New E-Novella Portrays a Young Black Woman of Privilege in Eighteenth-Century England

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New writer, Vanessa Curney, is distributing copies of her unpublished 87 page e-novella through a new London/travel website http://www.morethanoxfordstreet.com

just as the painter has created a portrait that's actually quite delightful taken at face value, I wanted to paint my own picture of the nuances suggested by that portrait, the internality of Dido's thoughts and life and her possible perceptions of her own surroundings, which must have been greatly marked by her unusual and ambiguous status at Kenwood and in England

'Dido' is the fictitious account of a black woman named Dido Elizabeth Belle, who actually lived at Kenwood House, (or Caen Wood as it was known back then), England, with her half-cousin, also named Elizabeth, under the guardianship of the respected Lord Chief Justice and Earl of Mansfield, William Murray, during the eighteenth-century and at the height of the slave trade.

The mini novel traces Dido's 'personal' life story against the background of a changing Europe and emerging independent America. The action begins at Kenwood, travels through New York and then back to England and London.

The author explains that: "just as the painter has created a portrait that's actually quite delightful taken at face value, I wanted to paint my own picture of the nuances suggested by that portrait, the internality of Dido's thoughts and life and her possible perceptions of her own surroundings, which must have been greatly marked by her unusual and ambiguous status at Kenwood and in England"

And then there's the love story between Dido Belle and John Davinier, of whom even less is known: according to English Heritage, he arrived in England in the 1780s but from where or why is unknown. "My globe-trotting, commerce minded Davinier is completely fictionalised: the real John Davinier may have been a gentleman's steward. By that time, middle-class men had begun embarking on European 'Grand Tours' just like the aristocrats" the author explains.

"I first began writing this account of Dido's 'life' back in 1995 whilst studying for my Masters degree (Journalism). Why? Because I think there's a really good story to be told. It's just the story for a new website that's giving potential visitors comprehensive and intriguing insights into London, both past and present"

Download a copy of the e-novella from http://www.morethanoxfordstreet.com

About More Than Oxford Street
More Than Oxford Street was set up by Vanessa Curney in May this year as a chatty 'magazine' style website, which offers potential visitors to London hints and tips about good things to do, and see, in the city.

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Vanessa Curney

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