Elizabeth Blackwell – born at the dawn of the eighteenth century – eloped with her reckless young husband and cousin Alexander from her home in Aberdeen to London. After attempting a range of bogus business ventures, Alexander – in no time at all – found himself in debtors’ prison. Elizabeth resolved to free her husband and, after much clever scheming and in a felicitous arrangement with Sir Hans Sloane of the Chelsea Physic Garden, she embarked upon the creation and illustration of ‘A Curious Herbal’. Upon publication, the Herbal both released Elizabeth’s husband and became a veritable apothecaries’ bible – both in Britain and abroad – rooting Elizabeth’s name firmly and for ever within British botanical history.
The Chelsea Belladonna follows Elizabeth and Alexander as they ‘flit’ from Aberdeen to London, and, after a string of misadventures, land securely – at least for Elizabeth – within the inspiring beauty of the Chelsea Physic Garden. Their marital history of chronic upset and scandal does not stop there, however …!
The Chelsea Belladonna by Anna Carlisle
Cast: Irene Allan, Kenny Blyth