Category: Dear Lord Akeldama

The Lord Akeldama Style Meme (Parasol Protectorate Special Extras)

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.

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{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.

Want to ask Lord Akeldama a question? Join the Chirrup

Quote of the Day:

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

~ P.G. Wodehouse

Dear Lord Akeldama ~ On Fashion, Drones & Meat Chops

Posted by Gail Carriger


Before we start, Gentle Reader, and thinking of fashion, this is a reminder that I have an Instagram feed. So if you are there, so am I!

And now, please welcome the gentleman vampire back to my blog this week.

As always Lord Akeldama is happy to entertain your questions. And while he may not give you the answer you wish, he always gives the question the answer it deserves. Please feel free to leave more in the comments below for a future column.

And now…

Dear Lord Akeldama

Aubrey (@LIWpride) asks: Do I wear makeup for a job interview/presentation or no?

Makeup is only warpaint by another name, my blushing pearl.

Michael asks: Which members of the Royal Family have benefited from your fashion advice over the centuries?

None of them, my ducky darling. Have you seen the way those poor unfortunates dress? Some, I believe, have been listening too closely to Baroness Tunstell. It is sorry state of affairs. I did, however, have a lovely correspondence with Mrs Kennedy once. Pity about her husband, if only the local hive had been a little faster.

Waistcoat 1790s The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

Gina asks: I wonder what you think of Trump.

What’s that? A new cut of meat? The butchers are getting rather daring these days. I should ask my cook what he thinks, I’m convinced his opinion is more valuable on the Trump chop, or what have you, than mine could ever be.

Ember asks: What is your favorite knot to use for tying a cravat?

The mathematical, in my case, I enjoy the sense of irony.

pimpernelfans tumblr Some of Percy’s best faces (as played by Anthony Andrews)

Nicole (@chrisiant) asks: Scent, discreetly applied. Is it a delightful accent, or intolerable intrusion? Also..long skirts plus wheeled chair – help!

For scent, less is always more. Unless, of course you cherish an intense interest in werewolves, in which case you should leave it off entirely. Werewolves have a propensity to sneeze when in the company of perfume. My creator’s preference is for a nice body scrub or skin cream, rather than a heavy dousing of scent. And she hopes it goes without saying: NEVER when engaged in aeronautic pursuits.

New Woman Sarah Grand’s Bicycle Suit (1897)

Long skirts and wheelchair? This is much like long skirts and the bicycle, my flowy lotus blossom, a legitimate excuse for dress reform! And while my daughter and I disagree on the particulars of underpinnings, I am able to move with the times enough to admire certain aspects of a New Woman’s mobile glory.

Kim (@KimEnglish66) White shoes in winter, yes or no?

Whatever best suits the outfit, of course.

Josh asks: What do you look for in a drone?

A natty dresser, a certain breeziness of morality, a zest for life and information in equal measure, and of course, beauty. As I am sure you well know, my lovely, beauty is less in the eye of the beholder than it is in the mouth of the vampire.

Her First Dance (1884), William Quiller Orchardson

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Quote of the Day:

“You can’t live without me. I’m like cheese.” It took a second to process his comment.
“I’m sorry, cheese?”
“Sure. Air’s overrated. Try living without cheese.”

~ Change of Heart by Mary Calmes

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.

If you want to ask Lord Akeldama a question… please join the Chirrup.

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.

Quote of the Day:

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

~ Oscar Wilde

Fan Art of Lord A by Matt Harrison ‏@matchoo28

The Mad Hatter Interviews Alexia, Conall & Lord Akeldama (Parasol Protectorate Special Extras)

Posted by Gail Carriger


Thank you to everyone who purchased the limited and special hard cover editions of Soulless. I’ve been told that it has shipped at last! I do hope you like it!

As a thank you: Here’s an interview with three of your favorite characters in Soulless from back when the book was first released in 2009.

