American Reburials. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2010.

Tumarkin, Nina. Lenin Lives! The Lenin Cult in Soviet Russia. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1997.


Howard, Philip. “Is This the Skull of Sterne?” Times (UK), June 5, 1969.

Hughes, J. Trevor. “ ‘Alas, Poor Yorick!’: The Death of Laurence Sterne.” In Essays in Medical Biography, 135–47. Oxford, UK: Rimes House, 2008.

Hughes, J. T. “The Good Is Oft Interred with Their Bones.” Brain 130, no. 4 (2007): 1167–71. doi:10.1093/brain/awm015.

King, Melanie. The Dying Game: A Curious History of Death. Oxford, UK: Oneworld, 2008.

Monkman, Kenneth and W. G. Day. “The Skull.” Shandean 10 (1998): 45–79.

Richardson, Ruth. Death, Dissection, and the Destitute. London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1987.


Fanebust, Wayne. The Missing Corpse: Grave Robbing a Gilded Age Tycoon. Westport, CT: Praeger, 2005.


Meadows, Anne. Digging Up Butch and Sundance. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 2003.

Slatta, Richard W. The Mythical West: An Encyclopedia of Legend, Lore, and Popular Culture. Santa Barbara, CA: ABC-CLIO, 2001.

Walker, Dale L. Legends and Lies: Great Mysteries of the American West. New York: Forge, 1997.


Benz, Ernst. Emanuel Swedenborg: Visionary Savant in the Age of Reason. West Chester, PA: Swedenborg Foundation, 2002.

Dickey, Colin. Cranioklepty: Grave Robbing and the Search for Genius. Denver: Unbridled Books, 2009.

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Henschen, Folke. Emanuel Swedenborg’s Cranium: A Critical Analysis. Uppsala, Sweden: Almqvist & Wiksells, 1960.

———. The Human Skull: A Cultural History. Translated by Stanley Thomas. New York: Praeger, 1966.

Hultkrantz, Johan Vilhelm. The Mortal Remains of Emanuel Swedenborg; An Account of the Historical and Anatomical Investigations Executed by a Committee, Appointed on May 27th, 1908. Uppsala, Sweden: University Press, 1910.

Lenhammar, Harry and Jane Williams-Hogan. “Swedenborg in Uppsala’s Cathedral.” The New Philosophy Online, January–July 2003.

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Thompson, Ian J. “Swedenborg and Modern Science.” Theistic Science.

Trobridge, George. Swedenborg: Life and Teaching. New York: Swedenborg Foundation, 1962.


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Fear and Loathing on the Road to Hollywood. Directed by Nigel Finch. Omnibus, BBC, 1978.

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Seelye, Katharine Q. “Ashes-to-Fireworks Send-off for an ‘Outlaw’ Writer.” New York Times, August 22, 2005.

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Thompson, Hunter S. “Fear and Loathing at the Watergate: Mr. Nixon Has Cashed His Check.” Rolling Stone, September 27, 1973.


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“A Brief History of Mauch Chunk.” Mauch Chunk Historical Society.

Bruchac, Joseph. Jim Thorpe: Original All-American. New York: Dial Books, 2006.

Buford, Kate. Native American Son: The Life and Sporting Legend of Jim Thorpe. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2010.

Carpenter, Mackenzie. “Jim Thorpe’s Son Sues for Father’s Body.” Pittsburgh (PA) Post-Gazette, June 26, 2010.–139.stm#ixzz1qdzMZvq0.

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Norris, Michele. “Son Sues Pennsylvania Town for Jim Thorpe’s Remains.” All Things Considered, NPR, June 25, 2010.

Wang, Hansi Lo. “A Fight for Jim Thorpe’s Body.” Morning Edition, NPR, August 3, 2011.


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Davidson, Ian. Voltaire in Exile: The Last Years. New York: Grove Press, 2004.

Kammen, Michael G. Digging Up the Dead: A History of Notable American Reburials. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2010.

Mason, Haydn. Voltaire: A Biography. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1981.

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Craughwell, Thomas J. Stealing Lincoln’s Body. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2007.

Power, John Carroll. History of an Attempt to Steal the Body of Abraham Lincoln. Springfield, IL: H. W. Rokker, 1890.

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———. “The Strange Fate of Whitman’s Brain.” Walt Whitman Quarterly Review 20, no. 3 (Winter 2003): 107–33.


Cantor, Norman L. After We Die: The Life and Times of the Human Cadaver. Washington, DC: Georgetown University Press, 2010.

