Sickly Sea Travel

In the UK the summer holidays are now upon us (or at least upon lucky colleagues and school children), so if you’re in the Warrington/Cheshire area and fancy hearing about the plight of Victorians venturing overseas in a time before plentiful lifeboats, buoyancy aids, and loos, where even in a luxury cabin you could well be sharing your bed with a manky great rat, this talk might be for you.

Sickly Sea Travel

I’ll be appearing at Waterstones in Golden Square, Warrington, on Saturday 23rd August at 11am with a reproduction chamberpot, plastic rat, and genuine Victorian clothing including corset and bloomers – NB: I won’t be wearing them, they’d never fit – to talk about crinolines and crapping, being sick in a storm, and why you might be glad of rats on your vessel (they’re a more edible meal than putrefying pork).  Everyone’s welcome, it’s free, lasts about half-an-hour, and questions are encouraged – whether on Victorian sea travel in general, or Warrington’s own Titanic, the ill-fated RMS Tayleur.  If you can’t make it but want to know more, please feel free to contact me on twitter (@GillHoffs) or via

Waterstones has excellent wheelchair access (and parking above and below the mall).  If anyone with mobility or communication issues such as mutism/autistic spectrum disorder would rather ask about it in an online chat or as a one-to-one in person then do let me know.

If you want to read more, the new issue of Discover Your History includes my article “Travels and Tribulations” (downloadable here for £1 – you can have a nosy at the first page by clicking on the link.

Yes, I'm using a cockroach to pimp my book.  His name's Colin and he's a cutie.

Yes, I’m using a cockroach to pimp my book. His name’s Colin and he’s a cutie.