Tagged fashion

Dear Lord Akeldama ~ Gifts, Endearments & Peas

Posted by Gail Carriger

Please welcome the gentleman vampire back to my blog this week, Gentle Reader!

As always Lord Akeldama may not give you the answer you wish, he always gives the question the answer it deserves.

With Biffy & Lyall’s book on the horizon, I may invite the werewolves over for a round, perhaps you have questions for them?

Rudderbuddy asks:

Where did you get you love for food and floral related nicknames?

You can think of a better source of endearments?

Melissa asks:

When visiting the home of a new acquaintance for the first time, what is the most appropriate gift, or is a gift necessary?

I’m always in favor of something small and edible ~ chocolates, bubbly, svelte young men with sparkling eyes and questionable moral fiber.

Jessica asks:

What is the best possible way to go about mixing patterns in fashion choices?

Keep your colors close and your sizes separate. In other words, mix a large pattern with a small one, but make sure they are both black & white.

Mandy asks:

What fashions would you put a butterfly of a toddler in, considering that she likes to run and climb…

Waistcoat and trousers, naturally, darling. Or perhaps a very small lab coat emblazoned with “evil genius in training,” just to keep everyone around watchful.

Court suit Uncut voided silk velvet, silk faille, silk embroidery floss, gold & silver embroidery purl & frieze, rhinestone & metal sequins c. 1810-14

Sharon asks:

I’m considering becoming a vampire queen. Suggestions? Hints?

Endeavor to be as fabulous as possible.

Tracy asks:

If one has an extensive library, do you recommend shelving them by height, color, or some other system?

Color, setting, and approval rating.

Avery asks:

If one must color one’s hair and belonging to the male gender with pale olive skin would you advise, ginger or blonde or black?

Black, my darling little eliá.

Irene asks:

If one is setting up a network of secret agents, what is the best type of training for them: espionage, assassination, accountancy, or a combination?

Never forget table manners, wardrobe selection, and hat decoration. Oh and the consumption of peas. Peas always give trouble to those who have not been trained properly.


Want to ask Lord Akeldama a question? Join the Chirrup

{Coop de Book: Gail’s monthly read along for October 2017 is Dealing with Dragons by Patricia C. Wrede.}


Your Moment of Parasol . . .

1905 (Source- pinterest.com) via fawnvelveteen tumblr

Your Infusion of Cute . . .

Your Tisane of Smart . . .

Why octopuses are building small “cities” off the coast of Australia

Your Writerly Tinctures . . .  

10+ Times Writers Took Book Dedications To Another Level

Book News:

By Rebecca Nandi

Quote of the Day:

“I have only two things to say to you, Lord Tilbury. One is that you have ruined a man’s life. The other is Pip-pip.”

~ P.G. Wodehouse

Questions about Gail’s Parasolverse? There’s a wiki for that!

The Lord Akeldama Style Meme

Posted by Gail Carriger

A little while ago, Gentle Reader,

I collected a bunch of questions for Lord Akeldama, for his occasional Dear Lord Akeldama column here on my blog. Most of these, I found, were about fashion and style. Some were more suited to a kind of meme than the Good Vampire’s usual verboseness.

So here, for your sharing and answering pleasure, is the result:

1. Blondes or brunettes?
2. What do you think of mini top hats for men?
3. Boxers or briefs? Boxer-briefs?
4. What is the greatest fashion disaster you ever witnessed?
5. What is your favorite color?
6. What period of history did you think had the best fashion sense?
7. What is your favorite fabric?
8. Ruffles. A do or don’t?
9. Hat or no hat and if so, which and when?
10. Where do you acquire your wardrobe?
11. Zip then fasten… or fasten then zip?
12. What would you say is a modern day crime of fashion?
13. Leggings as pants… Yay or nay?

I assembled them thus, and asked the good vampire himself in a rapid-fire manner.

Here, for your viewing pleasure, is the result:

The Lord Akeldama Style Meme:

1. Blondes or brunettes?
Never ask a vampire his favorite flavor, would you wish to eat the same thing every day?
2. What do you think of mini top hats for men?
Why would a gentleman show himself to be smaller?
3. Boxers or briefs? Boxer-briefs?
4. What is the greatest fashion disaster you ever witnessed?
The wrong gentleman in knickerbockers.
5. What is your favorite color?
6. What period of history did you think had the best fashion sense?
French Rococo.
7. What is your favorite fabric?
8. Ruffles. A do or don’t?
A discretionary tale.
9. Hat or no hat and if so, which and when?
Hats are worn outside. To protect one from the sun, of course.
10. Where do you acquire your wardrobe?
From my tailor, obviously.
11. Zip then fasten… or fasten then zip?
12. What would you say is a modern day crime of fashion?
13. Leggings as pants… Yay or nay?
We’re back to knickerbockers.

Please feel free to share and answer for yourself, Lord Akeldama would be proud.