Johnson, Carrie. “Williams’ Shift from Will Must Be Proved.” St. Petersburg (FL) Times, July 20, 2002.

Johnson, Larry and Scott Baldyga. Frozen: My Journey into the World of Cryonics, Deception, and Death. New York: Vanguard Press, 2009.

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———. “Williams Children Agree to Keep Their Father Frozen.” New York Times, December 21, 2002.

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———. “What Really Happened to Ted Williams.” Sports Illustrated, August 18, 2003.


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Iserson, Kenneth V. Death to Dust: What Happens to Dead Bodies? Tucson, AZ: Galen Press, 1994.

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Armed Forces Day: Reflective reads from Duckworth

Armed Forces Day: Reflective reads from Duckworth


On 26th June we celebrate Armed Forces Day. A special time for commemorating the wonderful servicemen, women, and their families past, present, and future. 

For those feeling reflective, we’ve rounded up a few of Duckworth’s non-fiction titles that reveal compelling tales of tribulation, transformation, and triumph within service and combat throughout the 20th century. 



The Last Full Measure: How Soldiers Die in Battle
Michael Stephenson

‘A great achievement of research, perception, and fine writing. Few other books have managed to convey the true experience of war with such power and clarity.’ Antony Beevor

Behind every soldier’s death lies a story, a tale not just of the cold mathematics of the battlefield but of an individual human being who gave his life. What psychological and cultural pressures brought him to his fate? What lies and truths convinced him to march towards his death? Covering warfare from prehistory through the present day, The Last Full Measure tells these soldiers stories, ultimately capturing the experience of war as few books ever have.


The Dardanelles Disaster
Dan van der Vat

‘Dan van der Vat has built a powerful reputation as a naval historian. The Dardanelles Disaster is a thundering assessment of a long-forgotten campaign that was a minefield of diplomacy and a failure of deep consequence that paved the way for the Russian revolution.’ Oxford Times

The British Navy’s failed attempt to capture Constantinople and secure a sea route to Russia in 1915 marked a turning point of World War I. Acclaimed naval military historian Dan van der Vat argues that the disaster at the Dardanelles not only prolonged the war for two years and brought Britain to the brink of starvation, but also led to the Russian Revolution and contributed to the rapid destabilisation of the Middle East. With a narrative rich in human drama, ‘The Dardanelles Disaster’ highlights the diplomatic clashes from Whitehall to the Hellespont, Berlin to Constantinople, and St Petersburg to the Bosporus. Van der Vat analyzes then-First Lord of the Admiralty Winston Churchill’s response to the obstacles he faced and describes the fateful actions of the Turkish, German, and British governments throughout the Gallipoli Campaign. With detailed analysis of the battle’s events and never-before-published information on the German navy’s mine-laying operations, ‘The Dardanelles Disaster’ tells a forgotten story from a fresh viewpoint, shedding light on one of World War I’s most pivotal moments – and in particular on one avoidable and monumental blunder.


Queen of Spies: Daphne Park, Britain’s Cold War Spy Master
Paddy Hayes

‘Dame Daphne’s story leaves us wondering about reality as seen through the eyes of a spy; and about how far spy work affected that reality.’ The Spectator

The only biography of Britain’s celebrated female spy – now fully updated with previously classified materials. From being raised in a Tanzanian shack, to attaining MI6’s most senior operational rank, Daphne Park led a highly unusual life. Drawing on first-hand accounts of intelligence workers close to agent Park, Hayes reveals how she rose in a male-dominated world to become Britain’s Cold War spy master. With intimate, nail-biting details Queen of Spies captures both the paranoia and on-the-ground realities of intelligence work from the Second World War to the Cold War, and the life of Britain’s celebrated female spy.


Siegfried Sassoon: Soldier, Poet, Lover, Friend
Jean Moorcroft Wilson

A tour de of the finest critical biographies of our time and an  important addition to understanding the impact of the Great War.’ Gladys Mary Coles, Friends of the Dymock Poets Newlsetter

Hailed as “invaluable” by the Times and “thorough and perceptive” by the Observer, Siegfried Sassoon encompasses the poet’s complete life and works, from his patriotic youth that led him to the frontline, and flamboyant love affairs. This single-volume opus also includes never-before-published poems that have only just come to light through the author’s work. With over a decade’s research and unparalleled access to Sassoon’s private correspondence, Wilson presents the complete portrait, both elegant and heartfelt, of an extraordinary man, and an extraordinary poet.


