To top
31 Jul

Chapter XVIII

Already being in possession of a husband and a good fortune, and what with the fashionable summer season drawing to a close, Mrs. Garwood decided that what she was most in want of was culture, in the form of a personal tutor, an expert, she said, in literary history and composition, someone, in fact, very much like me. Now, never let it be said that I do not know an invitation when I hear one. Her husband was happy to consent, and I was engaged, on two hundred pounds a year no less, to minister to all of Mrs. Garwood’s creative needs, of which she apparently had many. In light of recent events, which were polarised and extreme,...
Continue reading
26 Jun

Chapter XIII

Chapter 13 Egan
My mysterious benefactor had, of course, been Egan; Bob bloody Logic himself. Having built up all my courage to walk through that Plutonian gate and face the Modern Babylon on my own, he was waiting for me across the street, learning against a knacker’s wall and smoking a long cheroot. ‘Well if it isn’t London’s latest literary sensation,’ he said, revealing both rows of his glittering teeth in a broad grin, and thereby saving me from the indignity of offering myself up to the mercy of my uncle, which had been the only plan I had thus far formulated. I did not know it then, but he had recently left the Weekly Dispatch to publish his own Sunday newspaper,...
Continue reading
19 Jun

Chapter XII

Chapter 12 - Rat
In addition to reformers and evangelisers, another species from the outside well known to us was the tourist; dandies in the underworld who treated a visit to Bedlam, Newgate, or the Marshalsea as a social occasion. Sometimes they would even turn up with hampers and make a day of it. And if prisoners were willing to be observed in their natural habitat then boons might be bestowed upon them, in the form of food, drink or money. My dad was apt to indulge the voyeuristic swine for the latter reason, playing the Father of the Marshalsea and then leaving it to their honour to tip him for an audience. If food were offered I would take it and...
Continue reading