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More in this section 2010-11

Victorian murder mystery puts researcher in spotlight

Posted on 27/10/2009
Dr Ann Featherstone’s many years as a Research Assistant in the Department of Drama and Theatre at Royal Holloway, University of London, with Professor Jacky Bratton has already produced the acclaimed monograph, The Victorian Clown. Now it has borne new fruit in the publication of Dr Featherstone’s first novel, Walking in Pimlico, a crime thriller, set in the vividly licentious world of Victorian popular culture.

The book owes much of its authenticity to its roots in Dr Featherstone’s research and the novel is, apart from being a fine tale, a means of popularising this research and bringing it to public attention. Professor Bratton comments, ‘Ann was a great research assistant; she has happily become ever more familiar with the weird nooks and crannies of Victorian theatre history, until this long-lost secret life of the stage has now surfaced in Walking in Pimlico. It is a novel that richly and funnily – as well as amazingly accurately – depicts the nether worlds of Victorian entertainment.’

Walking in Pimlico interweaves the stories of two entertainers pursued by a murderer who has already taken the life of their friend. The young prostitute turns confidence trickster and masquerades as  a grieving widow and various other exotic characters, while the song-and-dance man clowns his way through circuses and spas before giving the performance of a lifetime to distract the killer.

John Murray Publishers have already commissioned a sequel.


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