Author Archives: Terence Sackett

About Terence Sackett

I am a writer and designer. I live in Nether Stowey, which is on the borders of the Quantock hills. I am a committee member of the Friends of Coleridge, and wrote and designed the booklet/visitor guide for the National Trust’s Coleridge Cottage. I look after the website for the Friends ( My novel about Siamese twins titled ‘Riven is now on Kindle. It can be read with a free downloaded Kindle app for an iPad, smartphone, tablet, or computer. The book is available from Amazon. What’s it about? Brief blurb below: It is the story of the Victorian painter Thomas Tait Genoa and his desperate flight through the West Country to save his conjoined twin daughters from the surgeon’s knife. This was before the era of anaesthetics. A 5-start bAmazon review: 'A masterpiece, truly deserving of the five star rating I have given it. The very human experience described so eloquently could not fail to tug at the heart of any parent who has ever gazed on a poorly child in the dark hours of the night and anguished over what to do for the best. This novel might be set in a very particular time and space but the heartfelt emotions of the protagonists are timeless, I have no hesitation in recommending this wonderful work to anyone who has a heart.

The trials of calotyping

I wrote recently about the trials of black and white darkroom photography. They were nothing, however, compared with the hazardous and uncertain business of taking a calotype, the photographic process pioneered by Fox Talbot at Lacock in the late 1830s. … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Not another bird list, please

From our Victorian Picture Library ( Lists of birds can seem dull when they’re not your own. What they never convey is the huge enjoyment you experience at each sighting. Nor can they reveal the excitement of a dawn walk … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Our Victorian Picture Library

The Victorian age saw a huge growth in literacy, and the subsequent burgeoning of illustrated books and hundreds of magazines. Until the advent of photo-mechanical printing processes in the 1880s, the illustrations were drawn by highly gifted artist-craftsmen, engraving on … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Trying again

I’ve taken a lot of photographs down the years, and had a black and white darkroom in the attic of our Dorset house. It was a place of joy and despair. Joy when I managed to produce what I hoped … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Swinburne’s romantick, holy place

This image comes from our Victorian Picture Library ( During the early Victorian era there was scant respect for old churches, and the fabric of many was allowed to deteriorate. The walls were damp, ivy invaded the mortar and prised … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Through the dappled green aisles

At Goudhurst and Paddock Wood, and in many other villages throughout the south-eastern county of Kent, are the great gardens and oast-houses devoted to the growing and processing of the hop. Introduced to England from Flanders in the 1600s, this … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Please – no volleying or grunting

This illustration from our Victorian Picture Library ( shows a tennis tournament in late Victorian times. A mixed doubles match is underway. The ladies are at a considerable disadvantage with their long, billowing dresses and broad-brimmed hats. Before tennis became … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment