Tagged Special Extras

How Does the Peerage Work in the Parasolverse? Occasional FAQ

Posted by Gail Carriger

There’s this scene in the mini-series called The Buccaneers (based on the Edith Wharton novel), where Jacky is teaching the girls how the British Peerage works. It’s riveting, if only a minor bit of characterization, but it’s imprinted on my mind.

So when it came time to rewrite Victorian London to incorporate immortals, it’s possible I spent too much time on the peerage.

How Does the Peerage Work in the Parasolverse header

I’m not going to go deeply in the Order of Precedence, I trust you, Gentle Reader, can do that research yourself.

Parasolverse Peerage

I tend to circumvent the particulars in two ways: first most of my stories take place among the gentry not the peerage, and second most of my characters exist on a level of familiarity with one another that allows formalities to be less strict.

Here’s how I made mine work:

  • The peerage pretty much works the same way it did historically. It includes the royal family, archbishops, dukes, earls, and viscounts, and technically stops at barons. A much younger son can be born into a noble family, but not inherit any title, thus being technically a commoner but still a member of the aristocracy.
  • The nobility amongst human (AKA daylight) peers in my stories ALL inherit their titles, usually along with land. There are no “for life” high ranking titles granted to humans.
  • The only granted peerages are to supernatural creatures. These are granted by the monarch to vampires queens (automatically) and to have-bound vampires or roves based on merit (usually for political service, great wealth, or significant aide rendered to the crown AKA spying). Peerages are granted to werewolf pack Alphas (automatically) or to pack members or loners based on merit (usually military heroes or civil service). For Alphas and queens, these grants include a title and land (for werewolves) or a title and house in a major city (for vampires). So Ivy, for example, becomes Baroness Tunstell (Timeless). Biffy becomes Lord Falmouth (Romancing the Werewolf). If in a werewolf pack, a challenge occurs that legitimately replaces one Alpha with another, the title transfers, since the title belongs more to the pack than the individual (as if going from human father to son upon death).
  • Some supernatural creatures were also born human aristocrats or held peerage in a different land before they came to the UK. In those cases, the title transferred with them into immortality, Countess Nadasdy and Lord Akeldama, are examples of this kind of title. In such cases they do not take a new title unless they wish to.
  • Only titled supernatural creatures are able to sit on the Shadow Council.

Mrs Loontwill

Parasolverse Gentry

  • For daylight humans, below the peerage come the baronets and knights. These are more numerous and less influential.
  • A baronage, in humans, is hereditary – like a peer.
  • A knighthood, on the other hand, is conferred for life for services to the crown (see Sir Crispin in Defy or Defend). In the Parasolverse this is the only “for life” title granted to humans. Because of this, they never need to state “for life”. They are not peers and do not sit in the House of Lords. Knights are basically the upper gentry, along with squires, judges, and the like.
  • Gentry might sit in the House of Commons, hold land (sometimes quite substantially), and are generally principal families of importance to a certain areas where the nobility is not particularly present. They act as magistrates and justices, fund the staking constabulary, support local charities and education, etc… Squire Loontwill is part of the gentry.
  • The gentry are more active in rural areas, because the members of the peerage tend to spend a good portion of each year in London. (Which is still called “the Ton” in my Victorian world, even though that’s technically a Regency term.)

Brick Outhouse Gail Carriger Quote Maccon Crap Blameless

Lord Maccon

It is always a terrible inconvenience for the government when a member of the nobility, already holding, becomes either Alpha or vampire queen. However this is also very very rare. And then there’s Lord Maccon.

So Lord Maccon, in his original state was Alpha of Kingair. However, he was a true peer when he was changed. He would have been Conall Maccon, Laird of Kingair, variously called Lord Kingair, or just Kingair, or The Kingair. As he had children, mortal, before he changed into werewolf, his male heir would have inherited his peerage (the Laird title) at the point of his undeath, making his son Laird of Kingair, or Lord Kingair. This is why Conall would then be known as Lord Maccon instead (since he held the land but not the title).

  • Eventually Sidheag is his only heir, so she is known as Lady Kingair.
  • Alexia is then Lady Maccon, as his wife.
  • Their daughter is Lady Prudence. (More on her to come.)

When Lord Maccon moves to London and successfully challenges the existing Alpha, Lord Woolsey, for ownership of the Woolsey Pack, he took on the title of Lord Woolsey and became the Earl of Woolsey. Successful werewolf challenge is recognized by the Crown as the wolf version of inheriting peerage. I know, confusing, but we’re talking the British aristocracy here mixed with my world building. However, Conall mainly prefers to go by his original title of Lord Maccon (possibly because of the negative associations of the Woolsey title brought about by the previous Alpha).

When the vampires take over Woolsey Castle and the wolves move to London, Countess Nadasdy should now be technically Countess Nadasdy, Lady Woolsey. Lord Maccon now has no proper holding, his territory is urban, he might be properly called Lord Maccon, Earl of London, although that is not legally possible. So he is now a peer without a holding, luckily he can keep going by just Lord Maccon.

Lilliput Book Orchid Prudence Cat Book

Prudence, adopted into Lord Akeldama’s household and title (and who knows where that comes from) is, by rights as adopted first born (so long as Lord Akeldama is truly considered a member of the daylight nobility) Lady Akeldama. However, to prevent being confused as his wife, she might chose to be referred to under her first name, as Lady Prudence (although we all know how much she hates that).

Since her very existence monkeys with the system you can see how the Queen might be annoyed by everything about her.

Melanine Linsky Ivy

Bringing Up Commoners

Ivy, on the other hand, is brought up into the peerage as a commoner by virtue of becoming a vampire queen. She is granted a peerage as a baroness, and is now technically Lady Tunstell. Since this is not a daylight peerage, however, her children from her previous mortal life, Percy and Primrose, do NOT hold titles.

She is also given a territory by the crown, Wimbledon, so could be called (and might be in a kind of slang manner) the Baroness of Wimbledon. However she has no holding rights to that territory, she cannot collect rent, for example, so must earn her income, as most vampires do, through trade and investments.

One of the reasons I, as an author, transferred many of the existing hive with Ivy from Egypt is to give her a solid income and great trade ties to Alexandria, one of the biggest port cities at the time. Many of the English vampires also have their mitts in the East India Company, a very lucrative concern. This also explains how the East India company got so many concessions out of the British government, and why their nickname was Bloody Jack.

However, there is also the embarrassment of the drone/claviger process for consider.

gail Carriger tunstells cosplay smile

Gail with the Tunstells

Drones & Clavigers

Drones and clavigers are a carry-over from the guild-apprentice system. In both cases, if a young person is interested in immortality they technically petition to be indentured to a hive/rove or pack/loner. This is a kind of legalized servant/patron contract where the drone/claviger is bound to either the hive/pack or to the Alpha/Queen/Rove/Loner. Whether they belong to the group as a whole, or an individual alone is key – it’s like the difference between being a butler to a household or a valet to an individual.

Being bound to the Alpha, for example, ensures you will stay with him if he leaves his pack, it also means you serve him, like a valet. Tunstell is indentured to Conall specifically. Only Conall can release him from his contract. The servants in the hives, and most of the clavigers in the pack, are indentured to the household as a whole. They provide food to vampires, and safety and protection during full moon to werewolves (the name claviger means key-holder). In turn the supernatural creatures train them for various trades, education them in the ways of the immortal world, offer them patronage and money for their various artistic pursuits and, eventually offer them the option to try immortality (not all clavigers/drones are in it for the immortality).

You can see how, due to the servile nature of supernatural indenture, noblemen might dislike this part of the process and not want to try for immortality because of it? In fact, this is part of the reason it’s set up that way. Immortality is designed to bring up commoners into the aristocracy as vampires and werewolves, of which there are few made and who can’t produce children.

