Tagged Victorian Fashion

Behind the Scenes Pretties in How to Marry a Werewolf! Claw & Courtship (Special Extras)

Posted by Gail Carriger

Now that How the Marry a Werewolf has hit the world I can give you some sneaky behind the scenes stuff, Gentle Reader!

How about some of the hats and dresses mentioned in the story? Well you can check out the inspiration Pinterest board for How to Marry a Werewolf!

Want my ideas on casting Faith, the main character from this book? Some of her favorite dresses and my vintage inspiration for this character? Check her out on Pinterest.

Want to look at how I imagine Teddy?

Just because…


Teddy & Faith Fooling Around

How to Marry was very much inspired by Heyer’s work, this one is on sale today!


Amazon (print) | Kobo | B&N (print) | iBooks 

Direct from Gail (Optional Signed Edition) 

How to Marry a Werewolf (In 10 Easy Steps) ~ A Claw & Courtship Novella by Gail Carriger features a certain white wolf we all love to hate (except those of us weirdos who love to love him).

Guilty of an indiscretion? Time to marry a werewolf.

Rejected by her family, Faith crosses the Atlantic, looking for a marriage of convenience and revenge. But things are done differently in London. Werewolves are civilized. At least they pretend to be.


Your Moment of Parasol . . .

Your Infusion of Cute . . .

Your Tisane of Smart . . .

How To Organize Your Cords

Your Writerly Tinctures . . .  

If You’re Not Sure How a Male Author Would Describe You, Use This Handy Chart

Book News:

Pink books & saucers

Quote of the Day:

“I love walking into a bookstore. It’s like all my friends are sitting on shelves, waving their pages at me.”

~ Tahereh Mafi

Questions about Gail’s Parasolverse? Wiki that sheez!

Some Silly 1890s Hats For Ivy & Primrose (Custard Protocol Special Extras)

Posted by Gail Carriger


Just some fun hats for you today, Fashionable Reader. I’m thinking of Ivy, or Primrose, or what Ivy might buy for Primrose.

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

If you haven’t found it already this kind of thing shows up on the Retro Rack Group quite a bit, and there you can also share your own.


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

Dead Bird!

Allen & Ginter (American, Richmond, Virginia)
Not Engaged, from the Parasol Drills series (N18) for Allen & Ginter Cigarettes Brands, 1888


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

This last one I think is particularly Ivy!


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

Related Yummy Links

Do you want more fashionable sneak peeks behind the scenes? New stuff goes to my Chirrup members first, because I love them bestest. Sign up here.

Coop de Book for March is Lady of Devices by Shelley Adina. (Discussion here.)


Amazon | Kobo | B&N | iBooks | Direct

Romancing the Werewolf ~ A Supernatural Society Novella by Gail Carriger is now available (audio will follow).

Gay reunion romance featuring your favorite reluctant werewolf dandy, the return of a certain quietly efficient Beta, and some unexpected holiday gifts.


Your Moment of Parasol . . .

Frederick Frieseke (American artist, 1874-1939) In the Garden, Giverny

Your Infusion of Cute . . .

Child Gail & Grown Up Gail #cosplayersaskids

Your Tisane of Smart . . .

An Introduction to Black Tea

Your Writerly Tinctures . . .  

31 Essential Science Fiction Terms And Where They Came From

Book News:

Quote of the Day:

“There is no I in team but there is tea. Just thought I’d point that out.”

~ Gail on Twitter

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

Dear Lord Akeldama ~ Gifts, Endearments & Peas

Posted by Gail Carriger

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

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

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

Rudderbuddy asks:

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

You can think of a better source of endearments?

Melissa asks:

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

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

Jessica asks:

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

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

Mandy asks:

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

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

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

Sharon asks:

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

Endeavor to be as fabulous as possible.

Tracy asks:

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

Color, setting, and approval rating.

Avery asks:

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

Black, my darling little eliá.

Irene asks:

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

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


Want to ask Lord Akeldama a question? Join the Chirrup

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


Your Moment of Parasol . . .

1905 (Source- pinterest.com) via fawnvelveteen tumblr

Your Infusion of Cute . . .

Your Tisane of Smart . . .

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

Your Writerly Tinctures . . .  