Want to ask Lord Akeldama a question? Join the Chirrup

{Gail’s monthly read along for June 2017 is Local Custom by Lee & Miller.}


Your Moment of Parasol . . .

Allen & Ginter (American, Richmond, Virginia)
Trail Arms, from the Parasol Drills series (N18) for Allen & Ginter Cigarettes Brands, 1888

Your Infusion of Cute . . .

Tea Caddy in my Office

Your Tisane of Smart . . .

Give Them Bread, Not Muffins or Cake

Your Writerly Tinctures . . .  

Victorian Writing Advice

Book News:

Evaine’s Books, Books, and More Books says of Prudence:

“Another rollicking romp through an alternate Victorian world full of fun and adventure and wonderfully clever banter.”

Quote of the Day:

“Gentlemen are more liable to baldness than ladies, owing no doubt to the use of the hat.”

~ Victorian Etiquette

Questions about Gail’s steampunk world? There’s a wiki for that!
Share & Enjoy!

Dear Lord Akeldama ~ On Fashion, Feminism, & Faux

Posted by Gail Carriger

Please welcome the gentleman vampire back to my blog this week, Gentle Reader. As always Lord Akeldama is happy to entertain your questions, although he may not give you the answer you wish, he always gives your question the answer it deserves.

via celuloid-jam tumblr

And now…

Dear Lord Akeldama

Lisa asks:

Since you are a master of subtle manipulation, how would you get a teenage boy to clean up after himself without seeming to nag?

Keep him company in his own room until it is clean. Set up residence with a book. Nothing is more off-putting to a young gentleman than lack of privacy and constant exposure to his own parent. Other option? Offer to clean it yourself… and Instagram the most embarrassing things you find.

Christopher asks:

What do you think of Hawaiian shirts for very casual daywear?

I try not to think about them at all.

Alicia asks:

How do you politely tell someone to stuff it?

I find turning my head away, finding that something vastly interesting has caught my attention elsewhere, and simply drifting off works wonders.

Pamela asks:

What to do when one’s physical limitations demand practical shoes?

Do not go anywhere.

Mara asks:

What is a lady of reputable breeding and with a tendency to go against the social norm to do to when faced with stupid and boring ladies who think a woman’s sense in life are clothes, marriage, and children.


Jack asks:

Flossing or just brushing?

What a silly question to ask a man who has a liquid diet.

Court Suit, ca 1810

Fiona asks:

How do you feel about the Faux trend: i.e. Faux fur, Faux Leather, T-shirts with tuxedos printed on them, leggings printed to look like jeans.

Is fashion not, at its heart and soul, entirely motivated by deception and manipulation? Trompe-l’œil away, my sneaky darlings, visual espionage is an ancient tradition. The Romans did it with walls.

Cherries asks:

Honorable sir, what should one do when a present has been given, but no thanks has been offered in the form of a card or note or even…gasp…an email?

Assume that the present was either undelivered, unacceptable, insulting, or unwelcome. Whatever the case, do not bestow another.


Liza asks:

Lord Akeldama, pray tell, what is your favorite book?

I am rather partial to Mr. Wilde’s Picture of Dorian Gray. There are some who have speculated that it is about me. I assure you there is no painting in my garret. Although there is this fresco in a stairwell in the British Museum… Of course, The Vampyre is a work of pure comic genius, always good of a laugh.

Like Lord Akeldama? Look out for Manifest Destiny in my next book, Kitsune Drag Queen extraordinaire.

Want to ask Lord Akeldama a question? Join the Chirrup

{Gail’s Coop de Book for May 2017 is Radiance by Grace Draven.}


Your Moment of Parasol . . .

1900 Longchamp, France Antique-Royals tumblr2

Your Infusion of Cute . . .

40 Unique Teapots to Help You Savour the Taste of Tea

Your Tisane of Smart . . .

Keeping Time in the Victorian Kitchen

Your Writerly Tinctures . . .  

“Writers don’t forget the past; they turn it into raw material.”

~ Joyce Rachelle

Book News:

Quote of the Day:

“It is never difficult to distinguish between a Scotsman with a grievance and a ray of sunshine.”

~ P.G. Wodehouse

Questions about Gail’s steampunk world? There’s a wiki for that!
Share & Enjoy!

Dear Lord Akeldama ~ On Actors, Fashion, & Blood

Posted by Gail Carriger

It has been a very long time, Gentle Reader, but in honor of a new year…

He’s Baaaaaaack!

Nissa asks:
Who, if anyone, would you consider for a drone among the vastly talented and ridiculously handsome young British actors of today? 
Benedict Cumberbatch. The name screams upper class, not to mention it’s like something my creator couldn’t come up with even in her wildest dreams, and of course, the diminutives are endless.

Mironiel asks:
What is your favorite book and who is the author?
I’m rather partial to The Picture of Dorian Gray by Mr. Oscar Wilde.

Banyan 1780-1820 The Victoria & Albert Museum

Susan asks:
I would also like to send you a bottle of Macallan 25 and one of Chateau Mouton and Lafite as wit, knowledge, and fashion sense should be rewarded. And I just know you’re HRH the Prince of Wales (Bertie) fashion advisor as he’s always so put together. 
I do adore the bubbly, send it round dahling, send it round. I am at my leisure.

Ice asks:
For fashion, what would you recommend for a girl who loves the ruffles of the 1880s, gothic fashions, and roses?
I’d say you should be following Dita Von Teese’s red carpet looks.

Top Hat 1832 The Los Angeles County Museum of Art

Hannah asks:
Is there ever a time when it is appropriate for a lady to wear a top hat. And if so, what is the maximum height allowable.
For evenings only, of course. And the height of the hat should be commensurate with the proportions of the lady in question.

April asks:
Given your love of Louis XIV fashion, I can imagine you also loved Art Nouveau, but I would love to hear you unvarnished opinion? Please?
My little gilt gosling, Baroque, for all it’s excess, is by-in-large symmetrical in execution. Art Nouveau can get a tad squiggly and off balance for my particular taste. I think it of for the young bloods to enjoy.

Ensemble 1790s The Kyoto Costume Institute

Michael asks:
After reading through prior installments of your column, I am astonished to discover that no one has thought to inquire about Beau Brummel! Did you know him; were you friends, rivals or something more complicated?
Ah now, isn’t rivalry part and parcel with friendship? As if I could ever have any rivals! No dear boy, no, Mr. Brummel was a dear disciple of mine. You might say I trained him up in all things, and very proud of him I was too!

miss_in_trouble asks:
Do vampires made by the same Queen are somehow related? If yes, does it mean that You are, perhaps related to the vampires from Wimbledon Hive?
My dear periwinkle, matters of blood, to vampires, are as such as near to matters of digestion as makes no difference, and thus not proper to discuss in polite company.

Man’s Ensemble 1805-1810 The Los Angeles County Museum of Art

Sparrow I. Sprocket asks:
I am having a wardrobe dilemma. You see, I am a girl (tawny hair, chocolate eyes, pale skin, and short stature) who usually wears neutral shades (black, gray, and white). I have been trying to make my wardrobe more colorful by trying on dark colors like navy blue and blood red. I’m even trying on natural tones like muted greens and browns. Nothing has worked. Please help!
Color is largely a matter of skin tone, my perturbed little bird. You describe yours as pale but is that pale with yellow, pink, or olive undertones? I should think your instincts towards muted are likely what’s off (since earth tones and the like are generally not well suited to a yellow or pink undertones which would be my guess from your hair color). You’re better off with jewel tones (emerald green or royal blue) or clear pastels (pink, lavender). Always start with scarves or statement necklaces. They put the color right next to your face and you will know immediately by people’s reactions if it works. Since people don’t realize the reality of the situation, complements are likely to be about the the colorful item (what a pretty scarf) which really means it suits your complexion, or about some other feature (wow, your eyes look really big today) which really means it suits your eye or hair color.

That’s all for now, darlings.

As ever, if you would like to leave a questions for Lord Akeldama, please feel free to do so in the comments below. You may also drop a calling card for Miss Gail’s and she will see he gets it. Remember, however, that being a vampire he has very little sense of the passage of time so it may take him a while to respond…

Meanwhile: “Dumplets or Dumplings?” Lord A May have to have a drone named Dumplet now.

In other news I (or rather, Biffy) got quoted in my local paper.

Want to ask Lord Akeldama a question? Join the Chirrup

{Gail’s Coop de Book for January 2017 is A Brother’s Price by Wen Spencer.}


Your Moment of Parasol . . .

via ClassicPics @History_Pics Young Maiko from the 1920s

Your Infusion of Cute . . .

50 Best Reading Nooks We Have Ever Come Across

Your Tisane of Smart . . .

How to Make Art and Create Cool Stuff in a time of Trouble

Your Writerly Tinctures . . .  

Anachronisms & Other Ways to Make Readers Snicker

Book News:

Fan Art of Lord A by Matt Harrison ‏@matchoo28

Quote of the Day:

“If you want to tell people the truth, make them laugh, otherwise they’ll kill you.”
~ Oscar Wilde

Questions about Gail’s steampunk world? There’s a wiki for that!
Share & Enjoy!

Fine, I Joined Pinterest

Posted by Gail Carriger


Look, I resisted Pinterest for a long time, Gentle Reader. I don’t like the proprietary nature of the service, when you do a google image search and the one you like is on Pinterest and then it won’t let you see unless you join. That kind of thing bothers me.

Screen Shot 2016-09-04 at 1.25.47 PM

I’ve been using Tumblr for a long time now as my primary source of visual inspiration for things like costumes, steampunk, characters, setting, book covers, you name it. But the UI has been pretty janky on my iPad since the last iOS update and I really have neither the time nor the inclination to futz with it. I still hop on to see if it happens to be working that day, sometimes yes, sometimes no. Presumably, there will be a bug patch soon, but I have no intention of changing my habits to suit Tumblr’s bugginess (eg: switch to desktop). This is why we live in a world of alternatives and competitors.

