Victober: Frankenstein (no spoilers)

The novel Frankenstein was first published in 1818 therefore, this year it is 200years was old. It was written by a female author: Mary Shelly; therefore would fit the Victober challenge of a novel written by a female author.

Victober explained

Originally it was published anonymously. It is therefore interesting that exactly 100years later the first women got the vote. Mary Shelley’s was first named as author on the cover in 1823.

Like Dracula 🧛‍♂️ it is an epistolary novel. I have seen a theatre version of Frankenstein. I suspect it could be portrayed better than I saw, so I may watch again but, having not enjoyed Dracula 🧛‍♂️ do not think, I will ever to read. It is a Jekyll and Hyde type novel.

Frankenstein review

Dracula 🧛‍♂️ review

Victober: Dracula 🧛‍♂️ (no spoilers)

I think Dracula 🧛‍♂️ fulfills Katie’s challenges. It was published in 1897 and Dracula 🧛‍♂️ is an individual name.

Victober explained

  • Kate: Read a Victorian book with a proper noun in the title
  • Katie: Read a book that was published in the first ten years of the Victorian era and/or published in the last ten years of the Victorian era

My first impressions were good; it stayed as diary entries from one character (Jonathon) and created a creepy atmosphere. Unfortunately it did not maintain my interest once it, changed to a mixture of different character’s diaries and letter’s to and fro. For me this all made it tedious and it seemed very convoluted. Even the the plot on wilkpedia seems convulsed and too tedious to read.

I would not say don’t read, I can see some people may enjoy. The language is not too intimidating. If you like vampire 🧛‍♀️ stories it could be interesting because it is first of the genre. It is clever because of way written as a combination of documents like letters and diaries which is known as epistolary novel.

Gimson Prime Ministers: Lord Palmerston

Lived 1784-1865

Prime minister: 1855 – 58 and 1859 – 1865

He was the oldest first time prime minister ever at 70years old. He had been involved in politics since he was 22 years old, handling foreign affairs. Significantly his diplomacy led to the creation of Belgium 🇧🇪 in the 1830s.

He was not well liked by Queen Victoria or his colleagues. He was dismissed from foreign secretary by former prime minister John Russell but, he managed to oust Russell as prime minister. First Lord Derby had short spell as prime minster then Lord Aberdeen and Palmerston became Home Secretary. Lord Aberdeen’s spell as prime minister was cut short when he was ousted due to being held responsible for the Crimean war. With the situation in disarray Queen Victoria reluctantly allowed Palmerston to become prime minister.

Palmerston did resolve the Crimeran war and supported Florence Nightingale who has a place in history for the successes she had in terms of armies medical needs. Palmerston was briefly ousted in 1858 and Lord Derby returned, however Palmerston, swiftly returned a few months later in 1859. His popularity increased, in his 70s he retained remarkable energy cycling and climbing Arthur’s seat in Edinburgh for example. He managed to gain an increase majority in an election he called in 1865. However, within months of this after driving an open top carriage he caught a chill and died in October 1865, two days before his 85th birthday.

Gimson’s Prime ministers: Lord John Russell

Lived 1792-1878

Prime minister 1846-52 and 1865-66

Russel was the second shortest prime minister at 5foot4 apparently he is considered to have look odd with his short statue but disproportionally large head.

He was Home Secretary from 1835 and became prime minster in 1846. In 1848 he faced the Irish famine, he did ask the government to provide relief but, did not oversee it effectively. He could be absent minded and missed appointments, sent letters to incorrect people etc… He was however successful in terms of education reforms and preventing in 1848 a chartist revilution that occurred in many other countries in Europe.

He was bad at managing colleagues, this led to foreign secretary Palmerston forcing him into resigning (full details are in the book). In 1858 Queen Victoria ; although she considered both Russel and Palmerston in 1859 to be ‘terrible old men’, she had to choose between the two men. She chose Palmerston but, he died in 1865. Russel during this time was foreign secretary. He had another year of being prime minister from 1865 before reigning in 1866.

