Parlour songs were the pop hits of the Victorian era – and some of the biggest hit-makers of the day were women. Barred from positions in universities, cathedrals and orchestras, this intimate, home-based musical genre was their only outlet. Sadly, their extraordinary contribution has largely been forgotten, overlooked by historians and marginalised in the timeline of music. Now, however, singer Patricia Hammond
is putting the record – or, rather, the sheet music – straight, telling tuneful tales of political reform, personal empowerment and the unique role women played in a fascinating period of British musical history.