Saturday, 20 December 2014

HISTORICAL FICTION REVIEW: The Petticoat Men - Barbara Ewing

Release Date: 06/11/14
Publisher:  Head of Zeus


The Victorian gossipmongers called them The Petticoat Men. But to young widow Mattie Stacey, they are Freddie and Ernest, her gentlemen lodgers. It is Mattie who admires their sparkling gowns, makes their extravagant hats and laughs at their stories of attending society balls dressed up as the glamorous 'Fanny' and 'Stella'.

But one fateful night Fanny and Stella are arrested, and Mattie and her family are dragged into a shocking court trial, described in newspapers all over England as 'The Scandal of the Century'.

Outraged, Mattie is determined to save her family from ruin, and her friends from shame and penury. She embarks on a brave journey to expose the establishment's hypocrisy - including the involvement of Mr Gladstone the Prime Minister, and the Prince of Wales. For Fanny and Stella are dangerous ladies, and these are dangerous times...


Head of Zeus is a publisher who not only likes to bring something new to the table but invariably does it with grandeur and as such I can currently think of no better book out there than this tale by actress Barbara Ewing which has all the hallmarks of a HoZ release.

It is full of facts, really takes the reader into the time period and when added to characters that you can believe were walking around generates a book that was nigh impossible to put down. Each is unique, each steps off of the page in their own right and when I sat down with the title, I really didn’t expect to enjoy it as much as I did. All round a cracking read and one that I’ll be passing on to a few other readers to get the full flavour. Magic.

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