Published by Headline Review
ebook & Hardcover : 17 August 2017 | Paperback: 2 November 2017
Regular followers of my blog may know that I am a huge fan of Gill’s historical novels and I’m thrilled to be taking part in the blog tour for the latest release, Another Woman’s Husband. I have read this and absolutely loved it. My review will follow separately but for my turn on the tour, I have a guest post from Gill.
My love affair with vintage
by Gill Paul
When I started uni at the age of seventeen, my uniform was tight jeans and long-sleeved t-shirts with boots and an ankle-length denim coat. So dull. But on the first day I spotted a girl with a sheet of dyed black hair, who was wearing a tight-waisted, pencil-skirted black suit, pointy shoes, stockings with seams and a jaunty little hat with a feather. For a sociology lecture! I stalked her over the next few weeks, ogling the different outfits she put together each day (never the same look twice). When she turned up at the students’ union disco in a ruby-red off-the-shoulder ballgown with diamanté accessories I finally managed to introduce myself at the bar and found her name was Lily-Bette and that she came from Inverness, which is not generally thought of as the fashion capital of the UK.
Lily-Bette and I became friends – I made sure of it – and she took me with her on a tour of the second-hand shops in town that stocked old clothing. In those days, no one called it ‘vintage’, although the term had been applied to classic cars since the 1920s. I bought my first gown, green satin with a built-in boned corset, and loved the tiny waist it gave me, while overlooking the fact it made my right boob bleed after one of the bones poked through the lining. I bought stilettos and Mary Janes, crippling my feet in sizes that were either too big or too small so long as they had the right look. And I learned the value of the carefully chosen accessory, particularly the way hats and gloves can finish an outfit.
I used to spend my summers in Spain, where an aunt had a beach-side apartment, and when I turned up there in my eccentric new outfits, combined with a strange punkish ponytail Lily-Bette had designed for me, I was offered a job as a hostess at a swanky nightclub. It wasn’t as sleazy as it sounds: my role was to stand at the door in the early evening, handing out free drink samples, then to circulate with the clientele. My outfits got a lot of reactions – but mostly incredulity that I was wearing elbow-length gloves in the heat of a Spanish summer.
I speak to a lot of vintage dealers who tell me that back in the 1990s it was still worth their while trawling Oxfam shops to find bargains, but that now they have to buy most of their stock from private sellers or at auction. That’s why prices have shot up. At uni, I used to pay a fiver for a 1920s flapper dress, albeit one that shed sequins wherever I went, but now you see them at over a hundred quid, often more. I blame Kate Moss and the other celebs who started sporting slinky bias-cut numbers when they realised how beautifully made the original 20s and 30s garments are.
I still pop into vintage shops, and never miss the four-times-a-year vintage fair near my home, but my attitude has changed. I can no longer be bothered with shoes that hurt, and seldom wear heels of any description. I’ve got a gorgeous midnight-blue tight-skirted chiffon wiggle dress but I can’t sit down or raise my arms in it so it has been worn exactly twice. I need clothes I can move in, that don’t require me to hold my stomach in all night at parties (who remembers after the first glass?). But I still love vintage and had a great time choosing all the outfits to feature in Another Woman’s Husband. And I am on a mission to find a new vintage frock for the launch party in November. Hope to see you there!
| About the Book |
From the #1 bestselling author of The Secret Wife comes a gripping novel that commences with the tragic death of Diana, Princess of Wales, and journeys back to the fascinating world of Wallis Simpson, Duchess of Windsor. ‘A triumph’ Dinah Jefferies on The Secret Wife by Gill Paul
Two women who challenged the Crown.
Divided by time. Bound by a secret…
At the age of fifteen, carefree Mary Kirk and indomitable Wallis Warfield meet at summer camp. Their friendship will survive heartbreaks, separation and the demands of the British Crown until it is shattered by one unforgivable betrayal.
Rachel’s romantic break in Paris with her fiancé ends in tragedy when the car ahead crashes. Inside was Princess Diana. Back in Brighton, Rachel is haunted by the accident, and intrigued to learn the princess had visited the last home of Wallis, Duchess of Windsor, only hours before the crash. Soon, the discovery of a long-forgotten link to Wallis Simpson leads Rachel to the truth behind a scandal that shook the world…
Richly imagined and beautifully written, ANOTHER WOMAN’S HUSBAND is a gripping, moving novel about two women thrust into the spotlight, followed by scandal, touched by loss.
| About the author |
Gill Paul is an author of historical fiction, specialising in relatively recent history. Her new novel, Another Woman’s Husband, is about links you might not have been aware of between Wallis, Duchess of Windsor, and Diana, Princess of Wales.
Gill’s other novels include The Secret Wife, published in 2016, about the romance between cavalry officer Dmitri Malama and Grand Duchess Tatiana, the second daughter of Russia’s last tsar, who first met in 1914. Women and Children First is about a young steward who works on the Titanic. The Affair was set in Rome in 1961–62 as Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton fell in love while making Cleopatra. And No Place for a Lady is about two Victorian sisters who travel out to the Crimean War of 1854–56 and face challenges beyond anything they could have imagined.
Gill also writes historical non-fiction, including A History of Medicine in 50 Objects, and a series of Love Stories, each containing fourteen tales of real-life couples: how they met, why they fell for each other, and what happened in the end. Published around the world, this series includes Royal Love Stories, World War I Love Stories and Titanic Love Stories.
Gill was born in Glasgow and grew up there, apart from an eventful year at school in the US when she was ten. She studied Medicine at Glasgow University, then English Literature and History (she was a student for a long time), before moving to London to work in publishing. She started her own company producing books for publishers, along the way editing such luminaries as Griff Rhys Jones, John Suchet, John Julius Norwich, Ray Mears and Eartha Kitt. She also writes on health, nutrition and relationships.
Gill swims year-round in an open-air pond – “It’s good for you so long as it doesn’t kill you”– and is a devotee of Pilates. She also particularly enjoys travelling on what she calls “research trips” and attempting to match-make for friends.