Still there are some who take the risk anyway, like Tizzy, for love, or money, or a chance at immortality. Or because of the liminal natural of the supernatural, that allows in my universe for a certain freedom of manner in the bedroom… shall we say?

Can I add how much I enjoy the term indenture when applied to werewolves and vampires? After all, the root of the word is “denture” teeth. Wanna know why?

“Identical copies if the contract were made on the same piece of paper; it was then torn along a jagged, toothlike (“dentures”) edge, leaving each party with a copy that – when fitted together with those other – would prove that it could only have been the counterpart of that one other piece of paper”

~ Daniel Pool p 325

Cinnamon roll Lord Akeldama

Which brings us to someone like Lord Akeldama – a rove.

He has indentures but clearly the contract is much less restrictive than a hive. His drones have a great deal more freedom. Perhaps this is because he must ally, politically, with a vampire queen to petition for his drones to be bitten? Perhaps because, as a rove, he himself has a great deal more freedom, his drones/vampire relationship is more relaxed and a less like servitude?

From a human looking to become immortal, this makes the choices of who you petition to become drone or claviger more complicated and a matter of weighing advantages and drawbacks of hive vs. rove, pack vs. loner, werewolf vs. vampire.

So there you have it, a very long blog post for today, I do hope that you have enjoyed it!

Here’s a few fun articles that might also interest:

Yours (destined to die on the alter of research),

Miss Gail

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Defy or Defend Special Extras (Delightfully Deadly Series)

Posted by Gail Carriger

Dimity’s story, Gentle Reader, is here at last!

Released May 3, 2020!

Defy Or Defend Dimity Delightfully Deadly Free Download DD2

I’m rather chuffed with it too, because Defy or Defend is particularly silly. There’s a vampire hive gone badly “to Goth” that needs tidying. Dimity plus one very tolerant (slightly twirly) knight are on the job.

This one may, or may not, contain interpretive dance, wafting white nightgowns through small forests, spontaneous intellectual salons, plus *surprise* Pillover.

How does it fit in the universe?

It occurs in March of 1869 about 2 years after Poison or Protect and four years before the start of the Parasol Protectorate series.

Gail Mint Green Lace 1960s Pattern Turban Peep Heels Teacup Defy Signing Multiple

This  Delightfully Deadly book has me lampooning:

  • Byron
  • Emo Feels
  • Industrial Rock lyrics from the 1990s

All in one REALLY bad poem.

Editing this book is also responsible for this little gem…

Note to self: “swept her up in his manly arms” is quite different from “swept her up in his many arms.”

Even if octopuses are my thing.

Defy or Defend Inspiration Board

Inspiration!

Before you ask, Defy or Defend is indeed an ode to the fantastic Cold Comfort Farm by Stella Gibbons (the movie is also excellent). I always knew Cold Comfort was a reverse Gothic, but it wasn’t until I started researching for this book that I realized it was also a makeover story.

Cold Comfort Farm Movie

I do love a makeover and so, it turns out, does Dimity.

I really hope you have as much fun reading this one, as I did writing it.

Special Extras for This Book

Nottingham Graveyard Church Lace Market Hotel View by Gail Carriger

Incidentally, here is a very fun fact about Nottingham!

Characters!

The cast of characters features the irrepressible Dimity Ann Plumleigh-Teignmott from the Finishing School series, all grown up and forging her own way.

Or is she?

Dimity is inspired by my BFF, Phrannish…

Dimity Fran Phran Francesca Best Freind Character Inspiration

Sir Crispin Bontwee is Dimity’s love interest in this book…

There is in fact a whole section with interpretive dance and ballet and such, so when this came up on Twitter regarding my cat… well I knew it also should go in the special extras section for this book.

Lilliput Interpretive dance

And I am terribly excited to introduce, Justice my favorite vampire character in this book!

Justice wears an open-necked poet shirt at the beginning of Dimity’s sojourn at the hive (much to her shock). Then at one point there is a nightgown incident, it’s all very dramatic.