The Mad Hatter Interviews Alexia & Lord Maccon

MH: Thank you for gracing my gentle readers with your presence. It is a great honor to have both of you here.
ALEXIA: Delighted.
LORD MACCON: Of course, of course.
MH: Now, Alexia, my dear, what made you choose someone such as Gail Carriger to chronicle your life story?  And why do you think other people would want to hear about you traipsing about with Werewolves and Vampires? This is most unbecoming information concerning a well-bred lady such as yourself.
ALEXIA: Well, the horrible little strumpet chronicled my doings entirely without my knowledge or approval. Naturally, I am considering legal action, but right this moment I simply don’t have the time to chase after a minor American authoress with delusions of grandeur. Really, what one has to wonder is, how does she get all of her information?
LORD MACCON (under his breath): Lord Akeldama perhaps?
MH: What unfolds during the telling of Soulless?
ALEXIA: I suppose, since the so-called Ms Carriger has gone around writing inappropriate novels sullying my name, I might simply relay the gist of the matter. I go around, in a perfectly respectable way, looking for clues as to the appearance of these unexpected vampires and Lord Maccon here keeps getting in my way.
LORD MACCON: Funnily enough, I was going to say exactly the same thing, only with a reversal of roles.
MH: In that you are known to be a strong willed woman.  How do you think that affects public opinion of you? Does the negative commentary overwhelm your reputation or are their advantages to your unique personality?
ALEXIA: A pox upon public opinion. Oh, please excuse my blunt language, but I do get riled up on this matter. What good, I ask you, has public opinion ever done anyone? Except perhaps an actress or two. I will say that not giving a fig for the general approval of others allows me a certain amount of leeway and liberty, that, were I more conscientious of the fine feelings of others, might not ordinarily be the case.
MH: What kind of evolution have you encountered since you’ve become involved with one another?
ALEXIA: I have evolved to find him increasingly more annoying.
LORD MACCON: And I to find her less so.
ALEXIA: Fortunately for both of us, I am finding that I rather enjoy living life in a mild state of annoyance.
MH: As you may be aware I have a great proclivity to hats, so I simply must know, what was the most ghastly hat ever worn by Miss Ivy Hisselpenny?
ALEXIA: Oh dear. It was horrible, a recent purchase, for she only seems to be getting worse with age. It was a toque covered in purple tweed with black ball fringe edging, purple taffeta ruffles, a bird, a bow, grey ostrich feathers, and this black and white feather puff at the end of a length of wire that looked like she was being stalked by a jellyfish. I shudder to recall it.
MH: For our gentle readers can you describe what your transformation feels like?
LORD MACCON: Ah, yes well, it is highly unpleasant. The process does involve bones actually breaking and then reforming, you understand? Oh dear, I do apologize for offending any ladies present with such crass speech. Lyall is always having to remind me of such things. Perhaps I should leave it there.
MH: What is one thing about each of you that most people do not know?
LORD MACCON: Before metamorphosis, I used to be a rather well known opera singer – bass-baritone.
ALEXIA: That is a slightly intrusive question, don’t you find? Would you mind if I were terribly frivolous with my answer? I love marmalade.
MH: Thank you both for you time and civility. I so look forward to hear about your latest happenings.

And a Brief Interview with Lord Akeldama

MH: Thank you for gracing us with your presence. Do tell us, Lord Akeldama, what intrigues you about Alexia so much that it encourages you to invite her into your world? Also, where did you first meet?
LORD AKELDAMA: Well, my darling pumpkin seedling, it’s not like me to gossip behind someone’s back, but I will say this. She’s such an adorably practical little thing, who wouldn’t like her? All that common sense and assertive attitude is quite refreshing in a female of this day and age. Also, my little sprouted potato, it’s been so very long since I have had any genuine social interaction with a preternatural, I find it enchanting. One might even be tempted to say: revitalizing. As to the location of our first meeting, I’m afraid I must demur and simply point out that that is not, entirely, the right question to ask
MH: Do you think Alexia and Lord Maccon are a good pairing?
LORD AKELDAMA: Darling, I refuse to commit myself to the very idea of pairing, one wouldn’t want to limit oneself like that, now would one? Thusly I feel entirely incapably of judging the matter. That said, they do seem to enjoy barking at one another, which, I’m under the impression, is the practice amongst werewolves.
MH: How do you view the Victorian era versus the other epoch’s you’ve lived through?
LORD AKELDAMA: Ah, sugar bell, I do find this era a little staid in the matter of color and shoe adornments, and of course I simply cannot and will not approve of the muttonchops. Not even slightly. But I shall admit that I do find some of the new brass accessories unexpectedly intriguing.

Scottish myths: Wulver the kindhearted Shetland werewolf
A Victorian Lady’s Guide to Hairdressing (written by Biffy?)
Victorian Party People Unrolled Mummies for Fun (what, you thought I was making that up?)
The Trouble with Bustles: Victorian Fashion in the 19th Century News

{Gail’s monthly read along for March is Sorcery & Cecelia: Or, The Enchanted Chocolate Pot by Patricia C. Wrede and Caroline Stevermer.}


Your Moment of Parasol . . .

Parasol Paper Doll lemaldusiecle-tumblr

Your Infusion of Cute . . .

Your Tisane of Smart . . .
Victorian London, 1977 (16 rare photos)

Your Writerly Tinctures . . .  
Best of Writer Beware: 2015 in Review

Book News:
Diana of Audio Gals says:

“How excited, and sad, I was to listen to Manners & Mutiny, the last in Gail Carriger’s Finishing School series. I began the book knowing that Carriger had a lot of loose ends to wrap up and confident she could handle such a task. Readers, I’m very proud to say the combination of Carriger and Quirk (that should totally be the name of an investigative agency BTW) in no way disappointed.”

Quote of the Day:

“A burglar alarm,” said Jessan. “Or so your sister tells me. You wake up when the burglar starts screaming.”
Llannat looked curious. “You believe that?”
“Implicitly,” Jessan assured her.

~ Debra Doyle & James D. Macdonald, The Price of the Stars

Want Gail in you inbox once a month? Get the Chirrup!

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

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 Infusion of Cute . . .

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

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

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

Dear Lord Akeldama ~ On Enthusiastic Endeavors

Posted by Gail Carriger


Lord Akeldama has whisked by the blog and hijacked my posts. But sometimes, Gentle Reader, we must just let the Good Vampire have his way with us, mustn’t we?

iris_petal asks: What era of history has been your favorite?

Well, my dearest petal, I must say that I still cherish a fondness for Georgian times. Such decadence, such sumptuous decorations, such gilt, such embellishment, such tight satin trousers. There are some who call it gaudy, but I have ever been one for enthusiastic endeavors and the Rococo era was nothing if not enthusiastic.

krystolla asks: As someone striving mightily to overcome the inherent disadvantages of being born and raised outside of London (in the former colonies, alas) I have been trying to gain a proper understanding and appreciation of tea. I have had difficulty obtaining a mentor in this endeavor, as where I live tea is most woefully sugared and then poured over copious amounts of ice. Or there is bubble tea, which I think is likely an insult to both bubbles and tea. I would much appreciate your inestimable advice in this matter, especially as I am not in position to relocate to a more hospitable climate.

My dearest sweety bubbles, what a question. I am quite ashamed to admit it but I too am not one for much in the way of tea. I was a vampire before it crested in popularity, and as a result I have never acquired a taste for the stuff. So I must turn you over to my most bothersome patroness, Miss Gail.

Gail says:

Tea is a serious business. My preferred tea, and the one I always suggest you start with is Twinings English Breakfast Gold Label. It is available for import but is not inexpensive. If you wish a lower barrier to entry many larger supermarkets carry PG Tips. (After you have entered into the madness you may wish to try Twinings 1706 Strong Breakfast, or Assam Strong & Mighty, or Taylors of Harrogate, Yorkshire Gold Tea). Once you have acquired the RIGHT tea bring filtered water to a rolling boil. Pour over the bag. Allow bag to steep, stirring softly, until the color is a rich dark, reddish chocolate. Remove the bag and add a generous dollop of whole milk, about 1/4 of a cup. Enjoy. 
This will yield up a rich, mellow, malty tea with no bitterness to it, and no herbal overtones. It is the best entry level tea. Once you have found your taste for that, you can move on to experiment with different blends, or just stick with this. If you would then like to graduate to tea for company, here is a blog post all about how to make a proper pot with loose leaf.

Nissa asks: If given the chance to travel once again without severing your tether, where would you go?

What a very thoughtful questions my little orchid blossom. I should like to see the New World, the jungle, and the coastal ruins of those various trixy empires, fascinating stuff. And they, like me, were awfully fond of sparkles.

Fan Art LordA  via Britta Hoyer on FB

Kah asks: Can you tell us something about your life and/or family, from when you were still, hum, ‘alive’?

Oh my little cherub, I’ve forgotten most of it and the rest simply isn’t worth mentioning. Everyone’s got it wrong and it’s exhausting trying to correct the history books, don’t you find?

Kah asks: Do you use any products on your hair or is it just naturally gorgeous?

Oh dahling, I’m a believer in product. There’s this pomade I find on Bond Street augmented with a hint of bergamot that I simply adore. Moderation, of course, everything in moderation, but my hair does need a little texture to fall correctly.

nirrivahn asks: Dear Lord Akeldama: Prof. Lyall mention at the beginning of the “Heartless” a mysterious notation, making a note in the BUR archives. He describe you as the “Subject V-322-XA”; letter “v” as vampire, some incomprehensible numbers and the letters “XA” (initials of your full name perhaps?) Do you have any idea how we can translate it?

My dearest muffin, what on earth makes you think I have insight into the categorization system of a werewolf? Especially that werewolf. He’s into sheep, you do realize?

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Quote of the Day:

“He took hold of his breath, which wanted to escalate, and his intentions, which wanted to sharpen.”

~ That Scandalous Summer by Meredith Duran

Dear Lord Akeldama ~ On Men, Fashion, and That Telegram

Posted by Gail Carriger


In a surprise second appearance so soon after the last, please welcome Lord Akeldama back to the blog, Gentle Reader. Take it away Mr. Fancy Pants…

Gwaihiril asks: My college senior ball committee appears to have made our senior ball steampunk themed. How exciting! The only problem is that it’s still black tie and men are encouraged to wear tuxedos. Do you have any ideas on what to do if my date wants to both fit the dress code and look steampunk?

Oh no no, the mind boggles. Sadly, I believe afterlife’s distractions means that this event has already passed. So I will merely say the fool is always he who is under-dressed out of a fear of commitment, whether in life or at a ball.


Suit  1810  The Los Angeles County Museum of Art

Ext_1092252 asks: Dear Lord Akeldama, I have a dear friend that, while being quite kind, simply refuses to even attempt any form or sense of style or dressing properly. Do you have any ideas of how I can convince him into some proper clothing?

My creator suggests, if he is a geek, you explain to him how style is much like hacking. You can hack the way people think about you. She also suggests this blog post on the matter.

Beth asks: As regards the purloined telegram of rear admiral Hall fame (1917) …. Can you finally tell us your involvement in that affair, I mean really, it was done with such, intrigue, I can’t believe you weren’t involved… And did you EVER see anything so silly as Count von Bernstorff in bathing dress? Oh MY!

Now now my dear bumtiddlyumpkin, there is a very wise saying: A gentleman must have some secrets, a vampire must have many.


the-suit-man- tumblr

Traipsing Trillium asks: Do you sometimes find it difficult to not be able to travel freely?

Someone wise one said that if you travel far enough you will eventually meet yourself. Having experienced a modicum of this at the British Museum, I could not imagine a more horrific fate then the actual reality of such an encounter. Thus, my solution was to stop traveling. I am quite content with this lot in the afterlife.

