About Julia Wood

Julia Wood, (M.A., University of Warwick) is an author, Oscar Wilde scholar and personality. She has received extensive press and television coverage for her distinctive Edwardian lifestyle and designs all her own clothes. Julia is currently working on a novel - a ghost story - set in the Edwardian era. Visit www.julia-wood.com. Follow Julia on Twitter @edwardianspice

Titanic: The Myth Lives on – Part 2

The sinking of the Titanic was one of the greatest tragedies of the twentieth century and many people connected to it – survivors and those who lost loved ones – were haunted by it – the glory and the hope – so soon to become a broken wreckage lying at … Continue reading

Margaret Thatcher: There’s No Such Thing as Society

Whether one loved or hated her, Margaret Thatcher has undoubtedly left her stamp upon British politics and her death last week has confirmed her place in history as one of the most memorable and controversial political icons. Born in Grantham, Lincolnshire on October 13th 1925, Margaret Hilda Roberts, as she … Continue reading

Who Wants to Live Forever? – Part 1: The Origins of Celebrity

If one had to name or describe the dominant theme of our cultural epoch, it would almost certainly be celebrity, and the public’s obsession with fame; what we have come to call the cult of the personality. Never before has a culture been quite so fixated with fame: the quest … Continue reading

Titanic: The Myth Lives On – Part 1

“As the smart ship grew/In stature, grace and hue/In shadowy silent distance grew the iceberg too…” (Thomas Hardy, The Convergence of the Twain. Lines on the Loss of the Titanic) At the approach of the one hundredth anniversary of its demise, Titanic mania seems to be gripping the nation. Dramas … Continue reading

Sporting in the Olympic Theatre

Olympic fever appears to have taken over the country, with Britain hosting, and performing astoundingly well, particularly in the cycling events, perhaps even putting cycling on the map as a national sport. In such economically dark times, a bit of flag-waving patriotism may be just the tonic the country needs; … Continue reading

Workhouse or Workfare? Attitudes Haven’t Changed – Part 2

Julia Wood, author and scholar, continues her discussion of “the undeserving poor”, workhouses and today’s attitudes to the unemployed. Throughout the nineteenth century, workhouses became places of refuge for those who were vulnerable, either because they were ill – mentally or physically – or because they were disabled. These people … Continue reading

Workhouse or Workfare? Attitudes Haven’t Changed – Part 1

Few people would dispute that social conditions and standards of living for the poor have improved since Victorian times. Yet, the Government’s draconian measures against benefit claimants suggest that conditions may have improved but attitudes have not really changed. The poor, especially those unable – some would argue unwilling – … Continue reading

Ghost Stories – Part 2

"Nicole Kidman", "The Others", "Ghosts"

In Part One, I looked at the history of the ghost story, utilising Freud’s essay The Uncanny to argue that ghosts are representations of collective fears and prejudices. I argued that, in the Victorian era – when there were stronger boundaries and taboos – ghosts were represented in fiction as … Continue reading

Nostalgia – Part 1

We live, it would seem, in nostalgic times. Clothing now hailed as the height of fashion by critics and fashionistas, is more often than not, derivative of earlier times; usually the 1960s and seventies, sometimes earlier. Often this is regarded by cultural critics as referentiality; a self-conscious and ironic invocation … Continue reading

A Victorian Christmas – Part 1

How did the Victorians celebrate Christmas? Julia Wood – City Connect’s Features Writer on Art & Culture – looks at the Victorian Christmas and finds out the truth behind the nostalgia and tradition… Christmas is a time when not merely individuals, but culture itself, turns reflective and introspective. It is a sentimental … Continue reading

The Resurrection of Oscar Wilde

Wilde’s persecution and exile have been regarded by some as a “crucifixion”. There has been a crucifixion, so, it follows; there must be a resurrection. Such is the power of the narrative; of the myth-making machinery that operates in our culture in the creation of icons. Oscar Wilde has a … Continue reading

Is There an Afterlife?

“That undiscovered country, from whose bourne no traveller returns, puzzles the will…” (Hamlet, William Shakespeare) Is there an afterlife? Where do we go when we die, or do we just vanish back into the nothingness from whence we purportedly came? Philosophers for centuries have been exploring these questions, and religions … Continue reading

Ghost Stories: Part 1 – A Potted History

Ghost stories, it would seem, retain a timeless appeal. In this first of another two-part article, I will be looking at the history of the ghost story. In the second, I will be exploring why ghost stories are still capable of captivating us today, how the Victorian model of the … Continue reading

Who Wants to Live Forever? – Part 2: The Evolution of Celebrity

“Where has God gone?… We have killed him – you and I. We are his murderers…God is dead. God remains dead. And we have killed him.’ (Nietzsche, The Gay Science) How did we get from Oscar Wilde to Jordan?  This may sound like the opening line of a cheesy joke, … Continue reading