An incorrect account of the Abney family

An incorrect account of the Abney family


‘Beyond them speckled white cattle dipped their heads into the grass. A wood pigeon cooed drowsily. It was all looking so perfect, yet what a lot of work it all was to maintain.’

Beacon-like in its guidance, the role of Measham Hall does as much as any living individual to set Alethea on a path of transformation. Assured and impressive in status, it wields a power that our protagonist must master if she is to live by her newfound values of liberty.

Author Anna Abney is among the last descendants of the Abney family line, residents of the real Measham Hall, a lost house of Derbyshire from 1730. ‘The Measham Hall’ series is a fictionalised account of her ancestors’ lives, the richness of which she writes of here.

I heard about our ancestral home, Measham Hall, from my grandmother and great uncle. Unfortunately, it was blown up by the coal board in 1959 because the mine activity underground had made it unsafe, so I never got to stay there. It had been sold to the Measham Colliery in the 1920s and was turned into flats after the Second World War. Still, I have a rather charming watercolour of it, painted by Sir William de Wiveleslie Abney (1843-1920), a former director of the Science Museum and President of the Royal Photographic Society. W de W Abney invented the Abney level. He and his brother Charles were also founder members of the Derby Photographic Society.

The Abneys of Measham were originally Norman interlopers; Barons of Aubigny, from the Port of Carteret, who came to England with William the Conqueror in 1066 (one of them was William I’s cousin and cupbearer), settling (or taking land) in Derbyshire. A sir Niel, Baron d’Aubigny married Lady Helena, daughter of Richard II. In the thirteenth century Nicholas D’Albini (spelling was flexible back then) married Cecelia, daughter of William de Meysham.

According to an American Abney descendant, the Abney family can boast of no less than 106 kings, 50 queens, 42 dukes and 10 monks among our forebears. I’m not sure how all this royalty can be accounted for (or why there might be twice as many kings as queens), but there are certainly a few interesting characters and one (quite famous) royal I can account for.

Two Abney brothers, Paul and Dannet, emigrated to Virginia at the end of the seventeenth century. In 1679 Lieutenant Paul Abney was taken prisoner, with his sloop and passengers, by a Spanish man-of-war. Abney produced a pass, which the Vice-Admiral contemptuously wiped his breeches with, before commandeering the vessel.  Paul lived to tell the tale and this branch of the Abneys was granted land in Virginia and later, Carolina. This raises disturbing questions about whether they were slave owners; an area I intend to address in a later sequel to The Master of Measham Hall.

The William Abney who built Measham Hall was born in 1713. He died in 1800 and his obituary in The Gentleman’s Magazine partly inspired the idea of ‘the master’ in The Master of Measham Hall. Apparently, he was ‘the last of that old-fashioned race of English proprietors who now only survive amongst the writers of romance.’ He spent all his time in his country estate, always putting the needs of his poorer neighbours before his own. His coachman had worked for the family for over fifty years and his servants treated him more like a brother than a master. ‘His domestics had grown grey in his service and it was curious to see him waited upon by four or five tottering servants of nearly his own age’. Although, unlike the Hawthornes in Book Two of The Master of Measham Hall, he was an ardent supporter of William of Orange and later, the House of Hanover. He wrote a family history entitled ‘An incorrect account of the Abney family’, a title I have borrowed here, since, as you might have noticed from the dates, my ‘Measham Hall’ was built a century earlier.

Like the Hawthorne family, it was said that in ‘the confusion of the Civil wars … the family suffered considerably’. James Abney, (b. 1599) participated in the Royalist defence of Ashby Castle in 1645, where he was taken prisoner by Oliver Cromwell, although later released. Unlike Alethea’s father, James Abney kept his estates throughout the Commonwealth and was appointed Sheriff for Derby in 1656. It probably helped that the Abneys were distantly related through marriage to the Cromwell family.

Sir Thomas Abney (1640- 1722) became Lord Mayor of London in 1700, despite being a Dissenter – a person who refused to join the Established Church of England, which caused some controversy. Daniel Defoe, a fellow Dissenter, denounced Abney for taking communion in an Anglican church in order to become mayor. Alethea in The Master of Measham Hall is equally pragmatic when it comes to occasional conformity – taking Anglican communion to avoid being fined or imprisoned. Thomas was also one of the founding Directors of the Bank of England and a governor of St. Thomas Hospital.

His second wife, Mary Abney (thirty-six years younger than Thomas!) inherited her brother’s estate in Stoke Newington, moving in there after her husband died. She carried out much of the landscaping of what is now Abney Park Cemetery.

