Whilst flipping through issues of The Girl's Own Paper from the 1890s, it gradually dawned on Philip Ardagh that he was witnessing tantalising glimpses of an unfolding story of mystery and intrigue in the seemingly unrelated illustrations.
With these original illustrations and his brand-spanking-new text, he's created the quite extraordinary, very funny and unashamedly silly The Not-So-Very-Nice Goings-On at Victoria Lodge, destined to become an immediate family favourite in houses (and flats) across the nation.
In writing The-Not-So-Very-Nice Goings-On at Victoria Lodge, Philip Ardagh follows in the grand tradition of E. V. Lucas and George Morrow and their 1911 book What A Life! which was based on a (heavily doctored) Whiteley's store catalogue; Woody Allen's What's Up, Tiger Lily? (an existing Japanese film for which he created a completely new plot and dialogue); and those caption competitions you used to find in the back of Punch.
Philip Ardagh is a regular contributor to the Guardian and BBC Radio 4. His best-selling 'Eddie Dickens' children's books are currently being developed by the producers of The Matrix for a proposed series of feature films for Warner Bros.