Painful Details. Twelve Victorian Scandals
Michael Harrison


    1. Lady Twiss Changes Courts
    2. Courtship by Forgery
    3. Trials of a Titled Journalist
    4. Call to the Field of Honour
    5. A Peerage in Peril
    6. A Libel on the Lily
    7. Lady Mordaunt’s Lovers
    8. The Last of Sir John Dean Paul
    9. A Shade of Charles II
    10. Colonel Baker Goes too Far
    11. Lord Frankfort Wins and Loses
    12. The Duke of Baker Street Bibliography

e-Book, 272 pp. with Index (Tina Rhea #42)
ISBN 978-1-55497-408-5 $10.00


The Victorians wrote everything down, and printed almost as much as they wrote. But, occasionally, when pressed for space, they hinted at what could not be described by the use of a standard expression: ‘Painful details.’

What, in twelve representative Victorian scandals, those ‘painful details’ were, I have recounted in this book.

It is just sixty years since the Victorian Era closed on a cold, grey day at Osborne House. The furniture of even the latter part of Victoria’s reign has become ‘antique’, and we are learning to see this astonishing age with eyes no longer blinded by the prejudice inevitable when we are looking at the merely out-of-date. The Victorian Age has receded sufficiently into the past for it to have entered into the true historical perspective, and we may now examine Victorian men and women in relation to their own distant epoch, and no longer in relation to our own yesterday.

This quite new way of seeing Victorian things has had the effect of removing some misconceptions. We see that not only were the Victorians as capable of folly as are we; they were as capable of reporting it in their newspapers and journals. Indeed so far from the Victorians having been ‘prudish’ or ‘mealy-mouthed’, we have only to read their newspapers to see that they enjoyed a freedom of expression denied to us, both by acquired convention and by legal prohibition.