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Gallows Wake: The Sixth Voyage of Jesamiah Acorne by Helen Hollick

Gallows Wake: The Sixth Voyage of Jesamiah Acorne by Helen Hollick  Earlier this month, Gallows Wake dropped anchor at Scriblerus as part of a blog tour. In a guest blog, Helen considered the question: What makes a good hero, a good heroine or even a good (bad?) villain? (Link below.) This is my review of this gripping adventure... Gallows Wake is the sixth of the Sea Witch voyages. Set early in the seventeenth century, they follow the adventures of adventurer and one-time pirate, Jesamiah Acorne, and the white witch, Tiola Oldstagh. They’re an exciting blend of historical fact, fantasy, and swash buckling, with a strong dash of romance thrown in. Gallows Wake is a story with its origins in the past: a woman hung for a crime she did not commit; old enmities snapping at Jesamiah’s heels; the aftermath of a raid by Barbary pirates and Jesamiah’s daring rescue mission. The writer has a keen sense of the nearness of the past: Tiola in Lisbon is aware of “the presence of the past lin
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Forcible feeding the kind way: Dr Helby of Winson Green Prison

Many suffragettes went on hunger strike in prison and were forcibly fed by prison doctors. A number of the hunger strikers published descriptions of their experiences in horrifying detail: the pain and sickness they endured, the injuries they sustained in struggles with prison staff, the humiliation of the procedure. It’s easy to characterise the men who were willing to inflict such suffering on the women as amongst the villains of suffragette history, particularly when they are viewed in the light of the suffragettes’ powerful testimonies.   Dr Ernest Hasler Helby has the unenviable distinction of being the first prison doctor to forcibly feed suffragettes when the procedure was used on the hunger strikers for the first time in 1909 at Winson Green Prison, Birmingham, where he was medical officer. The suffragettes were in no doubt that he was to blame for the forcible feeding in Winson Green. They protested outside his home while their comrades were still in prison. After their re