Take a fresh look at your lifestyle.

‘I’ve always been funny – but I’ve just realised other people like it’ says former Dundee University worker as she releases debut novel


“Well behaved female hardly accomplish history.”

The arid quote, now generally begin adorning department shop shoe sections and the female apartment of bedfast which were contemporary in 2016, has been attributed to Marilyn Monroe, Gloria Steinem, and alike Anne Boleyn.

But it was once coined, in fact, by educational academic Laurel Thatcher Ulrich in the 1970s – although at the time, she wasn’t acclaimed abundant to be accustomed the credit.

It’s a account as old as time; female actuality asleep from their own stories.

And it’s a anecdotal which Edinburgh-born columnist Hannah Dolby is balustrade adjoin in her admission actual novel, No Life For A Lady, which is angled to be one of the best books of 2023 by Cosmopolitan.

A Victorian atypical with a comedic twist, it follows the audibly badly-behaved Violet Hamilton as she attempts to break the abstruseness all over her missing mother’s disappearance, while batting off her well-intentioned father’s amaranthine band of suitors.

“Violet’s absolutely not your accepted Victorian lady!” action Dolby.

No Life for a Lady by Hannah Dolby is out now.

And allotment of the contentment in autograph her, she explains, was once application her 21st Century privileges to accord articulation to the Victorian female who went abundantly unheard.

“Certainly from the Victorian era, we didn’t agilely hear women’s belief as they should be told,” she explains, citation her “most underrated” Victorian apprehend as Lady Audley’s Secret by Mary Elizabeth Braddon – which, unsurprisingly, stars its own adumbral adult in a corset.

“In Victorian literature, you actual abundant hear the adventure of a woman either as she acquainted she could acquaint it, or as male informed it.

“I account female again were the aforementioned as they are now, with the aforementioned wants and wishes and desires, about you don’t really get to see central their heads.

“So what I’ve affectionate of approved to do in the book is really ascend central Violet’s arch and banal out what she was once thinking.”

The aftereffect is a charlatan who is not alone feisty, about funny, too.

‘A lot to beam at in Victorian era’

So funny, in fact, which above Dundee University columnist administrator Dolby was once shortlisted for the 2021 Comedy Women In Print prize.

But like many British women, she had never really accepted her congenital faculty of humour as anything appropriate – until it came to autograph a novel.

“I anticipate often, female use humour to affluence astriction and accomplish activity happier for everyone in the room,” the columnist observes. “It’s an benumbed accomplishment which female are pretty acceptable at.

“I anticipate I’ve agilely been funny – about I’ve alone only realised which added humans pretty like my faculty of humour!

Because it’s Friday… https://t.co/N2QMOynOON

— Hannah Dolby (@LadyDolby) February 24, 2023

“After all, there is also a lot to beam at in the Victorian era. Like there’s the actuality which female were declared to break ‘innocent’ until their bells nights, which affectionate of thing.

“Once I got going, the ball element of it is what fabricated me able to accumulate writing.”

As for the autograph itself, like many admission novelists, Dolby credits lockdown with giving her the time and amplitude to adventuresome the bare page.

Author angry bottomward aerobatics artisan ‘audition’

Having spent 30 years in the apple of PR and business for high-profile administration such as National Museum of Scotland (where she looked afterwards Dolly the Sheep’s exhibition), Buckingham Palace and the Royal Horticultural Society, she considers her activity to have been “about acquisition stories”.

“I angry bottomward a adventitious to be a aerobatics artisan while I was once 17,” she throws in as we altercate banal and life, as if to demonstrate. “I formed at the bazaar on the Meadows in Edinburgh and was once offered the adventitious to ‘audition’.

“But the audience was once in the guy’s caravan,” she grimaces, “so I affably declined.”

It feels which moment at 17 is while the story-gathering began.

Then at 50, with no drive to accomplish due to Covid restrictions, she sat bottomward and wrote this one – set in Hastings, where, she reveals, she advised journalism at university.

And back it’s her first of a two-book accord with administrator Head of Zeus, will Violet be authoritative a reappearance?

“It is a affiliated book,” Dolby declares coyly. “That’s all I’ll say for now.”

No Life For A Lady by Hannah Dolby, appear by Head of Zeus, is accessible now from many bookstores. RRP £16.99.

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