Jane Ridley

Can virgins have babies?

Bevis Hillier's The Virgin's Baby explores the infamous Russell trial — and a society that believed sperm could be passed through bathwater

A fearless horsewoman: Christabel Russell and her son Geoffrey with the West Kent hounds at Otford for the Christmas meet, 1928. Credit: Getty Images | Shutterstock | iStock | Alamy

Mrs Christabel Russell, the heroine of Bevis Hillier’s sparkling book, was a very modern young woman. She had short blonde hair which she wore in two large curls on the side of her head, she was wildly social and she was a fearless horsewoman. In 1920 she set up a fashionable dress shop, Christabel Russell Ltd, at 1 Curzon Street.

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