Hello and welcome to the official Dilly Court website, where you can find everything you need to know about me and my books.
A message from Dilly
I hope you enjoyed reading about the three generations of Stella’s family, starting in the Crimean War. Writing it was an exciting journey from the terrible conditions of the hospital in Scutari, which persisted despite the valiant efforts of Florence Nightingale and her brave nurses, to the dirt and deprivation of London’s East End and the creepy underground caves at HeronPark, the Rivenhall’s ancestral home. The twists and turns of the plot evolved through the actions of the characters that, the moment I give them a name, develop a will of their own and take over the story telling.
I’m often asked what inspires me to write about Victorian London, and although I have hazy childhood memories of the East End after the Blitz, my main source of inspiration comes from old photographs. I have shelves filled with books on Victorian London including the brilliant Lost London by Philip Davies, and it was one of these photographs that inspired me to write about the place where Stella spent her early childhood. The rickety terrace of houses and shops was built on stilts piled into the muddy bank of the River Thames, overlooking the turbulent waters of Limehouse Hole. The photographs bring back to life a London that has gone forever and has been replaced by modern buildings constructed of concrete and glass.
Reluctantly, I’ve said goodbye to Stella, Rosa and Aunt Maud, not to mention her rather tetchy cat, and I’m very much involved with my new friends and their struggles to overcome misfortune and poverty. Once again I’ve started on a new adventure through time, although it would be handy to have a Tardis like Dr Who, so that I could step into Victorian London. If I could meet the doctor himself I would win zillions of brownie points from my eldest granddaughter, who is an ardent Whovian. But as that’s not likely to happen I have to manage without the help of a time lord, and even though I’m not there physically, I can see it all in my mind’s eye, and I have the thrill of getting to know my characters. I can’t wait to get their stories down on paper.
With my very best wishes,