“Dicken’s decidcated A Tale of Two Cities to Lord Russel, ‘In remembrance of many public services and private kindnesses’.

Gimson Prime Ministers: Robert Peel

Lived 1788 – 1850

Prime minister 1834 – 1835 and 1841-1846

Robert Peel has long lasting notoriety for an achievement from before he, became prime minister; as Home Secretary in 1820s his reforms led to the creation of metropolitan police. Many people in England perhaps unknowingly refer to police 👮‍♀️ as bobbies which, is a derivation of Robert. In Victorian times police were also called Peelers after Robert Peel.

Peel became prime minister in 1834. It was short lived as in 1835 election, he failed to win sufficient seats to have control of the commons; therefore Melbourne returned as prime minister.

Due to Queen Victoria’s influence, Peel returned as prime minister in 1841. In 1845 Ireland’s potato crop failed. Peel wanted to resolve issue byabolishing Corn Laws which, kept the price of corn artificially high. Many of his cabinet of ministers disagreed as regards repealing Corn Laws; he was able to abolish with support from the opposition. As 2/3 of his party had voted against him, as regards abolishing Corn Laws, this led to him resigning in 1846.

In 1850, he fell from a horse and died a few days later.

Victober: Prime minsters during Queen Victoria’s reign based upon Gimson’s Prime Minsters Part 1

img_2166-1Queen Victoria reigned from 1821 to 1901.    A long reign at a time when Prime Minsters regularly changed, therefore there Several were prime ministers during her reign. These were the first:

Gimson: Lord Liverpool

Gimson: George Canning

Gimson: Lord Goderich

Gimson: Duke of Wellington

Gimson: Earl Grey

Gimson: Lord Melbourne

September Summary


There were coincidentally couple of themes to the book titles inSeptember; Sisters and seasons (Summer and Autumn)

Liverpool Sisters by Lyn Andrews. About a young women and her involvement with the suffragettes. Pleasant enough read but, did not go into the detail I was looking for in terms of suffragettes.

Sister Sister by Sue Fortin. A thriller about what happens when a long lost sister returns.  Good pace, the twist was maybe slightly unbelievable. Spoiler alert at bottom of post have put why, think that.

Autumn 🍂 by Ali Smith

Most people at book club enjoyed reading despite, it perhaps being whimsical, not making sense in places and not climaxing. Apparently as well as the literary references, the pop artist and paintings mentioned are real.

Autumn 🍂 Dickens

The Summer Book by Tove Jansson. Each chapter is like a separate short story about the same characters. They are pleasant enough to read set on a isolated Scandinavian island, as you would imagine from the author who wrote the whimsical moomins. Together they don’t fit together to form a story arc, there is not suspense between chapters, so in that sense not a page turner.


Alice in Wonderland



Steel Attempts to contrast a woman in local politics within labour party in the 80s with one in 2016. The same two actors are used in both timeframes; which can make it difficult to follow. Illustrates the importance of steel in both timeframes in the area it is set in; around Sheffield. Thee were interesting points raised during the play, but none were poignant enough to stick in my mind from two weeks ago.

Still Alice

Still Alice

Kylie and Jason Weekend

Jason Donavon. Pity those around did not realise it was an audience with rather than a gig; they marred the gig by continuously chatting. Loved seeing Jason do a spin in his Technicolour dream coat from Joseph; it is an amazing garment to spin in. Jason has needed botex due to voice problems, and you can hear the rasping of his voice was he speaks. However, luckily his siging voice has not been affected and that sounded good for the singing he did.


Her 32nd show at Manchester arena, where she has done more gigs than anywhere else.Amazing looks and moves for a 50year old. Created intimacy by chatting to audience. Lots of costume changes which interrupted momentum.


Sister sister Discussion point / Spoiler: If he was so in love with her why had he patiently waited around whilst she married and had not 1 but two children.