AP Herbert

No Known Address

Untitled

I was tooling through the online version of ‘A Topographical Dictionary of London and Its Environs’ by James Elmes (as you do), which lists all of the streets and squares, alleys and wharves now largely lost to London, and my reading coincided with an article in Red Herrings, the ‘Confidential Monthly Bulletin of the Crime […]

Mr Gay’s London Is Back In ‘The Fatal Tree’

Hogarth

Jake Arnott’s ‘The Fatal Tree’ is a ripping new 18th century yarn of London lowlife on the make and take, trying to stay one step ahead of the Fatal Tree itself (the gallows of Tyburn). It uses the story of  Jack Sheppard and more importantly the lesser-known Edgworth Bess, his woman, who led a ‘wicked […]

Lost – The Misleading Cases

9780413385406-uk-300

Alan Patrick Herbert once highlighted the complexity of the British licensing laws by accusing the House of Commons of selling liquor without a licence. He also wrote the lyrics to popular songs and shows, including the hugely successful ‘Bless The Bride’, with its earworm song ‘Ma Belle Marguerite’ now rattling around in my head as […]

London In The Dock

London trials

Alan Patrick Herbert should have more readers. He served in two world wars, survived Gallipoli, was a longstanding member of parliament and a social reformer who worked to end outdated divorce and obscenity laws, and was knighted by Churchill. He wrote the lyrics to popular songs and shows, and once highlighted the complexity of the […]