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Friday, 21 November 2014


Saddle up and gallop over to the British Newspaper Archive blog to read my guest post on a true-life thrilling 19th century elopement which could have come straight out of one of Jane Austen's novels!
Illustration by Hugh Thomson, Coaching Days and Coaching Ways, (Macmillan & Co. Ltd, 1910).

Wednesday, 19 November 2014

Monday, 17 November 2014

Does Every Picture Tell A Story?

Bridge St, Port Sunlight.
'Every picture tells a story', as the old saying goes  - but is it really the story that you think it is? I was intrigued by this old postcard (left), which I bought recently. The caption reads 'Colleens Dancing, Ballymaclinton (McClinton's Town, erected by the makers of McClinton's Soap)'. I hadn't heard of Ballymaclinton, but surmised that it might be a town built for factory workers by their employer, like  Saltaire, New Lanark or Port Sunlight. However, after a little research online, I found that Ballymaclinton was an advertising gimmick for a soap firm! This fake village was one of the star attractions of the Franco-British Exhibition of 1908. I thought that the 'colleens dancing' looked very posed - and the houses were amazingly white and clean. But it's still a fun postcard for my collection!

 Photo © Sue Wilkes.

Saturday, 8 November 2014

Austen Variations - And A Book Giveaway!

Today I'm a guest blogger on Austen Variations, courtesy of Jane Odiwe, whose new book Mr Darcy's Christmas Calendar is out now. Austen Variations, a website for writers and readers, focuses on 'Austen-related fiction, the Regency Period and Romance'. My guest post 'Chit-chat and Quarterly Reviews' looks at reading habits in Jane Austen's day.  There's a competition to win a free copy of my new book A Visitor's Guide To Jane Austen's England, so do take time to leave a comment - it's free to enter!
The lucky winner will be announced on the Austen Variations Facebook page on 15 November.

Title page of the Lady's Monthly Museum.
Tottenham High Cross in 1805, Gentleman's Magazine April 1820.

Thursday, 6 November 2014

Win A Free Copy of Tracing Your Ancestors' Childhood!

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Tracing Your Ancestors' Childhood by Sue Wilkes

Tracing Your Ancestors' Childhood

by Sue Wilkes

Giveaway ends November 27, 2014.
See the giveaway details at Goodreads.
Enter to win

Saturday, 1 November 2014

Going Shopping With Jane Austen!

High Change in Bond St; Courtesy Library of Congress,
The latest issue of Jane Austen's Regency World includes my feature on going shopping in Jane Austen's day, Maggie Lane explores the work of Elizabeth Inchbald, and Penny Townsend discusses Austen and William Shakespeare. There's also a review of my new book A Visitor's Guide To Jane Austen's England by Joceline Bury.  Last but not least, the magazine has lots of wonderful Christmas gift ideas for Austen fans!

Tuesday, 28 October 2014


This week authors Sarah Murden and Joanne Major have very kindly invited me to write a guest post on the change in dining habits on their fabulous history blog All Things Georgian, so do check it out here!