Which is a very long way of saying…

Hello, Pinterest. My you are fun, aren’t you? And so flirty.

Screen Shot 2016-09-04 at 1.24.30 PM

So yeah. I might have had too much fun building up all sorts of boards, including character boards and so forth. You want to know how I imagine my characters looking, what actors and actresses I associate with them, look no further than my Pinterest boards. Want a sneak peek into some of the inspiration behind the up coming Madame Lefoux novella? There’s a board for that too. I’ve got period victorian costume boards, history boards, series boards, and one for octopus, of course.

Screen Shot 2016-09-04 at 1.26.08 PM

{Gail’s monthly read along for September is Finders Keepers by Linnea Sinclair.}


  • Romancing the Inventor ~ A Supernatural Society Novella
    Status: Working proof. Releases Nov. 1 2016.
    LBGT romance featuring a parlourmaid bent on seducing a certain cross-dressing inventor who is too brokenhearted to notice. Or is she?
  • Romancing the Werewolf ~ A Supernatural Society Novella
    Status: Outline.
    LBGTQ reunion romance featuring your favorite reluctant werewolf dandy, the return of a certain quietly efficient Beta, and a very unexpected gift.
  • Secret Project SAS ~ Novella? Novel? Who knows.
    Status: Rough draft.
    Something new and different for Gail, contemporary m/m paranormal romance between a snarky mage and a gruff werewolf. Hella raunchy. Super dirty. Very very fun. Spin off of Marine Biology.



My Sister’s Song

The warrior Mithra must repel a Roman legion alone and armed only with one very tasty weapon.


Your Moment of Parasol . . .

Le Follet Monday, June 1, 1863 v. 43, plate 49

Le Follet Monday, June 1, 1863 v. 43, plate 49

Your Infusion of Cute . . .

Your Tisane of Smart . . .

Octopus Eyes Are Crazier Than We Imagined

Your Writerly Tinctures . . .  

The World’s 52 Largest Book Publishers, 2016

Book News:

ace-artemis-fanartist- Quick doodle of a contemporary girl gang Finishing School au

ace-artemis-fanartist- Quick doodle of a contemporary girl gang Finishing School au

Quote of the Day:

“She never minced words when she could spit them out whole.”

~ Snow on the Roof by J. Leigh Bailey, Mari Donne, Amy Rae Durreson, Tray Ellis, Kim Fielding, Laylah Hunter, John Inman, Linda James, Rhidian Brenig Jones, Anne Regan

Questions about Gail’s steampunk world? There’s a wiki for that!

Occasional FAQ ~ Gail’s Morning Routine (Important for Writers)

Posted by Gail Carriger

Hello Gentle Reader, I often get questions about what my day is like as a full time author. So here, for your mild amusement, is my morning routine.

  1. Wake up, stumble out of bed, greet the cat, make tea.
  2. Put tea to cool, great AB, stumble to computer.
  3. Open my desktop, review or write the day’s blog post, publish, paste links onto social media.
  4. Check through email for new activity, urgent matters, and major action items.
  5. Remember tea. Drink it.
  6. Move to iPad and couch. Cradling tea like the lifeline it it.
  7. Twitter check over feed, DM, and lists.
  8. Make more tea.
  9. Cat honors me with lap time.
  10. Feedly blog consumption, find interesting things for Twitter and blog posts, catch up on industry news.
    Here are links to some of the articles that caught my attention yesterday morning and why:

