Notorious Chrimes: The Blackmail Pills

Richard and Edward Chrimes

In 1890s London, the ‘Lady Montrose Pills’ blackmail scheme efficiently and heartlessly targeted more than 8,000 victims. In this comprehensive account of the case, Dick Weindling introduces the Chrimes brothers, who manufactured this audacious scam.   In April 1896 adverts began to appear in newspapers across the country. Addressed to ‘Ladies …

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The bogus lady doctor

The Alleged Bogus Lady Doctor

In a recent post for the British Newspaper Archive, I mentioned Maria Owen, who posed as a doctor in late Victorian Birmingham. Here’s some more information about her, adapted from my book, The Quack Doctor: ‘I can cure you,’ the representative of the Ladies’ Medical Association told 37-year-old Julia Ann …

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The mysterious ‘Zep’ love potion

A 1930s Valentine card courtesy of the Vintage Valentine Museum

A rag, worn close to the heart, and steeped in a mystic substance imbued with the wisdom of the East. A flame, charring the edges until smoke curls and billows and at last takes shape. What is it that forms in this cloud of shimmering grey? Behold! A man, handsome …

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