This Edition does not include illustrations.
A hilariously funny history of a bizarre 19th-century life of the woman who was a proto-type Pankhurst. The non-fiction debut of one of the most talented comic historians of social manners.
Georgina Weldon was born in 1837 and, although almost no one will have heard of her, the only talent she really had was for self-advertisement. She is one of the great undiscovered and unsung eccentrics of the 19th-century.
Her ego was monstrous and manifested itself in the 6-volume record of her life which she sold through a spiritualistic medium. Her garrulous work was composed in a convent cell in Gisors where she lived with her pet monkey Titilehee. She was born to parents on the margins of aristocracy and spent her early life in Florence. After a string of liaisons which ‘ruined her reputation’ she had an affair with a penniless Hussar officer called Harry Weldon and eloped with him to a two-bedroom cottage in Beaumaris. She opened a singing academy in a house formerly owned by Dickens but, with things going characteristically awry, she met the composer Gounod, who came to live with them. The singing ladies were dumped in favour of orphans who drove around the West End of London in a converted milk float advertising their weekly concerts at the Langham Hotel. With her husband trying to commit her for lunacy, Georgina fled to France, only to flee back again when Harry threatened divorce. It was at this point that she discovered her metier – dragging people through courts. She published pamphlets, embraced spirtualism, had a lesbian affair with a French lady and eventually lived out her days in Gisors surrounded by 37 tea chests and many trunks filled with paper.
Brian Thompson’s gift is as a narrative historian. He excels at writing human-interest stories which embrace both his love of social history and his warm embrace of the eccentric, original, bizarre aspects of human nature.
There was no other Victorian woman like Georgina Weldon. With this book Brian Thompson will establish himself as a new original and utterly sublime commercial and hilariously funny historian.