    1. A mysterious teacup ailment on Tea With Friends ~ I actually answered her question, it happens to be exactly my (archaeological) area of expertise.
    2. Trader Joe’s Raises the Bar on What’s Good at Trader Joe’s? ~ I read this blog because I do most of my shopping at TJs. I don’t always agree with the authors’ taste (they lean sweet) but if they endorse something and it fits my general diet preferences I will usually make a note to pick it up. Because I travel I am always looking for bars, and lower sugar content on this one piqued my interest.
    3. Join The Geek Girl Gang! on The Nerdy Girlie ~ I really like the t-shirt she had in this post, and I generally pay attention to what the Nerdy Girlie is wearing. I love her style.
    4. CC Loves… on Couture Carrie ~ I like this series in particular from this blog, it’s a nice insight into current fashion trends off the runway and touches on my own personal aesthetic.
    5. Dress 1910 Collection Galleria del Costume di Palazzo Pitti via OMG that dress! ~ I’m always interested in western historical clothing that shows non-western influences because of how often my characters travel,  also these garments provide insight into trade, cultural misappropriation, imperialism, and colonialism.
    6. The Difference Between a Travel Alert and a Travel Warning on Lifehacker ~ because I travel so much this kind of information is invaluable.
    7. This Charger Should Be Bundled With Every Smartphone on Lifehacker ~ I’m always looking for better travel kit. I already have a fold-able two prong one but it’s a bit big so I decided to buy this one on Lifehacker’s rec for $10.
    8. Details on LAX’s Agreement to Add Gates on The Cranky Flier ~ I fly in and out of LAX pretty regularly so I’m interested in what’s going on with the expansion there.
    9. On Fiction University, Indie Choices: Writing in Multiple Genres or Specializing ~ since I’m writing a not-Parasolverse m/m paranormal romance I thought this worth a gander.
    10. A Practical, No-Nonsense Guide to Earning Passive Income Online via Smart Blogger ~ almost everything I do career-wise right now (that’s not writing) is in an effort to drum up passive income. Because if a freelance creative can count on a reliable steady paycheck, stress levels go way down and the freedom to create goes way up.
    11. You Should Probably Ignore Your Friends’ And Family’s Career Advice on Fast Company ~ because I want the excuse to do just that.
    12. To suggest a book written for young adults has any less merit than the classics is sheer snobbery via The Passive Voice ~ I happen to agree with the headline, so I was curious about the article.
    13. Spotlight and Giveaway – The Gate to Futures Past by Julie E. Czerneda via The Qwillery ~ I don’t participate in giveaways (I prefer to buy what I want to read without obligation) but I perked up at this because I have read Julie’s stuff in the (way) past and I didn’t know she was still writing. Also, I love space opera. Turns out this is the second one in the series so I jetted over to check out a sample of the first one: This Gulf of Time and Stars: Reunification #1.That’s a pretty average morning read for me, some fashion stuff, bunch of travel and book business things, occasional tea and food related. Just the alternate to your old-standard morning paper, I suppose.
  11. After Feedly, I check Facebook Pages app. FB regular on mobile just isn’t good enough to handle my volume, plus it’s a overwhelmingly UI. So I wait until later to use the desktop. (This is why interaction with me via my Author Page is always faster.)
  12. Scan through Tumblr. Post, Repost/Schedule, investigate recipes.
  13. By this time the AB departs for work, smooches all round. I eject the cat from my lap in order to feed us both breakfast and the day officially begins.

{Gail’s monthly read along for August is Alanna: The First Adventure by Tamora Pierce.}


  • Romancing the Inventor ~ A Supernatural Society Novella
    Status: Working copy edit. Release date Nov. 1 2016.
    LBGT romance featuring a parlormaid bent on seducing a certain cross-dressing inventor who is too brokenhearted to notice. Or is she?
  • Romancing the Werewolf ~ A Supernatural Society Novella
    Status: Outline.
    LBGTQ reunion romance featuring your favorite reluctant werewolf dandy, the return of a certain quietly efficient Beta, and a very unexpected gift.
  • Secret Project SAS ~ Novella? Novel? Who knows.
    Status: Rough draft.
    Something new and different for Gail, contemporary m/m paranormal romance between a snarky mage and a gruff werewolf. Hella raunchy. Super dirty. Very very fun. Spin off of Marine Biology.



Marine Biology

A short tale of seduction, selkies, and sushi.

Alex is a werewolf with problems – he’s unexpectedly alive, he’s quite definitely gay, and he’s been ordered into a partnership with one very flirty merman.


Your Moment of Parasol . . .

Englishwoman's Domestic Magazine Tuesday, September 1, 1863 v. 43, plate 72

Englishwoman’s Domestic Magazine Tuesday, September 1, 1863 v. 43, plate 72

Your Infusion of Cute . . .

Lilliput and her crochet cactus doppelganger.

Lilliput and her crochet cactus doppelganger.

Your Tisane of Smart . . .

How Does an Octopus Camouflage Itself?

Your Writerly Tinctures . . .  

What’s that Smell? Cordite vs. Gunpowder vs. Propellant

Book News:

The Custard Protocol in French

The Custard Protocol in French

Quote of the Day:

“Everything in the world is about sex except sex. Sex is about power.”

~ Oscar Wilde

Questions about Gail’s steampunk world? There’s a wiki for that!

Behind the Scenes Custard Protocol Teaser ~ Things I’ve Had to Research (Special Extras)

Posted by Gail Carriger

One of the best things about being an author, Gentle Reader, is all the odd things I end up having to look up.

Here’s a non-spoiler window into some of the things I had to research, investigate, or cogitate while working on Imprudence, as well as a few writer-beast revelations.

Book People Imprudence Display

Weird Goings On

Mid 1850’s Fern Fad: “Women collected and classified ferns, the cultivated and bred ferns, the made outdoor ferneries, the dried, pressed, mounted and framed ferns. They made splatter pictures of them.” ~ The Victorian House by Judith Flanders

Quarrel is a wonderful word, and seemingly quite British sounding.

