Historical inaccuracies in the Mary, Queen of Scots trailer.

  The first trailer for Mary, Queen of Scots is here, and promises the same quantity of misinformation and fantastical spins on this story that we have come to expect from Hollywood. Here are some of the more pressing problems. 1. Elizabeth I and Mary, Queen of Scots never met. Basing a trailer around a historical…

The Handmaid’s Tale, Season 2 (review)

Season 2 of The Handmaid’s Tale reminds me of Briony Tallis’ words at the end of Atonement: “What sense of hope or satisfaction could a reader derive from an ending like that?” It’s the type of question that characterises much of this season, which snatches hope away from the characters in such a jarringly constant,…

The Mermaid and Mrs. Hancock by Imogen Hermes Gowar (review).

In recent years, authors of historical fiction have become more and more innovative, from Suzanna Clark’s re-writing of English history (with magic) in Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell to Hilary Mantel’s vision of Tudor England in minimalistic, modern English in her Thomas Cromwell trilogy. Imogen Hermes Gowar continues this tradition by coaxing us down into…

The Weight of Ink is not Possession’s Doppelgänger.

Rachel Kadish’s The Weight of Ink, a novel of supreme beauty and intelligence, is accused of subjecting A.S. Byatt’s Possession to carbon copying, 3D printing and creepy stalking in the manner of Frankenstein’s monster. Her Ladyship sips some tea and raises her pinkie to the critics. Warning: Spoilers for The Weight of Ink and Possession….

Sherlock S03E03: His Last Vow

A garbled mess that has no idea where it’s going or why, His Last Vow is the last nail in Sherlock’s coffin; a fall from grace so precipitous and a crying shame so heartrending that the very idea of reviewing it is almost unbearable to me. Her Ladyship has, however, done appalling things for the…

Sherlock S03E02: The Sign of Three

Any wedding episode that manages to be totally lacking in corniness without having The Rains of Castamere on its playlist is a jewel, and while The Sign of Three is without doubt the most atypical of all Sherlock episodes in terms of just about everything, it has the distinction not only of being a jewel,…

‘The Mysteries of Udolpho’ Made Awesome in Six Easy Steps

It isn’t difficult to imagine why Jane Austen would want to satirise a novel like The Mysteries of Udolpho, which is, despite its fine romantic imagery, the huge role it played in defining the Gothic novel and Mrs Radcliffe’s general awesomeness as a successful female novelist in nineteenth century England, a rather silly book. Its…

Sherlock S03E01: The Empty Hearse (Review)

Her Ladyship takes time off from her wanderings in the dark corridors of fan fiction to watch the premier episode of Sherlock season 3 and to reason from what she sees. A singularly-strange and enjoyable little episode that feels a lot more like the product of the hugely-hyperactive and oft OTT pen of Steven Moffat…

Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel: Book Review

Her Ladyship commits the not-uncommon indiscretion of reading Wolf Hall after Bring Up The Bodies, and begins to think, as she does sometimes. Though Hilary Mantel’s publishers do her the great disservice of plastering the back cover and spine of her masterpiece with recommendations from two ludicrous sources who know less about literature than Sherlock…

The Game of Thrones Emmy’s

In celebration of tonight’s Emmy Awards, Her Ladyship invents an awards show showcasing the best (and some of the worst) of Game of Thrones season 3. Best episode: The Rains of Castamere The closest thing to perfection that this show has ever seen, The Rains of Castamere’s flawless structure permits it to glide effortlessly, beautifully…