One bright morning in 2000, I was rummaging through ‘rubbish’ that had been cleared from the roof eaves of a Georgian house in North Yorkshire . . .
My family and I had moved into the house and were renovating it. Mixed in amongst the debris, I came across a Victorian photograph. Then another, and another . . .
I had stumbled on a treasure trove of old photographs, papers and letters that had been hidden in our house for many decades. It felt like an amazing stroke of luck. Perhaps even destiny.
As I worked through the material, I began realising that the letters held a secret. They were the door to a forgotten love story from the Victorian era.
All these wonderful things once belonged to a woman called Annie Bowen and the first letter I came across told me that Annie was in hot pursuit of a ‘vile woman’ who had run off with her husband. His name was Gus, a charming but unreliable cad, and the letter turned out to be the start of an astonishing journey.
I give three talks in this popular series, each freestanding (talks 2 and 3 offer brief recaps). Little by little, I peel back the layers of Annie’s romance.
Secrets of the Attic 1:
The first talk tells how I made my original discovery and audiences have a chance to explore Annie’s souvenirs, photographs and letters. Each separate piece tells us something tender and intimate about her. Then we read Gus’s letters and begin to see the kind of man she loved.
Secrets of the Attic 2:
The plot thickens and I pursue the ‘vile woman’ across the globe. An unwelcome guest turns up at Annie’s wedding and a scandal looms. Gus suddenly disappears but we track him down and discover his unlikely fate.
Secrets of the Attic 3:
In the final chapter, the photographs reveal their secrets. More twists are in store and we come to know Annie as never before.
The Love of Dangerous Men tells the full story of this incredible saga.
You can book any of these talks by contacting me by email or post. See my Contact page.