Queen Victoria had some pretty kicking mourning gowns after Albert died. But she doesn’t seem to be particularly fond of the normally ubiquitous crape. Perhaps she wore it early on and then went towards light mourning, keeping with black silks and velvets but trimming in lace and fringe and such? Anyway, this lead me down a mourning dress rabbit hole.


via CVLT Nation


One little “a” makes all the difference in managed versus manged.

Heterochromia iridum.

Introducing: Rue’s best day dress. Since the second book is set in October 1895 the dress is ahead of its time, but you know me, I am weak in the face of polka dots.


1897-1898  The Metropolitan Museum of Art


Incidentally, I keep track of Rue & Prim’s various dresses by storing the images by chapter for each book. (When I am using actual historic pictures.) Otherwise outfits are concocted based on descriptions out of the big blue book of Victorian dress AKA English Women’s Clothing in the Nineteenth Century: A Comprehensive Guide. I use this book so much that, having noticed it is also available as an ebook, I bought it again, so as to have it with me when on the move. I’m a sucker.

Games for Spoo & Virgil

  • blind-man’s-buff
  • hide-and-seak
  • puss in the corner
  • tick-tack-to
  • leap-frog

The discovery of oxygen. I think there is a word for when multiple scientists discover the same important thing at (basically) the same time in disconnected locals (Kuhn would mutter something about dominant paradigms and the structure of scientific revolutions but that’s neither here nor there, unless you’re an entomologist, in which case it’s both) but I can’t remember what that word is.

On the horrid atmosphere in Victorian London. R. John Simon, London’s first medical officer, noted in Paris the “transparance of air, the comparative brightness of all colour, the visibility of distant objects, the cleanliness of faces and buildings, instead of our opaque atmosphere, deadened colours, obscured distance, smutted faces and black architecture.”  ~ The Victorian House by Judith Flanders

Some interesting descriptive words used to describe a Worth skirt (for Prim):
  • basques
  • hollowing scallops
  • velvet arabesques
  • pannier puffs


via steampunk-art- tumble     Steampunk Art


Things that didn’t make it into the book but likely should have…

What would Rue’s theme food be?

  • Red Currant Clafoutis ~ right look and feel with the red currents gloating in the custard, spotted & custard and red like the ladybug balloon. But perhaps not British sounding enough? Then again Rue is an explorer and world traveler.
  • Eccles Cake + Custard ~ very British name, just confusing enough to be exotic to American readers, Rue does adore puff pastry, but the currents are not really floating in a spotty manner, and the custard is in sauce form, more as Americans would think of pudding.
  • Spotted Dick ~ later on in history than Rue, this boiled/steamed pudding is associated with schoolboys, perhaps a little crass in terminology even for our intrepid heroine, however sounds like an STD, also not a custard but served with a custard sauce.


Your Moment of Parasol . . .

Toilettes for Summer  May 1898 Delineator  Canadian Museum of History

Your Infusion of Cute . . .
Trigger the Cat

Your Tisane of Smart . . .
Queen Victoria, a polka, and 8,000 soldiers 1853

Your Writerly Tinctures . . .  
Bookshelf Chair

Book News:
Sam Wachter of Cherry Blossoms and Maple Syrup says: “Prudence was totally worth waiting for, given all the hiccups before its release. It’s as sassy as the Parasol Protectorate series, but still has it’s own distinctive voice and sense of humour.”

Quote of the Day:

“She looked as if she had been poured into her clothes and had forgotten to say “when”. ”

― P.G. Wodehouse

Dear Lord Akeldama ~ On Nicknames & Others Issues

Posted by Gail Carriger


Lord Akeldama has whisked by the blog and hijacked my post today, Gentle Reader, as will happen occasionally. And, my freshwater pearl, I am not permitted to say anything more on the subject.

tsgeisel asks:
You seem to refer to everyone with affectionate, semi-patronizing nicknames: sweet darling, little cherub, etc. Given your, um, extensive history, it’s probably fair. But are there any names you will not permit yourself to be called? And any names you’re fond of, that can be mentioned in polite (or at least non-scandalous) company?
Oh deary me, my inquisitive little jicama. I don’t believe there is, although I do try to avoid those that might be perceived as too insulting, like banana britches. Although some among my acquaintance might find that flattering. As to calling me by pet names, I find them endearing if not exactly commonplace.

unclemonster asks:
Is there an actual book of love and if so, who indeed is the author? 

 Bright Young Things at Wilsford by Cecil Beaton, October 1927;
William Walton, Cecil Beaton, Stephen Tennant, Rex Whistler, Georgia Sitwell, Zita Jungman and Teresa Jungman
(Source- theredlist.com)

docxen asks:
Are you a ploy by the queen of vampires to make them seem less threatening even almost a bit ..”divalish”
My dear fellow, I am no one’s ploy but my own and I resent the implication!

AnnikaCanSaveUs asks:
I am a girl who prefers more old-fashioned masculine attire. Can you advise me on wear to start?
Ah, my dear, I always begin with Bond Street. My creator suggests you try thrifting in the men’s section and tailoring things yourself. She began her long and sordid history with steampunk in the gentleman’s quarter of Goodwill. I know not of such things.

