During the summer of 2016, a group of Lancaster friends met to celebrate the launch of a new book by Paul Murphy.

Paul was a JYA in 1977-78 and through strong friendships forged at Lancaster has kept in touch with the group, for almost 40 years.

Paul’s love of Britain, developed during his studies, has led to an academic career in which Victorian Britain has featured greatly. His well-reviewed first book Shooting Victoria, an account of the assassination attempts on Queen Victoria was published in 2012 and was a New York Times Notable Book of 2012.

When he was visiting London, to finalise his research for that book he met up with another Lancaster graduate, Mike Guilfoyle, whose long-standing interest in history had led to him becoming involved in the preservation of an old cemetery, Ladywell and Brockley. Paul asked Mike if there was anyone buried there that had a real story to tell and Mike suggested Jane Clouson, the young victim of a brutal murder in 1871.  This chance discussion resulted in Paul’s new book Pretty Jane and the Viper of Kidbrooke Lane, a true story of class conflict, murder and injustice.The English edition of the book was launched at the Ladywell Cemetery and many of the Lancaster friends were able to attend that event and a further celebration later.

Pictured above are John Watts, Steve Button, Linda Gough, Mary Van Doren (another JYA, who came from Florida for the book launch) Geoff Youldon, Paul Murphy and Mike Guilfoyle. Chrissie Rickman was unable to join this launch, but celebrated later.

Linda Gough would be happy to pass on any messages and thoughts on the new book, to Paul or any others in the group, from any Lancaster old-timers who remember us, by email lindamgough@hotmail.com