Dr. Isaac Watts, known as the father of English hymnody and famous for hymns such as, ‘Our God, Our Help in Ages Past’, ‘came to stay with the Abneys for a week and remained a guest of Mary and her daughters for the rest of his life – another 36 years. Hopefully he didn’t outstay his welcome.

The Abneys’ last surviving child, Elizabeth, apparently something of a Miss Havisham, died unmarried, directing that the estate should be sold off and the proceeds left to various nonconformist charities. Fittingly, in 1839 several Protestant businessmen set up the Abney Park Cemetery Company and in 1840 the Abney manor became one of the only cemeteries in England open to all dissenters regardless of denomination.

Most of my family history has been passed onto me by my great uncle, another William Abney. Bill was an RAF pilot in the Second World War, flying over 30 different kinds of aircraft. His dare-devil activities earned him the nickname, ‘Ace Abney’ and he often ‘flew blind’ over cover of night. Bill was also an actor, working in stage, film and television. He was the last male in the Abney line.

I promised you more royalty, well, my great-grandmother, Janet Abney, neé Littlejohn of Aberdeen, was first cousin to Ruth, Lady Fermoy, grandmother of Princess Diana. Fans of The Crown might recall a rather unsympathetic Lady Fermoy in the last series. Because of this family connection, in 2012 my father was approached by Dr Jim Wilson, a geneticist from Edinburgh university. It turned out Dad’s mtDNA contains a genetic marker indigenous to India. It is rare even there, only being found in about 1% of Indians, but it proved he and Diana had a shared Indian motherline passed down from a great, great grandmother. A result which led to the Daily Mail headline, ‘DNA tests reveal Wills is actually part-Indian!’ Or what The Times called a ‘Doomed Indian love story’. But that’s the subject for another book.



Cope joins Duckworth as Publisher

Cope joins Duckworth as Publisher


Duckworth Books are pleased to announce that Rowan Cope will be joining our team on 9 August 2021 in the role of Publisher. She will report to Managing Director Pete Duncan.

Cope began her career at David Godwin Associates, followed by commissioning roles at Little, Brown, where she published bestsellers such as Tracey Thorn’s Bedsit Disco Queen and Netflix hit Orange is the New Black, and then Simon & Schuster, where she founded the Scribner UK list and rose to Associate Publisher. Scribner UK garnered Sunday Times bestsellers and Booker Prize nominations, including for Ian McGuire’s The North Water. Most recently, she has been Editorial Director at Faber & Faber, Penguin Press and Granta Books, working with authors such as Francesca Wade, Sara Pascoe, David Mitchell, Jared Diamond, Sir David Spiegelhalter, Suzanne Simard, Mariana Enríquez, Mark O’Connell and Sandra Newman.

Rowan Cope said: “Duckworth has a long and august pedigree, having published some of the finest writers in English in its history, and I’m thrilled to join at a pivotal moment for the company, to help shape its twenty-first-century revitalization. Duckworth today is smart, agile and blessed with a dedicated and energetic team who can offer a personalised approach. We have many brilliant and highly acclaimed authors on the list, and I can’t wait to work with them and to bring more of the best and brightest writers of non-fiction and historical fiction to join us.”

Pete Duncan said: “The whole team couldn’t be more excited to have Rowan join us and take the lead of Duckworth’s publishing at this moment of transformation. I have been a huge admirer of Rowan’s publishing since her Little, Brown days, and her experience, creativity and commercial acumen are second to none. For Duckworth, this is a fresh marker on its journey of reinvention as one of the great independent publishing houses.”

David Bowie Made me Gay – In conversation with Darryl Bullock

David Bowie Made me Gay – In conversation with Darryl Bullock


In his 2017 title, David Bowie Made me Gay Darryl Bullock brought to light the colourful legacy that has shaped our musical and cultural landscape, revealing the inspiring and often heartbreaking stories of internationally renowned LGBT artists from Billie Holiday and Dusty Springfield to Frankie Goes to Hollywood and George Michael. To celebrate Pride, we caught up with the author himself.

Darryl Bullock at the Dublin Bowie Festival, January 2020, by Billy Cahill

Where did you first encounter the likes of David Bowie and Freddie Mercury and at what point in your life did you begin to appreciate their influence on both LGBT+ and wider culture?

DB: I knew that I was gay from a very early age, and being obsessed with music I had been listening to David Bowie for as long as I can remember; he released his first single in the year that I was born. Watching Top of the Pops or in the early 1970s would have brought me in touch with glam artists, with Freddie Mercury and Queen (along with millions of others I bought ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ in 1975 when I was just 11 years old), and by the time I was 16 I was working in a record shop and soaking up every influence imaginable.

Is there a particular show-stopping performance that encouraged you to question your own sexuality? 

DB: Not really, but there was a defining moment when I realised that there was more to LGBT+ music, and therefore more to interest me, than show tunes and disco, and that was seeing Tom Robinson perform ‘Glad To Be Gay’, in a televised performance from The Secret Policeman’s Ball. Realising that you could be gay and angry and that you could stand up and shout about it was a revelation, and that one performance probably did more to shape my political awareness than any other. It definitely encouraged me to be more out and open about my own sexuality.

‘David Bowie Made Me Gay’ deals with a fixation on asserting binary labels to many musicians, Bowie for example. In what ways and outlets have these artists in history and in modern-day challenged this? 

DB: Labels are important, in that they help an artist find an audience and help that audience to discover artists, but they can be restrictive. Audiences are pretty savvy and in this day and age, with the internet and social media, it is much easier for people to find their tribe and to discover their icons. The only thing that really holds them back is that mainstream media is still scared of change and many media outlets are still homo-, bi- and transphobic. Thanks to people like Sam Smith and Elliot Page that is slowly changing, but there is still so much to do. Bowie’s sexuality was fluid – he was straight, then gay, then bisexual and then straight again – but it was his ‘otherness’ that was most important, not the label he chose to use or people chose to hang on him. It was the act of being different that empowered the next generation of LGBT+ artists.

To what extent do you think that early stereotypes of gay men, in particular, have pigeonholed LGBT+ artists and musicians into genres? Is this something you think is as prevalent today as it was in say the 70s or 80s? 

DB: I think in the pre-Bronski years we all thought that ‘gay’ music meant flouncy queens or disco, or perhaps both. Certainly up until the mid-80s, the only LGBT+ artists people saw in the mainstream were disco stars like The Village People or Sylvester. Glam rock was ‘queer’, encouraged playing with gender stereotypes, clothing and make-up, but very few people thought of acts like The Sweet or Mud as gay… they were more like the characters we saw on TV who were never out, they were constantly excused as effete mummy’s boys. Today artists are free to cross boundaries and genres: look at someone like John Grant, whose music stretches from piano ballads to hard EDM and everything in between.

When conducting your research were there any stories or truths that you found particularly shocking or interesting?

DB: There were certain things I couldn’t use for fear of being sued, but for me, the most interesting aspect was discovering the massive wealth of LGBT+ music in the years before the Stonewall riots. Out-LGBT+ artists have been making records for over 100 years now, yet we are constantly told that there was no LGBT+ life before Stonewall. The out jazz and blues artists of the 20s and 30s, especially queer Black women pioneers like Ma Rainey, Bessie Smith, Lucille Bogan and Alberta Hunter, left behind an incredible legacy.

Thanks to social media it is perhaps more discernible to evidence how LGBT+ artists are influencing various aspects of modern culture, however, your title more comprehensively chronicles this throughout the 20th century. Could you describe how early musical movements such as jazz and blues were received in the LGBT+ community and set a precedent? 

DB: Those early decades were amazing times, and as I have already noted there were many women (and men) in jazz and blues making extraordinarily bold and outrageous records. Major cities had LGBT+ bars and clubs where people could play these recordings and share in the ribald humour, and people at home who did not have access to a gay bar or a lesbian club could still crank up the Victrola and play them. Much of the language is coded, but if you knew what you were listening to you would understand. Black artists could get away with more then perhaps because the mainstream did not treat blues with any respect: these were ‘race records’ designed to be marketed to African-American audiences and so of little interest outside of that community. The same went for jazz: it was always the white band leader that got the press. When bisexual Black singer Bessie Smith came along everything changed: her records sold in hundreds of thousands to both Black and white audiences. This emboldened other performers – and the club owners who saw that they could make a fast buck – and soon camp comedians, LGBT+ singers and drag acts could be seen in clubs, on stages and in films. Sadly all of this new openness was driven back underground by the Depression and by the encroaching war and it would take years before artists felt supported and powerful enough to come out again.

What is the significance of pride for you and has this changed over time? 

