I am passionate about history, especially social history, which I became interested in while researching my family tree. I believe it’s the seemingly insignificant, small details that really bring the past to life. To date, I have written six social history books and three genealogy titles. My next goal is to write a non-fiction book for children, something which has always been a long-held ambition.
Exploring Victorian England
I wrote A Visitor's Guide to Victorian England as a stand-alone for Pen & Sword. It includes everything readers would need to know to make the most of a visit to the Victorian era from fending off pickpockets, fastening corsets correctly, getting on the right omnibus and avoiding indigestion. It is aimed at social history fans, costume drama lovers, history students and anyone with a keen interest in the nineteenth century.
Domestic service in Britain 1800-1950
Servants' Stories: Life Below Stairs in their Own Words is a collection of twenty-one true tales of domestic service that tell what it was really like to work below stairs, mostly in middle-class households. The stories are written in the servants' own words - warts and all! The testimonies come from memoirs, oral histories, diaries, newspapers and interviews with ex-servants. Many have never been published before. The stories are put into context with background chapters on topics such as the 'servant problem' and domestic service between the wars. If you like Downton and/or you're interested in Victorian or Edwardian servants, this book is for you.
I have written three books about Victorian institutions: Life in the Victorian and Edwardian Workhouse, Prison Life in Victorian England and Life in the Victorian Hospital, all published by The History Press. They are aimed at non-academic readers and are written specifically for people tracing their family history who wish to find out more about Victorian times and what life was really like for their ancestors. I undertake detailed, original research for every book, supplemented by as many stories of real people as possible.
Tracing your ancestors
Three of my books are for Pen & Sword's Tracing Your Ancestors series. They are Tracing Your Medical Ancestors, Tracing Your Servant Ancestors and Tracing Your Ancestors in Lunatic Asylums. They are aimed specifically at family historians, assuming no previous knowledge of genealogical research. These titles delve into the social history of lunatic asylums, the medical professions and domestic servants, and describe in detail the sources that can be used to research them.
Collecting Christmas cards
My first book, Christmas Cards, was part of the Shire Collecting series (now out of print). It covers the history of Christmas cards and how to go about collecting them. It is well illustrated with examples of cards from my own collection.
Click on the book titles to find out more about them.