Finally, there is the appearance of an almost hedgehog.

Hedgehog of Day Cactus Hedgehog

So I really hope you have as much fun reading this one, as I did writing it.

Parasol Les Modes Parisiennes September, 1869 Plate Number v. 47, 117

What people are saying about this book:

Rally the Readers says:

Defy or Defend was perfect from beginning to end: the romance, the mission to save the hive, the friends from other Parasolverse stories, and as always with Gail Carriger’s books, the humor!”

Karen McCoy Interview’s Gail Carriger about Defy or Defend

“This book was such a delight. Watching Dimity at work, cheerfully setting the [un]dead to rights and bringing, er, life back to dark and dangerous places kept the pages turning–especially with a worse kind of death overshadowing all.”

~ Shelley Adina (Author of The Magnificent Devices Devices series)

“I love Dimity, I love Crispin and his morality, and I love how much a change of scenery can change not only a person, but their outlook on life as well. If you’re looking for more of Gail Carriger’s writing, or just want to know what happened to the girls after Finishing School, then you need to read this book next!”

~ Tiny Navajo Reads 

“I recommend the book to fans of Gail Carriger’s other supernatural Victoriana books. I also suggest it’s a pretty good place for a new reader to dip their toes in, since the book stands alone well and introduces the particular flavour of Carriger vampires (and werewolves, but less so).”

~ Tsana’s Reads

quote defy She hated it when men got complicated. They were so very bad at it. Dimity

Yours (surrounded by apple green),

Miss Gail

P.S. Those of you who know me if old, know that I always buy a new pair of shoes for myself when I have a new book out. Well this one also released around my birthday and I discovered Poshmark. So instead of one fancy pair, I bought a practical pair, a skirt, and a necklace in honor of DEFY OR DEFEND. Dimity would approve, I think.

That’s an Eva Mendes “umbrella skirt” that also comes in black and red. No longer for sale but I found a few on Poshmark if you are as excited as I was.

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PICK YOUR VENDOR!

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It’s a battle for survival… and wallpaper!

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“I was ambushed, and she forcibly read her poetry at me.”

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Fashion in Defy or Defend (Special Extra Delightfully Deadly Series)

Posted by Gail Carriger

My darling Gentle Reader, here are some bits of fashion I included in the new Delightfully Deadly book, Defy or Defend.

Defy or Defend Gail Carriger the Fashion Title

I’m posting them ahead of time so you can look out for them and because I don’t consider fashion a spoiler, not even in a makeover story.

First, this meme went around a long time ago, and I saved it at the time because it so perfectly portrays several scenes in this book. A certain vampire gets hold of Dimity’s nightgown at one point and…. well you’ll have to read it to find out what happens next.

I promise, I wrote the scene before I saw the meme!

Here are some of the fashion plates I used to reference various dresses in this book.

On Dimity

Dimity Les Modes Parisiennes

Les Modes Parisiennes February, 1869

I love that cape but it’s actually too elaborate for Dimity under the context of this particular operation, the yellow and white ball gown, however…

Dimity Les Modes Parisiennes September 1869

Les Modes Parisiennes September 1869

I don’t know why I think of Dimity in yellow, but I do. I love this yellow and brown dress. I think it’s such an interesting color combination that screams 1970s in the modern age, but it was fun to put Dimity into it.

Dimity Hair

Dimity’s hair is the subject of much discussion in the book. Here is an example of how it might be arranged in this story.

Dimity & Justice

Dimity is depicted helping new character, Justice, with a personal makeover. So the two of them appear in a number of scenes together.

Dimity (yellow) Justice (pink)

Dimity (yellow) Justice (pink) Les Modes Parisiennes February 1869

Justice (pink) Dimity (blue)

Justice (pink) Dimity (blue) Les Modes Parisiennes June 1869

Justice (white) Dimity (orange)

Justice (white) Dimity (orange) Les Modes Parisiennes July 1869

Dimity & the Nottingham Hive Queen

Hive Queen Dimity

Hive Queen (pink) & Dimity (blue) Les Modes Parisiennes March, 1869

Hive Queen Dimity

Hive Queen (fringe) Dimity (blue) Les Modes Parisiennes October 1869 

Find more fashion from this time period (the 1860s) on my Pinterest board.

