Blackmail Bigamy & Bonking
The Scandalous Pre-History of the Hydro-Majestic
in progress: a short book
Stories of scandal and scuttlebutt about the Hydro Majestic from its heydays as Mark Foy's 'folly' abound ... but its equally delicious pre-history is little known.
Before the Hydro was the Belgravia, built in 1890.
Meet Elizabeth Ellis and Harriette Corston, the hotel's irrepressible proprietors .
They were two quite ordinary women, in their lives they engaged with a fair share of blackmail, bigamy, bonking and bankruptcy as they went about their daily business.
For businesswomen they were, as well as wives, mothers, lovers and travellers, crossing the Australian continent and the Tasman Sea, ever with an eye for an opportunity in love or money-making.
I have had tremendous fun uncovering the ridiculously rich lives of this pair of entrepreneurial women. I am now scribbling a wee illustrated book full of tales of blackmail, bigamy, bonking and business at the Belgravia and beyond.