My choice of research for the EAST exhibition stems from a fascination with the ‘Vile Victorians’.
It all started with this book I read several years ago now by Audrey Niffeneger (love that name, trips off the tongue) who also wrote ‘The Time Travelers Wife’. A real ‘page turner’ of a book.
The story revolves around Highgate Cemetery – something that has been on my ‘aroundtuit list’ for some time – just need to find someone to go with me!
In one chapter the scene is set in somewhere called ‘Postmans Park’ which I assumed was part of the writers imagination but then one day while sitting at my desk at work for some bizarre reason I decided to Google ‘Postmans Park’ and was amazed with what came up.
Several of my exhibition pieces have been based on Postmans Park and I came across this book:
The plaques in the shelter in Postmans Park give a brief outline of the fate of the heroic people honoured in the park but this book gives the whole background story, it is a very poignant read. Also some of the plaques are not wholly correct and this book puts together all the collected information from the newspapers of the day, the Police records and the Coroners reports.
I still feel there is more I can do with my Postmans Park research but for now I have moved on to the plight of Victorian children with the main focus being ‘Baby Farmers’ and especially the notorious Amelia Dyer.
This book here tells her story, quite gruesome but fascinating nonetheless.