10+ Times Writers Took Book Dedications To Another Level

Book News:

By Rebecca Nandi

Quote of the Day:

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

~ P.G. Wodehouse

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

Dear Lord Akeldama ~ On Fashion, Feminism, & Faux

Posted by Gail Carriger

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

via celuloid-jam tumblr

And now…

Dear Lord Akeldama

Lisa asks:

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

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

Christopher asks:

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

I try not to think about them at all.

Alicia asks:

How do you politely tell someone to stuff it?

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

Pamela asks:

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

Do not go anywhere.

Mara asks:

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


Jack asks:

Flossing or just brushing?

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

Court Suit, ca 1810

Fiona asks:

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

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

Cherries asks:

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

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


Liza asks:

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

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

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

Want to ask Lord Akeldama a question? Join the Chirrup

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


Your Moment of Parasol . . .

1900 Longchamp, France Antique-Royals tumblr2

Your Infusion of Cute . . .

40 Unique Teapots to Help You Savour the Taste of Tea

Your Tisane of Smart . . .

Keeping Time in the Victorian Kitchen

Your Writerly Tinctures . . .  

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

~ Joyce Rachelle

Book News:

Quote of the Day:

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

~ P.G. Wodehouse

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

Dear Lord Akeldama ~ On Actors, Fashion, & Blood

Posted by Gail Carriger

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

He’s Baaaaaaack!

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

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

Banyan 1780-1820 The Victoria & Albert Museum

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

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

Top Hat 1832 The Los Angeles County Museum of Art

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

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

Ensemble 1790s The Kyoto Costume Institute

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

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

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

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

That’s all for now, darlings.

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

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

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

Want to ask Lord Akeldama a question? Join the Chirrup

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


Your Moment of Parasol . . .

via ClassicPics @History_Pics Young Maiko from the 1920s

Your Infusion of Cute . . .

50 Best Reading Nooks We Have Ever Come Across

Your Tisane of Smart . . .

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

Your Writerly Tinctures . . .  

Anachronisms & Other Ways to Make Readers Snicker

Book News:

Fan Art of Lord A by Matt Harrison ‏@matchoo28

Quote of the Day:

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

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

12 Days Until Christmas, Finishing School Style, Plus Gift Ideas for the Gail Carriger Fan In Your Life (Miss Carriger Recommends)

Posted by Gail Carriger

12 days until Christmas, Gentle Reader, if that’s your thing. Here is a bit of fun from the Finishing School Tumblr.

Here are 12 Gift Ideas For Gail Carriger Fans:

1. Octopus Cookie Cutter ($6).

2. Octopus necklace ($7) for any member of the OBO who doesn’t want to get a tattoo.

3. Octopus Bottle Stopper ($12) for those who prefer wine over tea.

4. 1800s Balloon Art Airship Stainless Steel ID or Cigarettes Case ($14). This is the airship design that the Flywaymen air dinghies are based off of in the Finishing School series.

Or if you’re buying for a big OBO Madame Lefoux fan, the same company makes versions of this case with octopus on the cover.

5. Lace overlay parasol (not good for rain) $13, comes in range of colors.

6. Wonderful Ocean Octopus Nightlight ($18) that I might have to buy for my office. So cute! Perhaps Quesnel had one of these while a child.

7. Stone Octopus Coaster

8. Tentacles Wall Decal Sticker ($30).

9. Lucky Ladybug Shaped Teapot ($18). For Primrose to serve tea aboard the Spotted Custard.

10. My favorite tea, Twinings 1706 Strong ($12).

11. Gail’s favorite Necklace pen  ($20). I own both and wear them constantly. Standard gel refills.

Bumbersnoot necklace
Also there is also my Zazzle shop full of Gail Carriger branded merchandise. Everything from t-shirts to mugs to buttons.
{Gail’s monthly read along for December is Hex Hall by Rachel Hawkins.}


Romancing the Inventor

Romancing the Inventor: A Supernatural Society Novella

A steampunk lesbian romance featuring a maid bent on seducing a brilliant cross-dressing scientist who’s too brokenhearted to notice. Or is she?


Your Moment of Parasol . . .

1921A young, brunette Carole Lombard. 1921 via fuckyeahmodernflapper tumblr

1921 A young, brunette Carole Lombard. 1921 via fuckyeahmodernflapper tumblr

Your Infusion of Cute . . .

“It was one of those jolly, peaceful mornings that make a fellow wish he’d got a soul or something.”
~ P. G. Wodehouse

Your Tisane of Smart . . .

“The books that the world calls immoral are books that show the world its own shame.”
~ Oscar Wilde

Your Writerly Tinctures . . .  

“Talent without discipline is like an octopus on roller skates. There’s plenty of movement, but you never know if it’s going to be forward, backwards, or sideways.”
~ H. Jackson Brown, Jr.

Book News:

Backwards Compatible says of Imprudence:

“With a great mix of humour and characters, Gail Carriger has created wonderfully rich world for Rue to explore. The best part is as yet she does not know what manner of adventures await though I’m hoping Carriger does. If you are new to Steampunk then this is a great series to look into and though I always say start at the beginning, you can jump into to Imprudence and still enjoy the ride.”

Quote of the Day:

“My new supervisor was a gruff old dude who liked the fact that I was a gruff young dude.”
~ Strong Signal by Megan Erickson & Santino Hassell

(Highly recommended for fans of contemporary m/m romance.)

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

Fine, I Joined Pinterest ~ Gail Carriger

Posted by Gail Carriger


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

Screen Shot 2016-09-04 at 1.25.47 PM

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

Which is a very long way of saying…

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

Screen Shot 2016-09-04 at 1.24.30 PM

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

Screen Shot 2016-09-04 at 1.26.08 PM

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



My Sister’s Song

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


Your Moment of Parasol . . .

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

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

Your Infusion of Cute . . .

Your Tisane of Smart . . .

Octopus Eyes Are Crazier Than We Imagined

Your Writerly Tinctures . . .  

The World’s 52 Largest Book Publishers, 2016

Book News:

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

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

Quote of the Day:

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

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

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

Steampunk Tea Party Fundraiser for Locus Foundation

Posted by Gail Carriger


Over the weekend, Gentle Reader, Borderlands hosted a steampunk tea party to raise money for the Locus Foundation with yours truly. “The Locus Science Fiction Foundation (LSFF) is a registered 501(c)3 nonprofit dedicated to the promotion and preservation of science fiction, fantasy, and horror.”

It was a really fun morning. 20 enthusiastic and devoted readers of my books attended, prepared to pepper me with questions, drink the tea carafe dry, and risk eternal damnation through the consumption of scotch eggs.

Nibbles included poached salmon, crab cakes, petite quiche, tea cakes, confectionery, biscuits, scones, crumpets and the most adorable cupcakes ever seen.

Rina of SF-in-SF did the bulk of the heavy lifting, and she was wonderful. Francesca, Graphics Editor at Locus attended to take photos and help, as well as other able assistants and volunteers. Borderlands was, as always, kind and gracious about allowing us to use their space. Since the cafe was open, the tea event took over the bookstore.

The goodie bags.


The grand prize basket & all the prizes waiting to be distributed.

Every attendee received a goody bag of Gail Carriger swag and then everyone also received a raffle prize with one grand prize winner. Everyone seemed please with their prizes. Rina and I had a wonderful time putting things together.

in which everyone is serious about tea

There was a good deal of civilized discourse and a great deal of raucous laughter. I told stories about the people behind my characters, revealed secrets about Imprudence, and I gave attendees a sneak peek at some upcoming cover art that has carefully not hit the internet yet.

It was meant to be a casual milling gathering but quickly became a sit down affair with everyone gathered around, like a large tea-orientated kaffeeklatsch. I’ve said before that kaffeeklatsches are my favorite thing to do at conventions so this was, as far as I am concerned, the best kind of event.

There might have been some animated gesticulating. I’ve blogged about my outfit over on Retro Rack.

It was great fun and we raised just about $900 for the foundation. I hope it is the kind of event that will be repeated again in the future. Everyone asked such insightful questions. As always, my readers proved themselves to be the most well dressed, creative, cheerful, and entertaining in all fandom.

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


Your Moment of Parasol . . .

1890s Royal Group –  via antique-royals tumblr

Your Infusion of Cute . . .

With the BFF

Your Tisane of Smart . . .
There’s A Life Form That Exclusively Lives Inside Cephalopods

Your Writerly Tinctures . . .  

Book News:
The Horn Book says of Manners & Mutiny: “The Finishing School series goes out in style, with plenty of derring-do action, witty repartee, several surprising revelations, and satisfying romance. And, of course, some to-die-for accessories.”