Jami asks: What is it with men? Male friends get on me saying that because I won’t approach a man first I’m “not confident” yet turn around and whine about how “all girls want a***oles” – and why do they never get the girl? Because they won’t talk to her first! And I’ve noticed more and more guys thinking women who verbally abuse their men are “hot” and “sexy” – I don’t get it. Since when is being put down and bullied “sexy”? Basically I’m asking – Why are men so freaking WEIRD?!

Oh dear me, my darling cupcake. Men are not at all weird, they are blessedly simple. It is confusion over this matter at causes most problems in life. The most important thing is for you to know what you want, and to ask for it. Perhaps they never get the girl because the girl never talks to him first. Go hunting, my cupcake, go hunting.


Waistcoat  1790  The Los Angeles County Museum of Art

TG asks: My question to you is this – if someone actually has a figure (ie a waist, boobs and hips) what type of clothing should they be considering for a workplace in an academic institution? Yes, I am an avowed blue stocking, and I love clothes, I struggle to find professional looking clothes that don’t look like a sack on me, and make me feel girly. Please advise!

Librarian chic is always a good option. This all over the autocratic country set. Lots of well tailored and cut tweeds, plaids, and knits. Velvets for special occasions. This allows for easy hair and make-up, simplicity of design, a wardrobe built on investment pieces, ladylike retro cuts, and rich fabrics. It also makes you look commanding and smart, two qualities most desirable in an academic.

Have a question for Lord Akeldama? He may have answered it already.

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Maurice-screen cap-1987-9911534-300-170

Quote of the day:

“One should either be a work of art, or wear a work of art.”

~ Oscar Wilde

Dear Lord Akeldama ~ On Love, Suits & Suitability

Posted by Gail Carriger


when this particular vampire drops by for tea, one does not turn him ~ or his advice ~ away, Gentle Reader.

Curiouswombat asks: Your Lordship, I am interested to know whether you actually approved of your adoptive daughter’s given name? ‘Prudence’ does seem a teensy bit… staid… for a member of your family.

Prudence has been given a name that it almost impossible to live up to, but then again, all children thrive on illusive goals and challenges.

Rose asks: I understand that a sign of abundant soul in mortals is an extraordinary talent. What skill or craft did you possess in mortal life that revealed the possibility of excess soul?

Ah well, let us simply say I was very very good at organizing people, and extremely creative in their application and execution.

Vest  1800-1810  The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Rose asks: In your extensive life exactly how many preternaturals have you met? Have any of them compared to your darlingest of Alexias?

Only a very few, after all they are rare beasties. Alexia is one of the only females in the mix, which makes her unique, and uniquely fluffy.

Puck asks: Have you ever read Wonder City Stories, and if so, what do you think of Zoltan? Would you two be friends (or at least friendly acquaintances), do you think?

I have not yet had the pleasure, but I can tell from the name alone we would have much to discuss.


Mjspice asks: Do you by any chance have a picture or portrait of yourself during your time in Egypt?

I understand there are a number of frescoes out there, and perhaps a mosaic or two. Sometimes I visit myself at the British Museum. I must say I’m much the man I once was, in looks at least, but I dislike that they confine me to the staircase now.

Erin asks: I am such a fan of Madame Lefoux’s attire. How might I imitate her androgynous look in an updated way?

Why would you want it updated?


1820 Cravat  1820s-1830s  The Victoria & Albert Museum

Traipsing Trillium asks: How did you decide to settle in London?

Where else can you imagine me settling? While it’s true the French cornered the fashion market for women, Bond Street has always had the last word on men’s style (and will do forever if I have my druthers). I must be where the suits are.


bessovestny-tumblr Joseph Christian Leyendecker (March 23, 1874 — July 25, 1951).

Are you in love with Biffy?

My dear sir, or madam, asking a vampire about his feelings is near to a question as asking a lady her weight. Shocking, truly shocking.

I’m sorry to report the Lord A has drifted off in a huff.

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the-vortexx-tumblr Victorian slang terms you never knew existed

Dear Lord Akeldama ~ On the Influence of Sweet Shopes

Posted by Gail Carriger


It’s been way too long, I know, Gentle Reader. But here he is, as ever, your favorite Queen of the Night…

Traipsing Trillium asks: Were you very well traveled before becoming a vampire?