I hope you’ll have fun looking out for some of these dresses. Although, be warned, I tend to change colors or trims or fabrics, to make it more key to the character’s personality. In any case, you get an idea for the fashion in this book, and the fashion is VERY important!

Yours (always deciding between fringe and brocade, but fringe AND brocade???),

Miss Gail 

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PICK YOUR VENDOR!

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It’s a battle for survival… and wallpaper!

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Meat Cute Special Extras (Parasol Protectorate)

Posted by Gail Carriger

Meat Cute AKA the Hedgehog Incident is now available in all formats! If you’re not seeing the platform you want, it should be getting there soon.

Meat Cute The Hedgehog Incident Gail Carriger Free Download

Released in print: October 2019 as part of Fan Service

Release in audio: December 2019 directly.

Released in digital: Feb 16, 2020

This is the story of how Alexia and Conall met for the first time. AKA the Hedgehog Incident.

It is ONLY A SHORT STORY! It is NOT A FULL BOOK.

Here are some special extras related to this story!

Special Extras

About this story:

In Meat Cute, Alexia Tarabotti attends what appears to be a very dull London party, until the new werewolf Alpha turns up, is unconscionably rude to her, and sits on a hedgehog.

This charming novelette features the very first encounter between the Parasolverse’s most popular power couple, preternatural Alexia and supernatural Lord Conall Maccon.

Look out for cheeky appearances from other much beloved characters, not to mention the strategic application of a certain wicker chicken.

Poison Protect Parasol Teacup

A Note On Chronology

Set in the spring of 1872 this story occurs just prior to events chronicled in The Parasol Protectorate series (featuring Alexia and Conall) and after those in Defy or Defend (Dimity’s book) and Poison or Protect (Preshea’s book).

Alexia also appears briefly in Romancing the Inventor, and Conall and England’s most scandalous wolf pack is referenced in The Finishing School series.

Other things to know?

This is a quick read at 9000 words (about 15 printed pages). It is best read if you are already familiar with the Parasolverse, as it was written specifically with my fans in mind (and at your request).

Meat Cute Gail Carriger Blue Purple Flower Teacup White copy

Out to tea to celebrate the launch! Dressed to match the cover, of course. 

FAQ’s About Meat Cute

Will this one be available individually in print?

No, it’s too short.

It may be in another collection some day and I will let you know when that happens.

Is that our original Alexia model on the cover?

Yes.

Donna (my cover model) and I remain friends to this day. She happened to have some more photos from that old series of shoots she did (which ended up on the original Parasol Protectorate series).

I bought one and ta-da, we have a cover with the same model on it!

Isn’t that awesome?

Of course then I went to Starla who did a wonderful job fiddling with everything to give us this new cover. Hooray!

Sneaky peaky?

This is the only story, so far, where you get to see Sophronia and Soap all grown up and being tricky.

ace artemis fan artist soap sophronia walking finishing school

ace-artemis-fanartist- Soap and Sophronia (from the Finishing School series) out for a nighttime stroll

All Hedgehogs All Day

I learned that there are Hedgehog Olympics and my life is complete.

Yours, always trying to make you happy,

Miss Gail

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In this short story Alexia Tarabotti attends what seems to be a dull London party, until the new werewolf Alpha turns up, is unconscionably rude to her, and sits on a hedgehog.

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Characters as Cinnamon Rolls (Special Extras)

Posted by Gail Carriger

 

This has been kicking around Tumblr for a while now, and I enjoy it so much I thought I would repost it here.

Made by caduceus-tealeaf (using images from Soulless Vol. 1 the manga).

