Happy New Year To All My Readers

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As the curtain falls on 2017, this blog also approaches its tenth anniversary. I’d like to thank everyone who has read (and hopefully enjoyed) my posts. This month I’ve been thinking a lot about Christine Keeler, who inspired my first novel and so much more. Wishing everyone a beautiful 2018 – and whatever this new year may bring, keep a dream in your hearts.

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2017: A Year In Books

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Set in 18th century London, The Fatal Tree is a rip-roaring saga laced with harsh truths, recreating the battle between Jack Sheppard, a young thief famed for his daring escapes, and the ruthlessly corrupt ‘Thief-taker General’, Jonathan Wild, from a very different perspective – that of Sheppard’s lover, the prostitute Edgworth Bess. Using historic slang to great effect, Jake Arnott evokes not only the criminal underworld, but also the parallel black and gay subcultures, as they collide with the double standard of high society and the literati. Continue reading

2017: A Year In Film and Music

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For me, this year was dominated by the return of Twin Peaks, reaffirming David Lynch’s status as the most daring filmmaker of our time. Dark, playful and thrilling, it once again pushed the outer limits of television.  Continue reading

Christine, From Beginning To End

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Upon hearing the sad news of Christine Keeler’s passing, here is the epilogue to my novel, Wicked Baby, in which I reimagined the years following the Profumo Affair, in her voice. The photo above, shared by her son on social media, shows Christine enjoying freedom after leaving prison in 1964.  Continue reading

Madonna’s ‘Erotica’ At 25

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In 1991, Madonna’s fame was at its height. Truth or Dare, her behind-the-scenes documentary filmed during the Blond Ambition tour a year earlier, caused a sensation with its revealing take on the star. After reaching her pop apotheosis with Like a Prayer, she had struck out in new directions with ‘Vogue’ and ‘Justify My Love’ (a sultry, experimental track produced by Andre Betts, with a video banned by MTV.) Continue reading

Marilyn in Love … and Art

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I have written two new reviews for the Immortal Marilyn website. The first, Dead Blondes: You Must Remember Marilyn, covers film historian Karina Longworth’s podcast series from earlier this year, while Artists in Love: Marilyn and Arthur Miller looks back at a 2016 TV documentary for the Sky Arts channel.

Ava Gardner: A Life in Movies

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Ava Gardner: the name conjures timeless elegance. She was a North Carolina sharecropper’s daughter whose beauty gave her the regal bearing of a goddess. Beyond the glamorous aura, she is most often recalled for her stormy personal life, and especially her marriage to Frank Sinatra. But this is only a partial vision of one of the greatest female stars of the 1940s and 50s. Even the most devout cinephiles often overlook her unique contribution to post-war American cinema. Continue reading