Meet Kate Griffin and Kitty Peck in The Parliament of Shadows, London
Come see Kitty Peck and The Parliament of Shadows
Meet Kate Griffin and Kitty Peck in The Parliament of Shadows, London – Roll up, roll up ladies and gentlemen for the very last performance of the Limehouse Linnet herself, Miss Kitty Peck.
Taking to the fog-shrouded streets of Victorian London once again, the daring darling of the halls faces her most perilous adversaries yet. Not only must she bring down the Barons – those criminal fiends in fine clothing – but also, she must defeat a canting hell-fire preacher determined to rain brimstone on Kitty herself and all she holds dear…
Kate Griffin is here to share the tale and introduce us to Victorian London….
The trail winds from seedy back alleys and riverside wharves, to the panelled, cigar-fugged salon of an exclusive gentleman’s club, to the candlelit basement of London’s most eccentric museum, and even to a roadside shrine in India.
Can our sharp-tongued, sharp-witted heroine save the day? Will she finally unravel the dark secret at the heart of her family? Can she find love in Paradise, the criminal territory on the banks of the Thames inherited from her grandmother, Lady Ginger?
In this romping, gothic-tinged homage to both the penny-dreadful and the melodrama, nearly all will be revealed….
Gorgeous Wiltons Music Hall – remains the prime inspiration for the imagined Victorian music halls in the Kitty Peck series. My first visit there with the heritage charity I worked for was more like a pilgrimage as I stroked the barley-sugar twist columns and inhaled the past. The Theatres Trust call Wiltons “The most important surviving early music hall to be seen anywhere… It is of outstanding architectural and archaeological significance”
In Parliament of Shadows, several key scenes take place in pubs. Narrow Street is the oldest part of Limehouse. Ancient riverside taverns here were once notorious, but today it’s smart.The Grapes, is a gorgeous, Grade II-listed pub part-owned by Limehouse resident Sir Ian McKellen. The young Charles Dickens visited his godfather in Limehouse and drew inspiration the area throughout his life. The Grapes is described in the opening chapter of his novel “Our Mutual Friend”:
“A tavern of dropsical appearance… long settled down into a state of hale infirmity. It had outlasted many a sprucer public house, indeed the whole house impended over the water but seemed to have got into the condition of a faint-hearted diver, who has paused so long on the brink that he will never go in at all.”
The Town of Ramsgate, next to Wapping Old Stairs, is the setting for an important conversation in Parliament of Shadows. It’s hard to believe that this neat, cosy corner pub was once the haunt of pirates and press gangers and it’s almost impossible to imagine that years back, blood-thirsty crowds gathered at nearby Execution Dock to watch smugglers and mutineers hanged from a short rope. (It took longer to die that way). It was here that Captain Bligh and Fletcher Christian had one last drink together before embarking on the voyage that led to mutiny on the Bounty. Sip that heady historical brew!
way from the squalor of Limehouse and the docks, Kitty discovers a surprising ally in the candle-lit basement of Sir John Soane’s Museum. I worked in this fantastically erudite and eccentric museum for several years and I hope I’ve done it justice in an affectionate scene. If you haven’t visited this inventive, architectural masterpiece, do go – especially in winter for one of the candlelit ‘Soane Lates’ openings. Romantic and magical.
Thank you so much Kate! A wonderful insight into the world of Kitty Peck!