Cinnamon roll Lyall Alexia Genevieve Lefoux Conall Maccon

Cinnamon roll Sidheag Maccon Channing Ivy Tunstell

Cinnamon roll Lord Akeldama

Yours (looks like a cinnamon roll… you can guess the rest),

Miss Gail

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Meat Cute: The Hedgehog Incident featuring Alexia & Conall’s first encounter!

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PREORDER NOW!

In this short story Alexia Tarabotti attends what seems to be a dull London party, until the new werewolf Alpha turns up, is unconscionably rude to her, and sits on a hedgehog.

Gail’s Daily Tea Party

Your Moment of Parasol . . .

Departure Platform, Victoria Station (c. 1880), by James Tissot. (Photo- Wikiart.org) parasols victorian

Departure Platform, Victoria Station (c. 1880), by James Tissot. (Photo- Wikiart.org)

Your Infusion of Cute . . .

Your Tisane of Smart . . .

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Your Writerly Tinctures . . .  

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Book News:

Lost in a Good Book says of Changeless:

“I am fascinated by Carriger’s creativity, but more so I love how complicated yet simple and well-functioning this society is. This alternate reality, steam punk world sounds marvellous and it is a joy to read about a new interpretation of the werewolves/vampire myth as well as a new history of our own time.”

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Victorian Silhouette & Fashion Explained for Readers, Fellow Authors, & Dilettantes from Gail Carriger (Special Extras)

Posted by Gail Carriger

 

My dear Gentle Reader,

I am so very immersed in the Victorian Era it often doesn’t occur to me to actually explain fashion (or fashion terms). So here is is the massive explanation of pretty things I talk about in the Parasolverse, that you might not know…

Ivy and her hat, REM’s character sketch

“The English attach too much importance to ceremonies merely conventional, and for which there seems no motive but the ever-changing decrees of fashion.”

~ The Ladies’ Guide to True Politeness and Perfect Manners or, Miss Leslie’s Behaviour Book by Eliza Leslie (American 1864)

 All 3 At A Glance

  • Sophronia & The Finishing School: Early 1850s
  • Alexia & The Parasol Protectorate: Mid 1870s
  • Prudence & The Custard Protocol: Mid 1890s

1854  The Metropolitan Museum of Art; 1877  The Museum at FIT; Evening Ensemble  Hellstern & Sons, 1895  The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Why these 3 time periods?

Before we start, confession time. One of the reasons I chose the 1870s for my original series (starting with Soulless) is how ridiculous the fashions were during that time period, very bustled and frilly. Of course history also had a say in why I chose the 1870s as well, I’m a fan of Queen Victoria’s Little Wars.

Then it seemed quite natural to chose c. 20 years before and c. 20 years after, for the next two series. Of course, this is primarily for various character age reasons, but also because of the change in silhouette. And, fortunately for me (as a humor writer) all three time periods are fashionably ridiculous in their unique way: and each very different from one another, as I hope you will see.

The Finishing School Series

1851 – 1853

1851 Wedding Dress, American Met Museum

 

Main points of entry?

Sloping shoulders, low necklines, nipped in waists, increasingly wide bell skirts, full wide sleeves. Younger ladies in pale colors.

Preshea & Monique in an 1850s fashion plate

 

What makes it silly?

Very wide a full skirts requiring lots of petticoats (as the cage crinoline had not yet been introduced).

1854  Ball Gown The Metropolitan Museum of Art
1855-1865  The Metropolitan Museum of Art

* 1854 saw the arrival of the cage crinoline in England. This is a skirt (or series of tape ribbons) with concentric circles of wire in it to make if poof. I doesn’t appear in the Finishing School books because the last book takes place before it was introduced. 


Why for this series?

Good for espionage: the full skirts and wide pagoda sleeves hampered movement, but also are great for hiding things. Pockets could be put in and hidden everywhere. Fashion is rife with useful plot moments and vehicles for humor.

1855  The Los Angeles County Museum of Art

 

Authorial drawback?