DB: For me, the great value of Pride lies in its political roots: Pride began as a protest movement, with LGBT+ people demanding their civil rights, and sadly the majority of people who attended Pride events these days either do not know this or do not care. There is a feeling that we’ve won the day and none of that matters anymore, but tell that to queer kids in Jamaica, in the Middle East, in China, or in Kenya or in Russia. The fight goes on, and it has to continue until every LGBT+-identifying person can live their life without being afraid.

Are you doing anything to celebrate this year?

DB: I usually join the march here in Bristol: last year that couldn’t happen because of Covid, but I hope to be able to take part when Bride returns to the streets of the city on 10 July. I have also been invited to take part in some Pride-related online events this month for the MMF, a 1200-strong community of music managers, which I’m looking forward to. I’m sure I’ll find an excuse to wave a flag somewhere!

‘David Bowie Made Me Gay’ is available to buy here.

Anna Abney on Plague Remedies… then and now

Anna Abney on Plague Remedies… then and now


Duckworth’s upcoming title The Master of Measham Hall is set in the mid-seventeenth century – 1665 to be exact. Fourteen years following the end of the bloody and draining Civil War, England was still addled by religious and political angst. To make things worse, plague struck the land once more.

After the last fifteen months, to say that we know a little bit about pandemics would be an understatement. Fortunately, with vaccine rollouts underway, Summer 2021 may see a bit of normality return. But what was it like in the summer of 1665? Without the technology we have today, what measures were put in place to tackle the disease? And how does it differ from 2021?

Author Anna Abney takes a look…

The idea for The Master of Measham Hall came some years ago, when I was teaching Daniel Defoe’s Journal of a Plague Year to English Literature students. The knock-on impact a deadly pandemic would have on other aspects of people’s lives – apart from illness and death – hadn’t really occurred to me (this was before Covid-19). I was fascinated by the way London boroughs closed themselves off to outsiders and many people were made homeless. Defoe describes an encampment in Epping Forest set up by just such people and this was going to be the focus of the novel. My characters, however, had other ideas about the direction of the novel. Alethea Hawthorne is a headstrong young woman and, as I was writing, her journey and the need to get back to her home in Derbyshire took over.

A lot of plague cures and preventatives seem outlandish to us today, but editing the novel during lockdown, I was struck by how many of the precautions taken by people in the seventeenth century were like those we have been using against Covid. Social distancing, for example. was advocated because the plague was believed to be airborne (although it is a bacterial infection not a virus). Once infected by contaminated air, it could be passed from person to person. Stephen Bradwell, a London physician, advised:

‘be contented to live as solitary as your calling and business will give leave. … if you stand to talk with another be distant from him the space of two yards. But if you suspect the party to be infected, let the space of four yards part you’ (A Watch-Man for the Pest, 1625).

Francis Herring stated that ‘stage-plays, wakes, feasts and may-pole dancings are to be prohibited by the public authority’ (Preservatives Against the Plague, 1647). Though, as Margaret Calverton in The Master of Measham Hall notes, the authorities, then as now, could be worryingly slow to act.

Herring entreats the governors of the city of London and ‘all rich men’ to look after their poor brethren and stop ‘idle vagabonds’ wandering up and down, spreading infection. He is also, unusually, a keen proponent of hand washing, using rose-vinegar and water.

The streets were cleaned, getting rid sewage and refuse, which must have had a beneficial effect. Bradwell exhorted keeping every room in the house clean, leaving ‘no sluttish corners.’ Though another ‘learned physician’ suggested placing peeled onions in a room to ‘gather all the infection into them’, which can’t have smelt too good. Fires were burnt to purify the air, both inside and out. Margaret follows the sort of recipe Bradwell recommends, using pitch, tar, turpentine, and rosin. It must have been pretty pungent.

Some people also used masks, like my character, Giacomo, while others, like Alethea, carried medicinal posies of herbs and flowers. Bradwell warns against wearing absorbent material like wool or leather but thought women’s whalebone bodices were ‘good armour’ against the plague.

While there is discussion of vaccine passports being issued now, in the seventeenth century you needed a certificate of health to travel (as Alethea, discovers). Businesses closed and London went quiet. Special hospitals (or pest-houses) were built, and suspected plague victims were locked into their homes for enforced quarantine.
Then, as now, desperate people turned to dubious remedies. Herring advises against the popular wearing of amulets filled with arsenic around the neck. Fortunately, we don’t go in for the kind of ‘purging’ popular then – bloodletting, suppositories, and vomiting. Neither do we believe, as they did then, that disease is ‘sent from God’ to punish us, though at her lowest point, Alethea starts to fear this might be the case.