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Free Entrance to the Lunatic Asylum…

At the turn of the nineteenth century, England and France combined had only a few hundred individuals in asylums, but by 1900 this number had risen to the hundreds of thousands. The United States housed 150,000 patients in mental hospitals by 1904 with the average number of patients jumping by 927%. Germany housed more than 400 public and private […]

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Inspiration for Belle Vue – 3: Satanic Orgies

Any mention of satanic orgies makes most people’s ears prick up. And so it was with mine. I heard about the Hellfire Caves in West Wycombe where such practices had taken place and duly paid a visit. The caves, excavated between 1748 and 1752 for Sir Francis Dashwood, were used as a meeting place for his notorious Hellfire […]

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Inspiration for Belle Vue – 2: Murder at the Asylum

Intrigued by the nearby apartments that had been converted from the old Leavesden Asylum, I researched to find out about its history. What I hadn’t expected was that a murder had taken place there in 1899 and reading about it gave me an idea… Mary Ansell was found guilty of poisoning her sister Caroline who […]

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Inspiration for Belle Vue – 1: the Asylum

Writers are often advised ‘write what you know’ but given Belle Vue is about murder, satanic orgies and mistreatment in Victorian lunatic asylums I am not putting my hand up to any of these! However I was inspired to write about each aspect from visiting and reading about the three, the connections between them and from there my imagination took over… […]

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Exciting News

  I am thrilled to announce that I am now represented by Italia Gandolfo at the Gandolfo, Helin & Fountain Literary Management. I’m so excited to be working with Italia — she is a stellar literary manager who loves my writing (which is such a huge plus in any writer’s book!) and she and LK Griffie […]

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