Donna Scott’s Blog

The London Monster

The London Monster

Almost everyone has heard of Jack the Ripper, the villain who wandered the streets of London in 1888, killing prostitutes in the dead of night. Few people are aware, however, that he had a predecessor, a sexual miscreant who terrorized those same streets exactly one hundred years earlier. Although he did not have a predilection for prostitutes, his weapon of choice was the same. That man was known as The London Monster. His reign of terror lasted from March 1788 to June 1790. Within that timeframe, he attacked approximately 56 women. This number remains in question, however, because many believe some of his attacks were not reported and others were fabricated. But more on that later. In...

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The Buggery Act and Homosexuality in the 17th Century

The Buggery Act and Homosexuality in the 17th Century

In Shame the Devil, Alston suffers horribly. As a young boy, he is confronted with feelings that are deemed unnatural and sinful. His Puritan upbringing insists that everything he thinks, feels, and knows about himself is the product of evil. However, once he meets the man who will guide him into a life he has only known as forbidden, he surrenders his fears and uncertainty and engages in a relationship that finally offers him the love he so desperately desires. But in the 17th century, this is a dangerous game to play. Today, we’d simply say that Alston is homosexual but in the 1600s, he would be called a sodomite. The term homosexuality wasn’t coined until 1869, and related terms such as...

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Who Do You Believe?

Who Do You Believe?

The argument about which news sources are the most fact-filled or truthful is an old one. During the English Civil War, propaganda was used as a valuable tool to sway countrymen to support one side or the other—the Royalists or the Parliamentarians. Various newbooks on both sides were created to stir the pot and evoke fear in readers with the hope that they would understand that fighting the war was absolutely necessary. At the time, where you lived determined which side of news you were going to get. For example, if you lived in London, the midlands, and parts of east England where Parliament held the most influence and power, you would most likely read (if you knew how) and hear...

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Villain or Martyr?

Villain or Martyr?

During the reign of King Charles I, the country is divided into two factions—the Royalists (or Cavaliers) who support the king and the Parliamentarians (or Roundheads) who oppose him. It’s a dangerous time in England, for brother has turned against brother and stating one’s allegiance to one side or the other could prove deadly. In Shame the Devil, the Blackburnes are destroyed by their loyalty to the king—lives are lost and futures are destroyed with a word. But how did this happen? How could a country turn on its king and demand he pay for his supposed transgressions with his life? What had he done that was so heinous to provoke Parliament to act against him? Actually there were several...

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