Tagged research

Comedy Author Looks at Humor on the Internet

Posted by Gail Carriger

 

Analyzing humor on the Internet is one of my favorite pastimes. I know, the moment you start to look at why something is funny, it ceases to be funny. But that is my lot in life now. Every time I laugh, I then think: Ooo, why did I just laugh? Writing humor kinda ruins humor, but my life was in ruins before I started these messy writer shenanigans. (See what I did there?)

Very silly squash

Thus you, Gentle Reader, have been warned: read the post at your own comedic risk.

Yes, humor is subjective. Every comic/humor writer knows this. We all realize there will be people out there who don’t get our stuff. This blog post is written from my perspective, which means I’m using examples of things I find funny. So you’ll have to read with that in mind.

Sample 1: Will it Sous Vide? Hot Pockets

  • What kind of humor? Clever, it made me smile but not actually chuckle.
  • What it does? Juxtaposes nostalgia for the hot pocket (and the Will it blend? meme) against the snotty modern food movement (as represented at, say, the Top Chef critics table) presenting results in a ridiculously scientific manner.
  • Why is it funny? Contrast (two things put together that you would never expect) is great for both shock and comedic value. Also this plays on call-back (hearkening to the older meme) and rule of three: words hot pocket + sous vide + the meme of will it blend

Sample 2: Town Square Live Feed Comments

  • What kind of humor? Ridiculous. It gave me a full on laugh. This is the kind of funny thing that I thought about again at 5am and started chuckling just remembering it.
  • What it does? Crowd sources the total ridiculousness of overreaction to the everyday.
  • Why is it funny? Pure silliness. Overreaction humor is one of my favorites. Recently, I read a m/m contemporary where a group of frat boys react to one of their own coming out as if he were giving birth (as a result of sensitivity training). People reacting in an out of control manner to perfectly ordinary everyday things = fertile ground for humor. The opposite also works. Much of Alexia’s humor comes from her not really reacting to things that would shock a normal person. Alexia is always practical and deadpan even when presented with a vampire attacking her in a library. Overreaction and underreaction are both great tools.

Sample 3: Cat vs Baby

attack-cat-baby
  • What kind of humor? Shock value. Bark of surprised laughter.
  • What it does? Surprises the viewer/reader into a laugh. This is the kind of humor that edges into horror.
  • Why is it funny? The baby is so happy and innocent waddling along and then bam CAT. Contrast is in play again (happy baby, angry cat), but really what’s funny is the unexpected nature of the attack. America’s Funniest home videos had their stock in trade on this kind of humor.

 Sample 4: Excuse Me

screen-shot-2016-09-11-at-8-38-58-am
  • What kind of humor? Exaggerated everyday. The delighted chuckle of familiarity.
  • What it does? Plays on an everyday human experience though exaggeration and mockery.
  • Why is it funny? Anyone who has spent time with a cat (or a few dogs I know) has probably had this experience of using the bathroom and the cat insisting on joining. Some of us have stories of cats taking this to the next level. This is a particularly telling example because it also touches on taboo (private bathroom use) in a completely nonthreatening manner (the cat) allowing the twinge of discomfort to turn into humor. I, for example, often play with the fact that werewolves have to get naked to shift form, and how this contrasts with the strict morals of Victorian society. This works best with a character already highly positioned in society, e.g. Lord Maccon, than with one who is outside of society and female, e.g. Tasherit. Tash does get naked but rarely in a funny way, instead I play on her catlike nature to get humor. (Which makes me wonder if Tasherit has to constantly stop herself from trying to join people in the privy?)

Oh, that gives me an idea. TTFN.

{Gail’s monthly read along for October is The Black Swan by Mercedes Lackey.}

PROJECT ROUND UP  

  • 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 ~ Novel
    Status: Rough draft. Almost done.
    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.

SPECIAL RE-RELEASE

MySistersSong_ebook

My Sister’s Song

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

GAIL’S DAILY DOSE

Your Moment of Parasol . . .

1925-1935 The Metropolitan Museum of Art

1925-1935 The Metropolitan Museum of Art

1925-1935-the-metropolitan-museum-of-art

Your Infusion of Cute . . .

Anthropomorphic Hedgehogs Go about Their Daily Lives in Adorable Photo Series by Elena Eremina

Your Tisane of Smart . . .

What is Confirmation Bias?

Your Writerly Tinctures . . .  

A Return to Print? Not Exactly

Book News:

Author Interview with Gail Carriger

Quote of the Day:

“If you want a happy ending, that depends, of course, on where you stop your story.”
~ Orson Welles

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

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In Which Gail Concocts a Survey

Posted by Gail Carriger

 

Sooo. If you really love reading my books and want to get even more involved and influence All The Things, Gentle Reader, I’ve a survey up and running through Sunday the 18th. Those of you who get the Chirrup and are regularly on the FB Group already know this. (Almost 2000 of you. Eep!) It’s sort of silly, rather important, and could prove very interesting for all concerned.

I’d be much obliged if you would take it.

Parasolverse Super Secret Survey

Godeys Sept 1872

Godeys Sept 1872

Is there a right answer?

Yes, there just may be. Or two right answers. So long as you stick to the truth.

I know, right? Look at me, I’m so mysterious and cryptic.

It’s longer than most of my other polls and surveys have been, but if you are curious and to why I’m doing it or what’s it about, you might be able to determine that from the survey itself.

In fact, that’s one of the questions.

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

PROJECT ROUND UP  

  • 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. Very very fun. Spin off of Marine Biology.

SPECIAL RE-RELEASE

MySistersSong_ebook

My Sister’s Song

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

GAIL’S DAILY DOSE

Your Moment of Parasol . . .

1930 Portrait of Tallulah Bankhead, 1930’s (Source- theredlist.com)

1930 Portrait of Tallulah Bankhead, 1930’s (Source- theredlist.com)

Your Infusion of Cute . . .

Your Tisane of Smart . . .

Secrets of Cephalopod Camouflage

Your Writerly Tinctures . . .  

The bizarre true story behind the this is a work of fiction disclaimer

Book News:

*Sophronai Pillow

*Sophronia Pillow Descritpion

Quote of the Day:

“When he turned his head to look at me, I was swallowed in gold.”

~ Change of Heart by Mary Calmes

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

Save

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Scrivener On The Go Report ~ Author On The Move Series

Posted by Gail Carriger

I don’t ordinarily do these kinds of posts, Gentle Reader, but sometimes I report things for you because I need to chronicle things for me.

remote-set-up

So here’s my report on moving between:

Scrivener Native on Mac Desktop & Scrivener iOS on iPad

Background:

I’ve been using Scrivener for Mac on my MacBook Air for the last year. (Yes, I was a late adopter.) I use it for writing my rough drafts since editing (from developmental on) requires track changes, which means I must switch to Word (which I loathe, but that’s another story).

What I wanted Scrivener iOS to do is as follows: work on my iPad mini with my tiny keyboard (iWerkz Universal Foldable Bluetooth Keyboard $30, which I LOVE) on planes and in hotels while I am on the go. This means it needs to work OFFLINE for sometimes weeks at a time (I don’t trust hotels), and then sync when I get home and rejoin my home wifi.

On Dropbox: I have only used it in a very limited capacity for transferring larger images. I’ve never had it installed on any of my iOS devices.

What I used before Scrivener iOS?

Evernote Pro.

Evernote has compatibility issues if you keep it open (in native desktop mode) on a home computer and also try to use it remotely on an iOS, or if you use it remote on multiple iOS devices at the same time. The work around for this is to ensure you only have Evernote open on one device at a time. (Let’s not even discuss the recent price gouge, very shoddy behavior.) So what I do before a trip is sync, close out, and shut down my home computer. Then I open and sync to my iPad. Reverse when I get home.

Step-by-Step Actions I Took with iOS

(Is the the point were I confess to having one worked in QA for The Learning Company? Yes, including Oregon Trail. I know ALL the ways to die.)

  1. Ensured both MacBook Air and iPad had updated software.
    1. iPad needed update to 9.3.3 ~ Updated
    2. MacBook needed update to 10.11.6 ~ Updated
  2. Researched Dropbox Syncing with iOS for Scrivener
    1. It assumes you have Dropbox and iOS already installed on iPad.
  3. Using desktop: Created a new writing folder in my Dropbox
  4. Installed Dropbox on my iPad
    1. Signed into Dropbox on my iPad
  5. Using desktop: Reorganized Dropbox for ease of regular use
    1. Backed up (created duplicate of) project I intend to work on
    2. Moved project to Dropbox
    3. Scrivener iOS wants to have ONLY scrivener projects in its Dropbox folder
    4. So I created alias link for the now cloud based project to live in my less limited desktop folder (no I don’t use Scrivener for everything, e.g. working cover art needs to be kept separated but still coupled to the project)
    5. Tested link for functionality on desktop with Scrivener
    6. Quit Scrivener desktop
  6. Checked for Scrivener Updates (Up to date at 2.8)
  7. Purchased Scrivener (for iOS)
  8. Followed the Setting Up Dropbox Sync instructions
    1. I did not use the default. I created my own named folder for my writing projects (defaults make me nervous, too searchable by virus etc.)
  9. Looked like everything set up well, so I opened the project on my iPad
    1. On a random notes page for next chapter I wrote sentence. Pressed Sync button. Pressed “Done” button. Quit App
    2. Opened project using alias on my desktop
    3. Scrivener desktop opened me to the exact part of project I had just edited remotely and my edits where there
    4. Success: while at home and always connected wireless!
  10. Testing for remote plane use, Airplane Mode: Desktop to iOS
    1. Made sure I was quit out of both Scrivener & Dropbox for iOS and desktop
    2. Put iPad in Airplane mode
    3. Opened Scrivener on my Desktop
    4. Transferred some notes out of Evernote (the old way I used to do this) and puttered about with manuscript.
    5. Saved the manuscript and quit
    6. Turn off airplane mode
    7. Open Scrivener iOS, synced as requested
    8. Open manuscript, navigated to what I had just done
    9. Found everything updated
    10. Success!
  11.  Testing for remote plane use, Airplane Mode: iOS to Desktop (THE KICKER)
    1. Checking safety net.
      1. Remote: if I type something and do not sync…
      2. Scrivener iOS warns me on the next time I open but saves the changes (presumably on the iPad)
    2. Working in airplane mode on the iPad, not being careful…
      1. Typed away for a bit
      2. Attempted to sync, received notification of no internet connection
      3. Typed more
      4. Swiped to quit without pressing “Done” button
      5. Last sentence still saved! (Good work Scrivener!)
    3.  Working in airplane mode on the iPad, what happens when I get home?
      1. Typed some more pressed done button
      2. Puttered for a bit, fixing a few things correcting spelling
      3. Quit Scrivener iOS
      4. Reopened, everything still good (perhaps should have quit again at this juncture?)
      5. Switched iPad out of airplane mode
      6. Synced
      7. Was told by app to “Close Project and Sync” did as ordered
      8. Swiped to close iOS app
      9. Opened desktop version
      10. Received a conflict notification from desktop. But new work seemed to be there. Not quite sure what I did wrong.
    4. Some issues I noticed
      1. The above syncing conflict seems to occur even when I quit out of everything in the correct order, but as the edits seem to be carrying over I am not too worried
      2. Existing documents created in the desktop and worked on the iOS do not show spelling errors

Conclusion

Scrivener really does seem to work well if both devices stay consistently connected to wireless, and you set it up as instructed.

I took it on my 10 day book tour, no wireless hook up and a few thousand words or so, and when I got home and synced up, everything went smooth as butter. So far as I am concerned I have a new way of working on the go. Fantastic.

Cost: $20 (for Scrivener iOS)

Time cost: 3 hrs (includes some writing & editing)

 

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

PROJECT ROUND UP  

  • Romancing the Inventor ~ A Supernatural Society Novella
    Status: Beta edit back, working now. Tentative 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.
    LBGT 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 utterly new and different for Gail. Hella raunchy. Super dirty. Very very fun. Spin off of Marine Biology.

OUT NOW

2Imprudence

Imprudence ~ Custard Protocol Book the Second

Rue and the crew of the Spotted Custard return from India with revelations that shake the foundations of England’s scientific community. Queen Victoria is not amused, the vampires are tetchy, and something is wrong with the local werewolf pack. To top it all off, Rue’s best friend Primrose keeps getting engaged to the most unacceptable military types.

Rue has family problems as well. Her vampire father is angry, her werewolf father is crazy, and her obstreperous mother is both. Worst of all, Rue’s beginning to suspect what they really are… is frightened.

GAIL’S DAILY DOSE

Your Moment of Parasol . . .

1862 Title- Le Follet Date- Tuesday, July 1, 1862 Item ID- v. 42, plate 100

Le Follet Date Tuesday, July 1, 1862 v. 42, plate 100

Your Infusion of Cute . . .

Your Tisane of Smart . . .

Six Forgotten Female Pioneers of Photography

Your Writerly Tinctures . . .

Everything You Wanted to Know about Book Sales (But Were Afraid to Ask)

Book News:

*Poster Alexia

Fan Art of Alexia

Quote of the Day:

“Never grow a wishbone, daughter, where your backbone ought to be.”

~ Clementine Paddleford

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

Save


Egypt from a Dirigible: Imprudence & Timeless

Posted by Gail Carriger

 

In Imprudence Rue and her crew visit Egypt just as Alexia and Conall did in Timeless. Rue goes in for the capital, Cairo, while Alexia spent most of her time in the port city of Alexandria.

Ancient Alexandria

Source.
  • Founded by Alexander of Macedon (the Great) c. 332-331 B.C.
  • Located in the Nile delta
  • Renowned for its giant lighthouse – one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, destroyed
  • Library at Alexandria, destroyed
  • Mouseion (of which the library was a part) Ptolomy’s center of science and philosophy
  • Roman catacombs
  • Capital of the country for close to 1,000 years
  • Citadel of Qait Bey, Pompey’s Pillar, the Roman Theater, the Presidential Palace, Montaza Palace, and the Ras el-Tin Palace
  • Additional information on Ancient Vine

 

Victorian Alexandria

Alexandia shoreline 1882, personal collection

 

  • Egypt under the Muhammad Ali Pasha dynasty (1805–1953)
  • Khedivate of Egypt under British patronage ~ specifically Sanctioned khedival rule (1867–1914)
  • Nominally independent Sultanate of Egypt and Kingdom of Egypt, ending with the Revolution of 1952 and the formation of the Republic of Egypt
  • 1882 civil unrest, rebellion

In Imprudence I have one quick reference to the troubles of 1882. I knew of this from my prior research for Timeless. I did a blog post about it at the time, in March of 2011 when we were experiencing the Arab Spring.

Alexandria 1882 landscape rebellion, personal collection

From Wikipedia: “Isma’il was succeeded by his eldest son Tewfik, who, unlike his younger brothers, had not been educated in Europe. Tewfik pursued a policy of closer relations with Britain and France but his authority was undermined in a rebellion led by his war minister, Arabi Pasha, in 1882. Arabi took advantage of violent riots in Alexandria to seize control of the government and temporarily depose Tewfik.”

Alexandria 1882, personal collection

“British naval forces shelled and captured Alexandria, and an expeditionary force under General Sir Garnet Wolseley was formed in England. The British army landed in Egypt soon afterwards, and defeated Arabi’s army in the Battle of Tel el-Kebir. Arabi was tried for treason and sentenced to death, but the sentence was commuted to exile. After the revolt, the Egyptian army was reorganized on a British model and commanded by British officers.”

Victorians leaving Alexandria by steam ship, 1882, personal collection

 

Timeless

In Timeless, Alexia visits Alexandria, in April of 1876 when things are comparatively calm.

The eagle eye will notice that the background for the US cover is actually Cairo, where Alexia never goes in the book. Although I think I added a mention of her stopping over, just to explain away the cover. I’ve no idea what city is depicted in the background of the second omnibus.

Japan set Timeless floating over a rather lush river, it’s possible there are some areas of the Nile that are that green. Generally it’s a bit more bare or palm tree riddled, but I won’t quibble too much. Germany put Alexia back into Cairo.

Nile River
Source

 

Alexandria is all the way off to the left in this image. Cairo is the bottom tip.

 

Imprudence

  • Rue visits my version of steampunk Egypt in October of 1895 during the reign of Tewfik’s son, Abbas II.
  • Sudanese territory has been lost (as the British would think of it) to an Islamic state.
  •  Shortly after Rue leaves in 1896 (Abbas II), a massive Anglo-Egyptian force, under “General Herbert Kitchener, began the reconquest of the Sudan.[12] The Mahdists were defeated in the battles of Abu Hamid and Atbara. The campaign was concluded with the Anglo-Egyptian victory of Omdurman, the Mahdist capital.”
  • At first I was going to take Rue back to Alexandria, partly so I could use Alexia to discuss how the city has changed in the past 20 years. But in Timeless I mention that Lord Maccon purchased property in Cairo for their retirement, well within the plague zone. So I switched Rue’s location to Cairo. Lost a bit of writing time there since I’d already done 2K on Alexandria in a new more steampunky form, but it worked much better for the plot line to be in Cairo, anyway.
  • I scrabbled about for any further Victorian perspectives on Cairo or the rest of Egypt between 1883 ~ 1895. But there appears to be no major issues of civil unrest and in this the British press seems akin to their modern counterparts, which is to say, not particularly interested if there is no blood involved.
  •  I didn’t spend a great deal of time on it as, quite frankly, Rue doesn’t spend a great deal of time in the city. Although I hope you will notice I steampunked Cairo up especially as compared to Alexandria in Timeless. The march of technological advancement is strong with this one.

Modern Alexandria

Alexandria Image #95

* second largest city in Egypt
* typical Mediterranean climate: extremely warm/humid days in summer, breezy and cool in the evenings, winter is chilly with rain and hail not uncommon, spring and autumn are best weather.

Mix of ancient and modern.

 

Source.

 

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

PROJECT ROUND UP  

  • Romancing the Inventor ~ A Supernatural Society Novella
    Status: Developmental edit. Cover reveal and release date to come.
    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.
    LBGT reunion romance featuring your favorite reluctant werewolf dandy, the return of a certain quietly efficient Beta, and a very unexpected gift.

OUT NOW

2Imprudence

Imprudence ~ Custard Protocol Book the Second

Rue and the crew of the Spotted Custard return from India with revelations that shake the foundations of England’s scientific community. Queen Victoria is not amused, the vampires are tetchy, and something is wrong with the local werewolf pack. To top it all off, Rue’s best friend Primrose keeps getting engaged to the most unacceptable military types.

Rue has family problems as well. Her vampire father is angry, her werewolf father is crazy, and her obstreperous mother is both. Worst of all, Rue’s beginning to suspect what they really are… is frightened.

GAIL’S DAILY DOSE

Your Moment of Parasol . . .

carolathhabsburg- Mourning attire. Fashion plate, circa 1894

carolathhabsburg- Mourning attire. Fashion plate, circa 1894

Your Infusion of Cute . . .

Bean Back wiskers curled paws2

Your Tisane of Smart . . .

Why We Should Never Underestimate the Intelligence of an Octopus

Your Writerly Tinctures . . .  

Female Spies and Gender Bending Soldiers Changed the Course of the Civil War

Book News:

The Discriminating Fangirl gives Imprudence 4.5 stars and says:

“As much as I loved The Parasol Protectorate, with Alexia and Conall and the rest, I honestly think I’m enjoying reading about Prudence and her gang even more. She’s even bolder than her mother, and I love her more modern take on the world, even as it butts up against that of the elder generation.”

Quote of the Day:

“Indifference is the revenge the world takes on mediocrities.”

~ Oscar Wilde

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


Glimpse Behind the Magic! Imprudence Reference Links

Posted by Gail Carriger

 

Hello Gentle Reader, with Imprudence releasing oh so soon, here’s a glimpse into some of the research I had to do for this next Custard Protocol book.

Queen Victoria via  Elaine Powell @ManchesterSteam

 

Politics in the Sudan before and after Rue visits

 

Generally Useful Victorian Stuff

 

In Which Rue References Things You Might Not Know Of

  • Maxim gun (as opposed to the Gatling or the Nordenfelt)
  • Maahes the ancient Egyptian lion-headed god of war, whose name means “he who is true beside her”.
  • Sekhmet

“Our Homes in 1883 estimated that the average person needed 22 gallons of water a day, divided up as:
Domestic usage, excluding laundry 9 gallons
WCs 5 gallons
Baths, one a week 5 gallons
Washing clothes 3 gallons”
~ The Victorian House by Judith Flanders
(According to USGS.gov the average water use per person per day in the US is 80-100 gallons.)

“Milk is the great difficulty in travelling tea-making. It cannot always be easily obtained, and milk carried about with one in a bottle does not long retain its freshness in hot weather. Some people do not object to the condensed or Swiss milk one buys in small tins. It has the advantage of being extremely portable, but I must confess, personally, to finding its effect detestable in tea or coffee.”

~ Hints to Lady Travellers: At Home and Abroad (Royal Geographic Society) by Lillias Campbell Davidson (1889)

 

{Gail’s monthly read along for July is Poison or Protect by Gail Carriger.}

PROJECT ROUND UP  

  • Romancing the Inventor ~ A Supernatural Society Novella
    Status: Developmental edit. Cover reveal and release date to come.
    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.
    LBGT reunion romance featuring your favorite reluctant werewolf dandy, the return of a certain quietly efficient Beta, and a very unexpected gift.

OUT NEXT

2Imprudence

Imprudence ~ Custard Protocol Book the Second

Rue and the crew of the Spotted Custard return from India with revelations that shake the foundations of England’s scientific community. Queen Victoria is not amused, the vampires are tetchy, and something is wrong with the local werewolf pack. To top it all off, Rue’s best friend Primrose keeps getting engaged to the most unacceptable military types.

Rue has family problems as well. Her vampire father is angry, her werewolf father is crazy, and her obstreperous mother is both. Worst of all, Rue’s beginning to suspect what they really are… is frightened.

GAIL’S DAILY DOSE

Your Moment of Parasol . . .

Fashion plate, 1896 via shewhoworshipscarlin

Fashion plate, 1896 via shewhoworshipscarlin

Your Infusion of Cute . . .

Your Tisane of Smart . . .

Victorian Sewing: A Brief History of Plain and Fancy Work

Your Writerly Tinctures . . .  

10 Fantasy Authors Who Fight the Patriarchy, Gender Stereotypes, and Possibly Dragons

Book News:

Difficult, But Fascinating: The Gail Carriger Interview with William Pinfold

Quote of the Day:

“By the end, Rafe wore the long-suffering looking of an eagle being ordered about by a flock of excited pigeons.”

~ Heartless

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


Imprudence Extras: How Primrose Stocks an Airship Medical Cabinet

Posted by Gail Carriger

Primrose is particularly good at her job of ship’s purser (and chief of supplies) aboard the Spotted Custard. Although I will say, Gentle Reader, that in Imprudence, Rue rather stretches her dear friend’s abilities in this arena.

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One of Primrose’s jobs consists of stocking the medicine cabinet on board the Spotted Custard. Lady Maccon is rather infamous for insisting that either vinegar or bicarbonate of soda could solve all of life’s ills, however her daughter is a bit more (shall we say) prudent on these matters.

Victorian Medicine Chest

I’ve listed the items as the Victorians might have. [In brackets is the use or perceived use and/or more modern term.] I hope it goes without saying that this is in no way a suggested medical selection for modern times. However, this is the internet, so I’m saying it.

A Household Medicine Cabinet 1870s ~ 1900

1. Powdered ipecacuanha [induce vomiting]
2. Purgative powder [laxative]
3. Sulphate of quinine [malaria treatment]
4. Chlorodyne [chloroform and morphine tincture] & laudanum [opiate in alcohol, often sherry]
5. Carbolic acid [antiseptic]
6. Castor oil [Ricinus]
7. Eno’s fruit salts
8. One bottle each of M’Kesson and Robbin’s compound podophyllin and aloes and myrrh pills [for warts and verrucas, also purgative]
9. Stick of nitrate of silver [antibacterial, often used in eyes for conjunctivitis, skin infections, ulcers]
10. Cholera pills
11. Iodine [used on rashes and wounds]
12. Tabloids of antipyrin and phenacetin [analgesic and antipyretic]
13. Aspirin [willow bark extract]
14. Salicylate of soda [pain relief, for skin conditions like eczema and psoriasis]
15. Boracic acid [disinfectant]
16. Cough lozenges
17. Tabloids of grey powder [mercury in calk, mainly purgative and antisyphilitic]
18. Kay’s essence of linseed [coughs and colds]
19. Clean undyed squares of cotton, wool, linen
20. Oiled silk
21. Roll of adhesive plaster
22. Bandages [usually linen]
23. Dressing forceps

Medical Provision and Hygiene

Gail’s Sources:

I drew up this list from a combination of sources:

Foote‘s Medical Common Sense and Plain Home Talk (American 1871)

Southgate’s Things A Lady Would Like to Know (English 1876)

Davidson’s Hints to Lady Travellers (English 1889)

Steel & Gardiner’s The Complete Indian Housekeeper and Cook (1898, revised). Steel also includes recipes for common ailments, unfortunately not gun shot wounds.

 

via @photosandbacon  Iron Cordial, King of Tonics, 1886 includes a remedy for being female

 

Other Blog Posts on Victorian Health & Medicine

 

via @photosandbacon

 

Now don’t even get me started on Victorian cosmetics.

Advertisement for Fould’s arsenic complexion wafers by H B Fould in New York, 1901. (Photo by Jay Paull_Getty Images)

 

Want more?

Sample the First Chapter of Imprudence!

{Gail’s monthly read along for July is Poison or Protect by Gail Carriger.}

PROJECT ROUND UP  

  • Romancing the Inventor ~ A Supernatural Society Novella
    Status: Developmental edit. Cover reveal and release date to come.
    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.
    LBGT reunion romance featuring your favorite reluctant werewolf dandy, the return of a certain quietly efficient Beta, and a very unexpected gift.

OUT NEXT
2Imprudence

Imprudence ~ Custard Protocol Book the Second

Rue and the crew of the Spotted Custard return from India with revelations that shake the foundations of England’s scientific community. Queen Victoria is not amused, the vampires are tetchy, and something is wrong with the local werewolf pack. To top it all off, Rue’s best friend Primrose keeps getting engaged to the most unacceptable military types.

Rue has family problems as well. Her vampire father is angry, her werewolf father is crazy, and her obstreperous mother is both. Worst of all, Rue’s beginning to suspect what they really are… is frightened.

GAIL’S DAILY DOSE

Your Moment of Parasol . . .

1895 via @AngelaKCouch Twitter Parasol, design c.1895-1900

1895 via @AngelaKCouch Twitter Parasol, design c.1895-1900

Your Infusion of Cute . . .

The Bookworm: Part Bookshelf, Part Cocoon Chair

Your Tisane of Smart . . .

Seaside Fashions of the 19th Century

Your Writerly Tinctures . . .  

Overcoming Awkward Fear of the Romance Genre

Book News:

Interview on No Don’t Die

Quote of the Day:

“I expect I shall feel better after tea.”

~ P.G. Wodehouse, Carry on, Jeeves

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


Victorian Money Means Coins ~ Research Behind Prudence

Posted by Gail Carriger

 

This is one of those blog posts in which I demonstrate the nitty-gritty of research in an aggravatingly nit-picky way. This is an amended reboot from 2012 when I first started writing Prudence.

Read at your own risk.

To protect the guilty I’m not going to name any names, Gentle Reader, and I’d like to state up front that currency is not my expertise.

However, I was reading a book of the alt-historical romantic variety. The hero visits a whore in Victorian London, 1883.

For her pains he “pulled out far more notes than planned and handed them to her.”

I had to put the book down.

It was very upsetting.

Coins vs. Notes in Victorian England

BANK NOTES!

First, bank notes are drawn on a bank more like a cashier’s check (or an IOU) than paper money today, which means the whore in our above example would have to go into a bank to redeem her notes or find herself a very non-suspicious tradesman, in modern times this is a little like trying to break a $1000 bill.

ON YOUR PERSON?

Second, no one regularly carried notes or paid for anything with notes until well after the 1920s. Culturally, no one would carry that much money into the kind of area of London where whore houses are located.

For services people paid with coin, with tradesmen (who handle goods) the wealthy actually paid via their butler or valet or abigail’s coin, or on account, because it was beneath them to physically touch money.

Even, as the author was trying to get across, this was a highly generous gesture, NOT WITH PAPER MONEY HE WOULDN’T.

*HEAVY BREATHING*

We writers all make mistakes. I have made more than my share. And there comes a time when every historical author must stop researching and begin writing (or the book never gets written).

I do understand and believe that some modernization is necessary in alt-history genre fiction because most readers want their books to be fun and entertaining. It is our business, as authors, to provide that first. (Now for genres like historical fiction or biographies this is a different matter. I am speaking in terms of managing expectations.)

BUT IT’S MONEY

However, I do think something as basic as currency should be second knowledge if you are going to write in any alternate time period. It’s like getting the basic clothing terms correct. (In another unnamed steampunk novel, a corset was referred to as a bodice. FYI, both terms are incorrect. At the time, a corset would have been mainly referred to as stays. The bodice is the top part of a dress. Thus, I spent the entire scene confused into thinking the character in question was swanning around with only her torso dressed, rather than entirely in her underthings as was intended. But, I digress . . .)

A corset AKA stays

Godeys July 1872 Bodices

On Victorian Money (from Baedecker’s London 1896)

  • sovereign or pound (gold) = 20 shillings
  • half-sovereign (gold) = 10 shillings
  • crown (silver) = 5 shillings
  • half-crown (silver) = (2 shillings & a six penny piece)
  • double florin (silver – rare) = 4 shillings
  • florin (silver) = 2 shillings
  • shilling (silver & same size as a sovereign) = 12 pennies
  • six penny (silver) = 6 pennies
  • three penny (silver) = 3 pennies
  • penny (bronze) = 4 farthings
  • half penny = 2 farthings
  • farthing
From lot at auction.

 

I know, I know, overly complicated. Think back to that wonderful scene with the money exchange in Room With a View when Cousin Charlotte comes to visit Lucy’s family.

“In England alone of the more important states of Europe the currency is arranged without reference to the decimal system.”
~ Karl Baedeker, 1896

Victorian Money in Terms of Value

In 1896: 1 sovereign was approximately: 5 American dollars, 25 francs, 20 German marks, or 10 Austrian florins.

To reiterate: The Bank of England issued notes for 5, 10, 20, 50, and 100 pounds or more. They were generally not used in ordinary life as most people “dealt in coin.” Gentlemen and ladies, when shopping, either had a servant with them to handle the coin (including gratuities & all fares) or paid on credit (AKA account). A shop would then send a bill around to the townhouse at the end of the month on Black Monday, which would be paid by the house steward, accountant, or personal secretary. A gentleman handling his own money is either no gentleman or engaged in nefarious activities like gambling or trade.

Baedeker advises letters of credit (AKA circular notes) drawn on a major bank for travel, to be exchanged for local currency upon arrival. He also advises never carrying a full days worth of coinage about your person.

It’s important, as historical writers, for us to grasp a larger picture – so allow me to attempt to put this into perspective…

Middle class wages per annum 1850-1890:

  • A Bank of England Clerk £75 to £500
  • Civil Service clerk £80 to £200
  • Post Office clerk £90 to £260
  • Senior Post Office clerk £350 to £500

So let’s say a middle class wage was anything from £75 to £500 a year, that’s £1.44 – £9.61 a week for a relatively comfortable lifestyle.

Since there is no £1 note, to “pull out far more notes than planned” as our unnamed author writes above, and give such to a whore, means at least £5 per note. More than one means at least £10. Not only should this character not have been carrying that kind of money, he just tipped that woman better than one week’s salary for the upper middle class to someone who likely could never break that bill, today that’s something on the order of $2,500.

A gentleman of lower standing, say a younger son with a Living could expect something similar to upper middle class £350-500.

Titled or large landed gentry could pull in anything from £1000 to £10,000 a year (what, you thought the 99% was a new thing?).

A dowry for landed country gentry’s daughter of few means would be about £100 a year.

Still, even the highest aristocrat wouldn’t tip in notes, ever. If for no other reason than it’s the kind of thing the neuvo riche, or An American might do. (It’s worth noting that poor were a great deal poorer, earning shillings per week or less.)

Later on, this same author writes “cost me twenty quid to delay matters” of bribing a coroner to delay a funeral. That’s a heavy bribe, about $5000. I couldn’t find any information on coroner’s pay in Victorian times (the job was either uncommon, not yet official, or went by another name) so let’s say grave digger, which is well below middle class, so a £20 bribe would probably be about a year’s income for the man.

End of Rant

A Budget from !9th Century Historical Tidbits

Sorry, I just had to get that off my chest. Or should I say “out of my chest”? Chink chink.

So, if you have a Victorian setting (really, anything up through the 1920s) what do we pay with?

Yes, that’s right children, coins!

This is also a rather depressingly clear indication of how Gail Carriger spends her weekends. I am such a dork.

“I may be a chump, but it’s my boast that I don’t owe a penny to a single soul – not counting tradesmen, of course.”
~ Carry On, Jeeves by P.G. Wodehouse

How does this relate to Prudence?

Well might you ask. What I had to do (or thought I had to do) was determine the conversion rate between pounds and rupees traveling from England to India in 1895.

Unfortunately, Baedecker didn’t write for India.

What I ended up having to do was make some very loose estimations based on the above assumptions of middle class wages and the information I could source, which was monthly accounts for a household of four living in India on a diplomat’s wage between 1880 and 1897 (something on the order of £500 per annum). Here’s my fun chart:

Here’s hoping the above was, if not fun, at least informative or, if you yourself are an author, helpful.

Prudence by Gail Carriger

Pip pip!

{Gail’s monthly read along for January The Raven’s Ring by Patricia Wrede. You do not have to have read any other Lyra books.}

GAIL’S DAILY DOSE

Your Infusion of Cute . . .
Octopus Candle Holder

Your Tisane of Smart . . .
Knickerbockers for Women: From Under the Hiking Skirts to the Fad of the Hour

Your Writerly Tinctures . . .  
“Writing my books I enjoy. It is the thinking them out that is apt to blot the sunshine from my life.”
― P.G. Wodehouse

Book News:
Sam of ARC Review says of Manners & Mutiny: “While I’m having a hard time letting these characters go, I won’t forget the mayhem they caused, and the joy they gave me as a reader.”

Quote of the Day:
“Da Silva announced his intention of settling in the library to commune with his muse. Curtis, feeling sorry for the muse, said that he preferred to explore the house and acquaint himself with its features.”
~ Think of England by KJ Charles

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

Sophronia’s Map in Manners & Mutiny (Spoiler Alert)

Posted by Gail Carriger

 

Gentle Reader, please not that this blog post contains spoilers for those who have not yet read Manners & Mutiny. Please skip to the Daily Dose if you haven’t read the book yet. If you haven’t read the Finishing School books at all, this will make no sense.

Read further at your own risk!

******* SPOILERS *******

So, in M&M, Sophronia is stuck aboard her school (mostly alone) trying to stop the bad guys from attacking London. I was thinking about a ST:TNG episode called Starship Mine. It, in turn, comes from that grand tradition of “one good guy on a ship full of bad guys” endemic to the Boys Own Adventure novel. You know it the noble cabin boy on the pirate ship, the lone gunman riding into the den of thieves. Someone on Twitter likened this to Die Hard (or Con Air or Alien or…).

Anyway, Sophronia is on the school dirigible, alone against many. She draws herself a map of the airship as she systematically works her way through it, eliminating the bad guys. Because I’m a pretty visual person, I ended up drawing myself this map, here it is!

Many of you were gratifyingly thrilled to see a map of the school included in this final book, but you’ll notice ti wasn’t this one.

Just as some insider trading: we actually discussed whether to use a full internal schematic of the dirigible or if it would be more helpful to have a professional redraw my sketch above.

In the end, we went with the schematic, as follows:

I did draw one of these too, but I’ve had it since the first book. Either way, I adore that Little Brown agreed to let me have a map in my book!

In other news,  I ran across this fan recently, and it occurred to me to wonder if there would be a commemorative fan for the ending of the mechanicals era.

The Fan Museum @TheFanMuseum
French fan (c.1770) commemorating the union of the Dauphin & #MarieAntoinette

Lindsay of Me on Books says of Manners & Mutiny: “As with the previous books, there is no shortage of mystery or deception, of truth-seeking or secret-uncovering. Of Picklemen-hunting or sootie friendship-making. But this is certainly the most dastardly plan Sophronia has ever had to untangle and thwart. The one that might reveal the most about this secretive intelligencer world of hers. The one that, if mishandled, might bring down society as they know it.”

{Gail’s monthly read along for December is Newt’s Emerald by Garth Nix, skinflint alternative is Ridiculous by D.L. Carter.}

GAIL’S DAILY DOSE

Your Moment of Parasol . . .

Ladies’ Companion Date-  Tuesday, June 1, 1858 Item ID-  v. 39, plate 112

Your Infusion of Cute . . .
18 Tea Infusers to Make Teatime More Exciting

Your Tisane of Smart . . .

Your Writerly Tinctures . . .  
How to Write Better Short Stories

PROJECT ROUND UP 

  • Manners & Mutiny ~ The Finishing School Book the Last. Out now!
  • Imprudence ~ Custard Protocol Book the Second. Handed in. Available for pre-order, releases July 19, 2016 in the US.



Gail Carriger’s Books! 

 The Finishing School Series (1850s ~ completed)
1 Etiquette & Espionage, 2 Curtsies & Conspiracies,
3 Waistcoats & Weaponry, 4 Manners & Mutiny

The Parasol Protectorate Series (1870s ~ completed)
1 Soulless, 2 Changeless, 3 Blameless, 4 Heartless, 5 Timeless

 The Custard Protocol Series (1890s ~ ongoing)
 1 Prudence, 2 Imprudence (July 19, 2016)

Parasol Protectorate Series manga graphic novels (1870s)
 $0.99 short stories (ebook only)
Marine Biology; My Sister’s Song; Fairy Debt;

Book News:
Robin Willis of Library School Journal says of Manners & Mutiny: “I could not be happier with the outcome of this series, along with its ties to her other books. Ms. Carriger is firmly down as one of my favorite authors. I strongly recommend this title, as well as every other one in the Finishing School series to any collection serving students in grades 6 and up.”

Quote of the Day:

“A typical afternoon’s calling for Marion Sambourne, who was enthusiastically social, was ‘Called on Mrs Kemp, Mrs Christopher, Mrs Humphreys, all out. Had tea at Mrs Holmes, stayed some time. Called & had tea at Mrs Tuer’s and at Miss Hogarth’s, saw Mrs Andrews and girls teas, three cards left was about average for her.”

~ The Victorian House by Judith Flanders 

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


Behind the Scribbles ~ Unused Finishing School Notes

Posted by Gail Carriger

 

I have finally returned from my book tour!

Thank you so much to everyone who managed to make it out to my events. You are fabulous, and it was a pleasure to meet you. I will blather at you all soon about what happened but right now I need Mexican food, sleep, and tea … in that order. And now for some serious bloggage…

Finishing School DVD Extras!

One of the last things I did, Gentle Reader, some 14 months ago when I was handing in my final draft of Manners & Mutiny, was go over my story bible for the whole book series. Now, Gentle Reader, I’m not going to let you peek at the bible itself. For one thing, my handwriting is awful. For another, my spelling is embarrassing. (By all accounts, I am not an Accomplished Young Lady.) The story bible is a messy creature full of crossed out bits, arrows from one section to another, pasted in photos, funny small sketches, different colored pen. It’s not worth sharing. Even if it didn’t have notes and thoughts on future unwritten things which would be much with the ruination of future works.

But, I thought you might like a peek as some fun bits and bobs from that final read through. Me trying to pick up all my threads. Trying not to forget anything or anyone (expect by intent). I’ve marked the point when the notes become spoilery for the last book.

Enjoy!

Dates of Finishing School Books

  1. October 1851
  2. March 1852
  3. February 1853 (Soph 16, Sid 16, Dim almost 15, Ag 14)
  4. December 1853 (Soph 16, Dim 15, Ag 15) Transitions into New Year 1854

Girls Birthdays

  • Sidheag February 1, 1837
  • Sophronia November 29, 1837
  • Dimity February 2, 1838
  • Agatha May 4, 1838

Ran across this inspiration image of the Misses Zena and Phyllis Dare: actresses of the Edwardian musical comedy fame (set much after these books).

CardCow.Com

I know it’s the wrong time period but this image very much informed my idea of the relationship between Dimity and Sophronia. Dimity is the more round face smiling Phyllis to the left, and Sophronia the longer face more reserved Zena at the front.

On Hair Pieces

“It has been suggested that those ladies who wish to wear a real hair mattress on their heads, surmounted by several stories of hat, with a parterre of flowers to crown the whole, shall insert in their headdress for the theatre an opera-glass, to rest on the top of the head, ranging fore and aft, so that gentlemen witting behind can see through it to the stage.”
~ Godey’s Lady’s Book and Magazine August 1872

C&C in Japan

Various Level of Evil Genius (top down)

  1. Evil Genius
  2. Vengeful Genius
  3. Spiteful Genius
  4. Reprobate Genius
  5. Discourteous Genius 
  6. Mildly Rude Genius

 

Stuff That Never Made It In:

  • Notes on history of Dartmoor, stone circles, etc. Dartmoor in time-lapse.
  • Background information about Alessandro and his activities before his death in 1850. Might he have had some connection to the school before Sophronia arrived? Ended up not being relevant to these books. Is there a short story there? Maybe. We know he knew Professor Lefoux from before, in Paris, because Vieve remembers him.
  • Long list of silly Sister Mattie-isms. Apparently I had intended to introduce her character by depicting her praise a student for making the whole class sick. She ended up with a lot less screen time than I had anticipated. It’s OK, the students were the important focus. Funny how when I started I thought the teachers would be so much more prevalent in these books, and adult/teacher perspective. But as I got immersed in Sophronia and her world I realized to her, they were less necessary than her friendships. Which is exactly right, I feel. 
  • 1853 Royal christening, Nesselrode pudding a big deal, fog in London much remarked upon.
  • Picklemen also referred to as The Men Who Pickle.
  • Mademoiselle Geraldine was supposed to call the students “my dumplings.”
  • Lady Linette, “So you have learned how to walk. Next we learn how to walk and steal a man’s heart at the same time.”
  • Sophronia walnut-dying her skin to see what it’s like to be black.  
  • The fact that Soap doesn’t like fish.

    E&E in Japan

On the French System of Manners

“One of the highest merits of the French system of manners is that it tacitly lays down the principle that all persons meeting in the same house know each other without the formality of introduction. Any man may ask any girl to dance, or speak to anybody at a private party. This in no way extends to public gatherings, where the guarantee of supposed equality, which results from the fact of knowing the same host, does not exist. But in drawing-rooms the rule is absolute; everybody may talk to everybody. This is an intelligent and most practical custom; it facilitates conversation, is dispels all awkwardness towards your neighbor, it melts cold in a house were you do not now a soul, it gives a look of warmth and unity to a room.”
~ Godey’s Lady’s Book and Magazine July 1872

via History In Pictures @HistoryInPics  48-shot revolver from 1855
The kind of gun I imagine the Pcklemen might carry.

SPOILER ALERT FOR M&M FROM HERE ON!

 

Random Things of Interest

  • Noted that there’s Professor Lefoux back-story in Blameless pg. 182, 190 
  • Preshea Buss’s name… “Frances Mary Buss was the founder in 1850 of North London Collegiate School for girls, one of the earliest girls’ schools to focus on academic attainment.” ~ The Victorian House by Judith Flanders
  • Yes, Monique is based on a real person/people I knew in high school. Yes, I really didn’t like her. Apparently, she’s also a really bad whist partner. If you want my research and thoughts on Girls Bullying Girls you should listen to Dave and I talk about the movie Mean Girls over on Pop Culture Case Study
  • Yes, I always intended to have Sophronia and Monique work together. Part of growing up is learning to function around people you dislike. In other words, the great and fateful… suck it up moment. 
  • Parasol Protectorate readers: did you recognize a briefly introduced pansy-eyed blonde, one of the last ever students at Finishing School? 

{Gail’s monthly read along for November is Manners & Mutiny by Gail Carriger}

GAIL’S DAILY DOSE

Your Moment of Parasol . . .

1870 Umbrella brooch shewhoworshipscarlin tumblr

Your Infusion of Cute . . .

cgmfindings-      art nouveau octopus brooch     
Louis Aucoc      Paris 1900     
gold, diamonds, rubies, pearls, and plique à jour enamel

Your Tisane of Smart . . .
5 Octopus Articles!

  1. Solitary Octopuses’ Strong Statements
  2.  The Octopus Can See With Its Skin
  3.  Amazing Facts About the Octopus
  4.  Octopus Genome Offers Insight into One of Ocean’s Cleverest Oddballs & Octopus Genome Reveals Seat Creature’s Secrets 
  5. Zoo Seeks New Puzzles for Intelligent Octopus Ursula

Your Writerly Tinctures . . .  
“Word Hoard” and the Pitfalls of Dialogue Authenticity

PROJECT ROUND UP 

  • Manners & Mutiny ~ The Finishing School Book the Last. Out now!
  • Imprudence ~ Custard Protocol Book the Second. Working third draft. Available for pre-order in the US publication date is not reliable.



Gail Carriger’s Books! 

 The Finishing School Series (1850s ~ completed)
1 Etiquette & Espionage, 2 Curtsies & Conspiracies,
3 Waistcoats & Weaponry, 4 Manners & Mutiny

The Parasol Protectorate Series (1870s ~ completed)
1 Soulless, 2 Changeless, 3 Blameless, 4 Heartless, 5 Timeless

 The Custard Protocol Series (1890s ~ ongoing)
 1 Prudence, 2 Imprudence

Parasol Protectorate Series manga graphic novels (1870s)
 $0.99 short stories (ebook only)
Marine Biology; My Sister’s Song; Fairy Debt;

Book News:
MK of Popcorn Reads says of the Finishing School series: “This series is making this Gail Carriger fan very happy. All of the fun elements from the Parasol Protectorate with a fresh new sbu-world within that world.”

Quote of the Day:
“Very good,” I said coldly. “In that case, tinkerty tonk.” And I meant it to sting.
~ 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.

A Conflagration of Research

Posted by Gail Carriger

 

Today my dear Gentle Reader, I have a collection of stuff (all the stuff!) I thought might be of interest. Have fun!

Some stuff about the Victorians and Food!

Two of my most favorite subjects rolled together like a pig in a blanket.

 “As, for the fashionable, dinner moved later, after-dinner tea was no longer necessary to bridge the gap until bedtime. Instead it moved forward, to fill in the longer period between luncheon (which in families without children was a light meal) and dinner, and to greet the office worker on his return home. This took time to be assimilated. In the 1850s the Carlyles still invited people to tea after dinner, at about seven o’clock: this was thriftier than having them for the meal itself, and made an evening entertainment.”
~ The Victorian House by Judith Flanders

“It is well, while at table, to avoid any discussion of the demerits of the dishes. On the other hand, you may praise them as much as you please.”
~ The Ladies’ Guide to True Politeness and Perfect Manners or, Miss Leslie’s Behaviour Book by Eliza Leslie (American 1864) 

“For a large company, a table with tea, coffee, and cakes, may be set in the ladies-room, women being in attendance to supply the guests with those refreshments before they go down.”
~ The Ladies’ Guide to True Politeness and Perfect Manners or, Miss Leslie’s Behaviour Book by Eliza Leslie (American 1864)

“Eliza Acton, in her cookery books at the beginning of the century, was the first person to write a recipe more or less as we would recognize today, by separating out the ingredients from the method, which no one that thought of doing before. No longer was a cook told to take ‘some flour’ or ‘enough milk’, but now quantities and measures were introduced.”
~ The Victorian House by Judith Flanders

Les Modes Parisiennes Date-  Thursday, March 1, 1855 Item ID-  v. 37, plate 52

Matters of Etiquette

“When you purchase an umbrella, desire that, before sending it home, your name be engraved on the little plate at the termination of the handle, or else on the slide. “To make assurance doubly sure,” you may get the name painted in full in small white or yellow letters on the inside of one of the gores of silk.”
~ The Ladies’ Guide to True Politeness and Perfect Manners or, Miss Leslie’s Behaviour Book by Eliza Leslie (American 1864)

Robe à Transformation  1855  The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Random Moments of What?

A bunch of fun Victorian Photo Resources:

 

On the classic Victorian concept of the sickly maiden or spinster:

“Illness was a way of putting achievement definitively out of reach. This is not a twentieth-, or twenty-first-century interpretation of nineteenth-century situation. Her brother Henry wrote later that ‘tragis health was, in a manner, the only solution for her of the practical problem of life’.”
~ The Victorian House by Judith Flanders

“The English are “starved with cold”—Americans only starve with hunger.”
~ The Ladies’ Guide to True Politeness and Perfect Manners or, Miss Leslie’s Behaviour Book by Eliza Leslie (American 1864) 

Le Bon Ton Date-  Tuesday, July 1, 1856 Item ID-  v. 38, plate 65

And some fashion links!

Alfred Stevens (Belgian artist, 1828-1906) In the Country (with a parasol)

“Every lady should own a small light umbrella, or else a very large parasol, of extra size, covered with strong India silk that will not easily tear or fade, and that may be used, on occasion, for either sun or rain; and that will not be cumbrous to carry, though quite large enough to shelter one person.”
~ The Ladies’ Guide to True Politeness and Perfect Manners or, Miss Leslie’s Behaviour Book by Eliza Leslie (American 1864)

{Gail’s monthly read along for October is Jinn and Juice by Nicole Peeler}

GAIL’S DAILY DOSE

Your Moment of Parasol . . .

1Columbian Magazine Date-  Monday, September 1, 1845

Your Infusion of Cute . . .
Adorable Tea Bag Cookies

Your Tisane of Smart . . .
Steampunk Your Pumpkin This Halloween

Your Writerly Tinctures . . .  
How to Undress a Victorian Lady in Your Next Historical Romance

PROJECT ROUND UP 

  • 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. Running over. Argh!



Gail Carriger’s Books! 

 The Finishing School Series (1850s ~ completed)
1 Etiquette & Espionage, 2 Curtsies & Conspiracies,
3 Waistcoats & Weaponry, 4 Manners & Mutiny

The Parasol Protectorate Series (1870s ~ completed)
1 Soulless, 2 Changeless, 3 Blameless, 4 Heartless, 5 Timeless

 The Custard Protocol Series (1890s ~ ongoing)
 1 Prudence, 2 Imprudence (forthcoming)

Parasol Protectorate Series manga graphic novels (1870s)
 $0.99 short stories (ebook only)
Marine Biology; My Sister’s Song; Fairy Debt;

Book News:
Violet Owl says of Etiquette & Espionage: “The fast-paced action is sure to excite any reader, and the relationships Sophronia cultivates sends some very positive messages to young readers.”

Quote of the Day:

“But when the time comes that a man has had his dinner, then the true man comes to the surface.”

~ Mark Twain

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

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