1760 Waistcoat  1760  The Metropolitan Museum of Art

docxen asks:
Were you the one who invented blood pudding?
Goodness gracious me, Scottish? Food? Meat related? I see your point about the name, my darling mignon, but in all other respects it has the mark of werewolves crawling all over it.

shonrichards asks:
Would giving my werewolf friend a lint roller be considered rude? His clothes are always picking up hair.
Not if you gave him this one coupled with a companion bottle of liquid courage by the same name.

derekthebard asks:
How best should a gentleman pair a top hat with regular dress?
Is there any other way to leave the house but top-hatted?
And how tall should said hat be?
Hat height should be commensurate with the height of the individual wearing it and the depths of the gravity of the occasion. Both being an inverse proportion of sublime mathematical complexity.

LowBelow asks:
When was you born, and where?
A long long time ago in a country far far away.

TheCaptainSmollet asks:
I’d dearly like to know, if you’d be so kind to answer, how long have you known Professor Lyall? I understand he’s been in the area a good long while. When did you first meet him? Did you ever work together or really interact before he came to you for assistance with the Westminster hive and Alexia? And I just wanted to say your hair is absolutely fabulous.  
Lord Akeldama is delighted by the hair compliment but finds his memory on the subject of a certain Professor extremely vague.

Duke Carl Theodore in Bavaria

Mythusmage asks:
Would you ever take blood from a saint? Around here a drop of saint’s blood has the habit of healing the vampire.
And round here they say spotted dick is a marvelous name for a desert. One shouldn’t believe everything one hears.

Susan asks:
Since you enjoy wit are you a fan of Oscar Wilde? If so, what’s your favourite work of his? 
Dorian Gray of course, darling. Reminds me of a man I once knew. To which I am sure you will say, cheekily, “Only one?”

antique-royals-tumblr 1850s

tristan-os asks:
I have recently come to terms with the fact I am a transgender man (assigned female at birth but not actually so). But the problem is I have no knowledge of men’s fashion. Do you have any tips on finding a personal style, or even on what a shorter than average man with wider hips and a preference for slim fits over baggy ones should wear?
Welcome to the fold, as it were. A slim fit is a most excellent place to begin. Fit is ever the most important factor. I should start in the men’s section of the type of establishment that stocks a wide range of brands so as to try on different items and get a better sense of which brands fit you best best. I suspect you may have to find a skilled tailor or learn to do so yourself. Alternatively, it is also possible to lean in favor of a style most exaggerated and esoteric: vintage, Chap, hipster, Goth. This sort of look allows for a leniency in fit by settling under the umbrella of one particular look.

Kevin asks:
I would have loved to have been one of your drones, any qualities required other than youth and beauty? 
There are other qualities?

Want to ask Lord Akeldama a question? Join the Chirrup

{Gail’s Coop de Book for November 2015 is Manners & Mutiny by Gail Carriger}


Your Moment of Parasol . . .

Ladies’ Companion
Sunday, August 1, 1858 Item ID-  v. 39, plate 117

Your Infusion of Cute . . .


Silly of me, just leaving a lap hanging about like that.

Your Tisane of Smart . . .
Can Drinking Tea Turn You into a Whore?

Your Writerly Tinctures . . .  
10 Writing Rules We Wish More Science Fiction and Fantasy Authors Would Break

Book News:

Finishing School Girls Fan Art via jeneelestrange tumblr

Quote of the Day:
“She was a pretty enough girl in a droopy, blonde, saucer-eyed way, but not the sort of breath-taker that takes the breath.” … “I don’t want to wrong anybody, so I won’t go so far as to say that she actually wrote poetry, but her conversation, to my mind, was of a nature calculated to excite the liveliest suspicions.”
~ Right Ho, Jeeves by P. G. Wodehouse

Gail’s fashion blog ~ Retro Rack.
The best place to talk all things Parasol Protectorate is on its
Facebook Group.

Dear Lord Akeldama ~ On Man Buns & Commandos

Posted by Gail Carriger


Lord Akeldama has whisked by the blog and hijacked my post today, Gentle Reader,  as will happen occasionally. And, my fresh water pearl, I am not permitted to say anything more on the subject…

Aileen asks:
Do you have any tips on what would be most flattering and stylish on a lady that has just had a baby?
I would hark back to a more Grecian age, my dear cupcake. There is a great deal to be said for artful draping.

Sharon asks:
Is it ever not a fashion faux pas to wear stripes with polka dots? 

Ensemble  1790-1795  The Los Angeles County Museum of Art

Summer asks:
How do you come up with such wonderful pet names?…me and my sister do that when I text her…I go “how is my beautiful blueberry cupcake?” ….and she’ll reply “feeling absolutely delicious my little cute crumpet”………yes… yes we are huge fans.
They chiefly arrive from spontaneity of the moment, occasionally they are a consequence of considered meditation and study.
(Gail wonders if you get the literary reference in this answer?)

