Our latest book, ‘Their Darkest Materials’, will be released on March 2nd, 2020 and is up for pre-order, here:
‘Their Darkest Materials’ is about the seamy, dark, sometimes creepy underside of material culture and textile history. A sort of ‘Horrible History’ for grown-ups.
In ‘Their Darkest Materials’, we creep through nineteenth century asylums, debtors’ prisons, charity schools, pubs and marketplaces; the ‘stews’ (brothels) of the city, school-rooms, collapsing London houses, workhouse toilets, small-town waxwork exhibitions in back rooms and see ladies knitting in grand Georgian drawing rooms; following the unravelling thread of history’s textiles.
We’ll find out which Victorian novelist’s mauve ribbon was trapped in her coffin lid and discover clothing-as-evidence in an infamous London burking case (“Burking” as in “Burke and Hare”).
And we’ll watch a Yorkshire farmer’s wife knit a blue stocking on the morning of her murder and a caddish, handsome soldier murdering his stocking-knitting new wife. We’ll also spend time in the county asylum with a world famous dyer’s incendiarist wife and an embroiderer who used her art to say the unsayable.
If you want a little taster, here I am going on (and on) about it here:
The book’s chapters include:
1. Grim and Less Grim Deaths: The Approach of the Destroyer, the Partly-Murdered Knitter & Other Tales
2. The Bewitched Spinning Wheel & Other Tales
3. Murder, Mayhem and Knitting as Evidence
4. The Small Woman: The Nineteenth Century Needlewoman
5. “Virtute et Industria”. The Stick, the Carrot and the Virtuous Child & Also the Trope of the Extremely Old Knitter
6. The Lost: Runaways – Slaves, Servants, Apprentices and The Captive
7. “Twelve Bobbins Spinning”. Charity Schools & Poor Houses
8. Prisons and Idle Loiterers
9. The Dyer Who Watched Storms and also Concerning A Properly Shaped Female
10. Nathaniel Smith, the Knitting Schoolmaster
If you enjoy a bit of gothic and grand guinol… we have just the book for you.
Released March 2nd, 2020. Published At The Sign of the Pretty Baa Lambs Press.