Possibly the best traveled in the known world, for my time. And, were it not for that trixy little fever, I would have been considerably more so.

1715 Waistcoat  1715  The Los Angeles County Museum of Art

Ladytesser asks: If the response isn’t too spoilery, may I ask how much influence did you have over Prudence’s tastes in fashion and interior decor?

Influence, over my darling little Puggle? You have met her parents, have you not?

Mr. Anonymous asks: Dear Lord Akeldama, I know it may be a difficult question to answer but how did you become a vampire?

Very very carefully.

Maurice-screen shot-1987-9911529-453-256

Scullerym8d0182 asks: Will we be learning more of your illustrious lineage? If this is something which cannot be divulged then perhaps you can tell me HOW you managed to coordinate your clothing’s hues so divinely? What inspires such profound genius?

Oh my dear dumpling what a question! I am inspired by nature, by poetry, and the grand pantheon of the gods of old. In my style you can see the influence of the ages, of the future, of the finest feelings of the most romantic souls of our time. And sweet shops. I do love sweet shops.

SpottyBlanket asks: You have a wide range of guilty pleasures, in this modern era–do you have any television or film related ones?

Project Runway and Top Chef Masters, are there any other possible guilty pleasures?


Punch July 1853

DeathInATopHat 1asks: How do you feel about the modern fascination with Vampires, in your opinion which show/film is the most realistic.

Why this is me, muffin top. I adore being a creature of fascination. What is real? Truth is merely a fiction dressed up in the overly constricting, and unconscionably dull, cravat of reality. And really, reality can go stuff itself in a milk bottle.

Please do not ask time sensitive questions, Lord Akeldama, being a vampire, as a very loose interpretation of time.

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Pocket Watch  1830  Sotheby’s


Americanize, Anglicise: Why Do Brits And Yanks Spell Words Differently?

Dear Lord Akeldama ~ Hugs & Other Disastrous Informality

Posted by Gail Carriger


Everyone’s favorite is in the house this evening, please welcome, with the polite clapping of gloved hands and the raised glass of most excellent plonk…

Lord Akeldama!

Yellowblackhaze asks: I would appreciate an answer to that eternal question posed above: exactly how many parasols does it take to beat a werewolf?

My dear you ask this of me? I am not a great wielder of parasols. According to my dear friend, Alexia, the answer is simple: One: so long as it is silver tipped and wielded with aplomb.

1780s  The Los Angeles County Museum of Art

Darcy Maris asks: Dear Lord of Nicknames Which Mostly Have Something to do with Sugar a.k.a. Lord Akeldama, if you like sparkling men, what do you think of the sparkling vampire Edward Cullen?

He who sparkles in daylight, sparkles in vein (and in vain) so far as we more traditional vampires are concerned. Oh yes vain/vein puns are all the rage with the more stylish bloodsuckers, my dearest crystalized ginger button.

Lady Star asks: What is your favorite book or favorite reading material (besides fashion gazettes and celebrity gossip).

Is there any other kind of reading material? Oh deary me, I am too droll. I must admit to a fascination with modern medical science, particularly the a circulatory system, Byronic style poetry for light entertainment around the dinner table, and the occasional Gothic romance. I believe in food source psychology, I know, you didn’t think I had access to such big juicy words, now did you cream puff?

via the FB

Mark asks: Who do you wish would play you in a film?

How about that young Hiddleston bean? Now there’s a refined drink of . . . blood.

Ashura_oh asks: May I hug you? I’ll be careful not disarrange anything about your perfect outfit.

Are you from the West Coast of the former colonies, by any chance? Awfully huggy in that part of the world, don’t you find? I blame the clement weather. In the end, my dearest squishy love bun, I am a resident of London-ton. We. Do. Not. Hug.

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Screen cap from the film Maurice

“I am so clever that sometimes I don’t understand a single word of what I am saying.”

~ Oscar Wilde

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