Hats were mostly confined to bonnets, not my personal favorite. Although hair could be quite ridiculous.

Bonnet 1854 The Metropolitan Museum of Art

What were the men wearing?

Some carry over from the Regency Era, especially for formal occasions. Trousers relatively tight but knee britches had been abandoned except for boys and the countryside. Jacket styles began to include a wider range of cuts.

Coat ca. 1845-1853 The Victoria & Albert Museum; 1851_Parisian; Wedding Waistcoat 1854  The Philadelphia Museum of Art

 

What to watch for inspiration?

 

What happened next?

Things got, if possible, even more ridiculous. Skirts just got wider and wider with the cage crinoline in play. I include these kinds of dresses in the Delightfully Deadly series of novellas.

Wedding Dress  1864  The Metropolitan Museum of Art
Cage Crinoline  1862  The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Want to learn more about the ever expanding hoop?

The Parasol Protectorate Series

1873 – 1876

 

Main points of entry?

Many layers, lots of trim, many kinds of hats, full bustles, long sleeves, restricted movement, range of necklines and sleeve styles.

Morning Dress  1875  The Metropolitan Museum of Art

What makes it silly?

Big back bustles (although not so big as the 1880s revival bustles), way too much trim and ribbons and bows and whatnot. Extremely bizarre hats. New experimentation in chemical components and mass production yields up new color ranges and pallets. Increased access to new and amazing fabrics from India and China. New Rich attempting to break into the aristocracy increases nuanced destination in assessments based on appearance.

Bustle 1873, Austrian, Made of cotton and horsehair

Summer Corset  1872  The Metropolitan Museum of Art

 

Why for this series?

The hats! The fabrics. The yardage. The restrictions. All represent a level of confinement and superficiality that Alexia, whether she realizes it or not, chafes against.

1872-1875  The Metropolitan Museum of Art
1870-1875 Wedding Bonnet   The Victoria & Albert Museum

The authorial drawback?

Too much fabric, way too hard to move. Challenging for cover art.

 1872 Ball Gown  Charles Fredrick Worth

 

What were the men wearing?

Relatively somber colors in suits, flashy waistcoats and vests, some experimentation with fabrics and patterns, mostly matched suits.

 1873_May_Gof; 1873-1875  The Victoria & Albert Museum; 1875-1880  The Los Angeles County Museum of Art

 

What to watch for inspiration?


What Happened Next?

Skirts started to come in closer and closer to the body, the lobster tale became fashionable, fabrics became (if you can imagine) even more elaborate. The Natural Form movement began (my absolute favorite. Romancing the Inventor is set during this time period.

 1870s  Kerry Taylor Auctions; “Lobster Tail” Bustle  1870s  The Metropolitan Museum of Art

1879-1880; 1879  both The Metropolitan Museum of Art

The Custard Protocol Series

1895 – 1896

 

Main points of entry?

Experimenting in asymmetry, puffy sleeves, wide range of outfit choices, more freedom of movement, complementary fabrics, the biggest most outrageous hats ever (Queen Ivy’s influence). New Woman movement influences sportswear and major dress reform due, in part, to the ubiquitous bicycle and the suffragist movement. Military influence as well.

Fashion houses really begin appear including brand loyalty, scions of fashion became brand ambassadors for a house to which they were loyal (actresses, singers, noted beauties). (Prudence lives in Worth.) Iconic dresses given names as if they were art pieces.

 1890s Wedding Dress  1890s  The Indianapolis Museum of Art; Wedding Dress  Jean-Philippe Worth, 1895  The Metropolitan Museum of Art

 

What makes it silly?

Those truly bizarre sleeves, those enormous over-decorated hats equal a very top heavy look.

 1895  Kerry Taylor Auctions; 1890 Sleeve Supports  The Metropolitan Museum of Art

1895  The Metropolitan Museum of Art
Summer Corset  1895  The Victoria & Albert Museum

 

Why for this series?