Dora asks:
Does he like going commando at all?
Lord Akeldama does not understand this reference but suggests that, when available for a casual soiree, a nice strapping commando is never a bad thing.

J. C. Leyendecker

Marisa asks:
Who hurt you?
A beautiful creature long ago who committed the gravest of sins: dying before I did. Of course, since then it’s be the same song over and over again.

Elizabeth asks:
Do you enjoy popular novels and if so, which ones?
I read only what is highly romantic and incurably frivolous. Literature is too important to be taken seriously.


Anukampa asks:
Which of your five senses gives you the most pleasure?

Heather asks:
Should purple and green really never be seen together, or is it a fashion myth?
All rules are made to be broken, particularly those taken most seriously.

1765 Jacket and Waistcoat  1765  The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Juliet asks:
Is lemon instead of milk ever an option?
Not for vampires.

ThePeachMartini asks:
What is your opinion regarding this disturbing article of dressing up a man-bun with a tiny fedora?
Gail here: Lord Akeldama refuses to even acknowledge the existence of the man bun.

Katie asks:
Lord Maccon ever got drunk again, would you ever play a practical joke on him? Perhaps changing all his clothes into lovely shades of pink, or maybe just switching them out for dresses?
That man is so very inured to matters of apparel he likely wouldn’t notice even if I did. Nevertheless this is not my style, my darling drones on the other hand…

Want to ask Lord Akeldama a question? Join the Chirrup

{Gail’s Coop de Book for September 2015 is Court of Fives by Kate Elliott}


Your Moment of Parasol . . .

Museum of Fine Arts @mfaboston  Looks like they weren’t interested in tanning back in the 19th century

Your Infusion of Cute . . .

Your Tisane of Smart . . .
Sarah Belzoni, an Intrepid Woman

Your Writerly Tinctures . . .  
It Only Gets Harder Once You’re Published

Quote of the Day:
“I want a scar to impress the girls,” he informed Neal. “They like a man who looks dangerous, and my face needs all the help it can get.”
~ Tamora Pierce, Lady Knight: Book 4 of the Protector of the Small Quartet (Neal & Owen: my two favorite characters in the series)

Alternate Historical Names for Clothing in the Victorian Era (Special Extras)

Posted by Gail Carriger


1811 ~ Alternate Historical Names for Clothing

  • Togs ~ Clothes
  • Articles or Inexpressibles ~ Underthings, sometimes Breeches
  • Farting crackers or Galligaskins ~ Breeches
  • Buntlings ~ Petticoats
  • Fallalls ~ Ornaments, chiefly woman’s, such as ribands, necklaces, etc.
  • India wipe ~ A silk handkerchief
  • Specked whiper ~ A coloured handkerchief
  • Knuckle-dabd, or knuckle-confounders ~ Ruffles
  • Brogue ~ A particular kind of shoe without a heel, worn in Ireland
  • Rum nab ~ A good hat
  • An old ewe, drest lamb fashion ~ an old woman, drest like a young girl
  • A well-rigged frigate ~ a well-dressed wench

1811 Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue

“A button broke as we were fastening out collar – indeed, a button always does break when you are in a hurry and nobody to sew it on.”

~ Around the Tea Table by T. De Witt Talmage (1875) 

{Gail’s monthly read along for July is: Passion Blue by Victoria Strauss}


Your Moment of Parasol . . .

via antique-royals tumblr

Your Infusion of Cute . . .
Octopus Mosaics Snap! comparing ancient mosaics

Your Tisane of Smart . . .
Macarons: Everything Old is New, but Different, Again.

Your Writerly Tinctures . . .  
A Tasting Menu of Female Representation


  • Manners & Mutiny ~ The Finishing School Book the Last. Releases Nov. 3, 2015. Available for pre-order! In production.
  • Imprudence ~ Custard Protocol Book the Second. Working rough draft, about 1/2 way.

The Books! 

 The Custard Protocol Series
1 Prudence, 2 Imprudence
The Parasol Protectorate Series
1 Soulless, 2 Changeless, 3 Blameless, 4 Heartless, 5 Timeless
Parasol Protectorate Series manga graphic novels
 $0.99 short stories (ebook only)
Marine Biology; My Sister’s Song; Fairy Debt;

Book News:
Michael Senft of Zine on Prudence, “Fans of Jane Austen, P.G. Wodehouse and Connie Willis will love this irreverent adventure story…”

Quote of the Day:
“The suspicion started that she laced to tight.”
~ Around the Tea Table, by T. De Witt Talmage (1875)

Follow Gail on Facebook & Twitter. Or you can join her mailing list
She also has a fashion blog ~ Retro Rack.
The best place to talk all things Parasol Protectorate is on its
Facebook Group.

© 2018 Gail Carriger | Disclaimer & Privacy Policy | Site built by Todd Jackson