Quote of the Day:
“Everything in life that’s any fun, as somebody wisely observed, is either immoral, illegal or fattening.”
~ P.G. Wodehouse

Dear Lord Akeldama ~ On Nicknames & Others Issues

Posted by Gail Carriger


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

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

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

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

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

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

1760 Waistcoat  1760  The Metropolitan Museum of Art

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

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

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

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

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

Duke Carl Theodore in Bavaria

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

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

antique-royals-tumblr 1850s

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

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

Want to ask Lord Akeldama a question? Join the Chirrup

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


Your Moment of Parasol . . .

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

Your Infusion of Cute . . .


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

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

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

Book News:

Finishing School Girls Fan Art via jeneelestrange tumblr

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

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

Unused Finishing School Notes (Special Extras)

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.


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).


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.



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}


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

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

Historical Questions for Victorian Ladies 1853 (Finishing School Special Extras)

Posted by Gail Carriger


If you were a respectable young lady in the Victorian Era, Gentle Reader, here are a few conversation topics you might be expected to have words on.  This is the kind of thing Lady Linette might instruct the girls of Mademoiselle Geraldine’s with, in order to adequately prepare them for societal integration.


Historical Question for Ladies

(Taken principally from the Reign of Queen Victoria.)

  • What do you mean by the “Crush-Room of the Opera;” and why is it so called?
  • When did gigot sleeves go out of fashion, and did such sleeves have anything to do with the popular French phrase of “Revenons à nos Moutons?”
  • What do you mean by “Crochet Work”? and can you set the pattern for ladies of “How to make a purse for your brother?”
  • Who edited the “Book of Beauty?” and mention a few of the aristocratic names whose portraits have had the honour of appearing in its splendid pages.
  • Can you describe the habits and haunts of the “Swedish Nightingale?” and can you mention the highest note it ever reached, and also why it sang in a Haymarket?
  • State the name of the “Bohemian nobleman” who first brought over the Polka to England.
  • In what year of VICTORIA’S reign was the celebrated Bal Costumé given at Buckingham Palace? and describe the dress that HER MAJESTY wore on that interesting occasion.
  • Give the names of the principal singers who distinguished themselves at the two Italian Operas during the rival administrations of GYE and LUMLEY, and describe the nature of the feud that existed between those two great men.
  • Give a description of “Pop Goes the Weasel,” and state all you know about the “Weasel,” and what was the origin of his going “Pop.”
  • Who succeeded WIGAN in the Corsican Brothers? Mention the names of the principal watering-places, and say which was considered
  • the more fashionable of the two—Margate, or Gravesend?
  • When did flounces come into fashion, and state the lowest and the highest number a lady could wear?
  • Describe the position of Chiswick—and give a short account of its Gardens, and the Fêtes that were held there every year.
  • What were the duties of the Ladies of the Bedchamber, and in what respects did they differ from the Maids of Honour at Richmond?
  • Mention the names of the most delicious novels that were published between the years 1840 and 1853, and name the character and scene that pleased you the most.
  • Whose gloves do you consider were the best? What was the last elopement that created any sensation at Gretna Green?
  • State who was Jullien? Also, whether he had anything to do with the soup that bears his celebrated name?

~ Mostly garnered from the Ladies Home Journal, 1853

Finishing School for Modern Women to Debut in September

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


Your Moment of Parasol . . .

The Delineator Magazine, July 1914. Illustration by Carl Kleinschmidt
(via beautifulcentury & dejavuteam)

Your Infusion of Cute . . .

SICILY, SYRACUSE- AR LITRA — ARETHUSA_OCTOPUS 466-460 BC Diameter- 13.1 mm Weight- 0.67 grams Obverse- Pearl-diademed head of Arethusa right; ΣVPA before Reverse- Octopus

Your Tisane of Smart . . .
The Yixing teapot Exhibition at the Tea Institute

Your Writerly Tinctures . . .  
Movies That Are Better Than Their Bookish Inspirations

Book News:
Yasmin of Ler e Imaginar says of In Innocence? (Portuguese Changeless)
“For those who enjoy a good book, with characters that are beyond the standard, you need to know as soon as the series The Protectorate of Umbrella.”

Quote of the Day:

Dear Lord Akeldama ~ On Man Buns & Commandos

Posted by Gail Carriger


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

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

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

Ensemble  1790-1795  The Los Angeles County Museum of Art

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

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

J. C. Leyendecker

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

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


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

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

1765 Jacket and Waistcoat  1765  The Metropolitan Museum of Art

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

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

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

Want to ask Lord Akeldama a question? Join the Chirrup

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


Your Moment of Parasol . . .

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

Your Infusion of Cute . . .

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

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

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

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