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The Peckham Ghost

Just before 7 p.m. on Sunday the 10th of November 1872.  Misses Margaret and Constance Carver were preparing to go to church with their governess, Mary Prentice.  They were daughters of Canon Alfred Carver, headmaster of Dulwich College, and they lived with their family in the south wing of the new College buildings in semi-rural Dulwich. Margaret, who at thirteen years …

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The Magic of Christmas, or, Charles Dickens and Hamley’s of High Holborn

One of the most delightful items of Dickensiana to have come my way is the memoir of her father—My Father As I Recall Him—written by Mary “Mamie” Dickens.  The 1897 edition printed by the Roxburghe Press is a slim octavo, its blue cover adorned with a gold embossed image, the significance of which is explained by the author in Chapter …

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Staring Death in the Face, or, The Atrocious Attack on William Day

If you read our article on the wolf that escaped from the menagerie in the Strand—the menagerie on the upper floors of Exeter Change—then you will certainly have felt sorry for William Day.  He was the trunk-maker living next door to Exeter Change, and it was his premises the fugitive wolf entered through a skylight on a stormy morning in …

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A Star Shining over the Sea, or, The Moving Story of Greta Williams

If you read our earlier piece on Charles Henry Kelly, you will remember that he escaped an incident at sea after warnings of a supernatural nature.  He had been about to cross the Channel on board the SS Hilda, but decided not to at the eleventh hour, for reasons known really only to himself.  Strangely, there is a tradition that the …