The hats! The sleeves, the ridiculousness continues. Sportswear can make a character statement easily and up front. I have two human characters who gravitate to the practicality of sportswear (it’s less practical for shape shifters who gravitate to tea gowns and robes). Both of them are scientists Faith in How to Marry a Werewolf who is a big hiker and geologist and Arsenic who is a doctor and has masqueraded as a man in the past, in Reticence.

1894  The Goldstein Museum of Design

 

The authorial drawback?

I really think this period is pretty ugly. It’s hard to write characters swooning over dresses I think are hideous.

 

What were the men wearing?

Relatively somber suits not too dissimilar from today, frankly fashion hasn’t changed too much for men since then. Fancy occasions called for vests (single breasted) or waistcoats (double breasted) and the occasional cravat (now often referred to as an ascot). Sportswear continued to be more and more specialized and earn new names (tweeds, for example, meant hunting attire, punting meant a stripped boatsman look good for picnics or any boating activity, etc…)

 1895 Evening Vest  1885-1895; Ascot  1890s both The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Suit ca. 1894 via The Costume Institute of the Metropolitan Museum of Art
1890s man via shewhoworshipscarlin tumblr

Virgil, perhaps?

 

What to watch for inspiration?

Puffed Sleeves Muthafucka Anne Green Gables Gail Carriger

via Robbie Rozelle [email protected] on Twitter

What happened next?

If you can imagine, dresses became even more elaborate eventually bleeding into the massive hats and complex outfits of the turn of the century.

Ball Gown  Jacques Doucet, 1898-1902  The Metropolitan Museum of Art

“If you chance to find an authoress occupied with her needle, express no astonishment, and refrain from exclaiming, “What! can you sew?” or, “I never supposed a literary lady could even hem a handkerchief!”

~ The Ladies’ Guide to True Politeness and Perfect Manners or, Miss Leslie’s Behaviour Book by Eliza Leslie (1864)

Yours in corsets,

Miss Gail

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  • Coop de Book for September 2019 is Still Waters by Alex Gabriel.

OUT NOW!

Reticence: The forth and final Custard Protocol Book!

Reticence

USA & Canada: Amazon print & digital & audiobook | Kobo | B & N | Apple | Audible | Other

UK digitalprint | Kobo UK | Apple UK coming soon I hope

Amazon Overseas DE | FR | AU 

Kobo Overseas DE | FR | AU

Bookish and proper Percival Tunstell finds himself out of his depth when floating cities, spirited plumbing, and soggy biscuits collide in this delightful conclusion to New York Times bestselling author Gail Carriger’s Custard Protocol series.

UPCOMING SCRIBBLES

GAIL’S DAILY DOSE

Your Moment of Parasol . . .

August 1862 featuring parasol 

1874 Fashion plate with parasol

1894 Seaside fashion plate shewhoworshipscarlin tumblr featuring a parasol

Your Infusion of Cute . . .

Hair Bracelet probably worked in Ireland about 1840

Hair Bracelet probably worked in Ireland about 1840

Your Tisane of Smart . . .

You could be putting your child off reading – here’s how to change that

Your Writerly Tinctures . . .  

A Resource Guide to Writing Basics

Book News:

Quote of the Day:

Questions about Gail’s Parasolverse? Wiki that sheez!


Reticence Special Extras (Custard Protocol Special)

Posted by Gail Carriger

 

Have you JUST finished this book? You want this blog post:

Reticence released in August of 2019

Reticence is the final book in the Custard Protocol series. It takes place after events in Competence and contemporaneous with those in How to Marry a Werewolf. (At least at the beginning.)

Here are some fun blog posts and resources that tie to this book. Research I did, chattering and amusement on the subject of the final Custard Protocol book.

The Spotted Custard crew is back for one last rollicking adventure! Watch Miss Gail tie up all those loose threads. Look out for appearances from beloved Parasolverse characters (and some less beloved) and learn everyone’s secrets… the hard way.

Percy, of course, could care less.

Or could he?

Author Thoughts On This Book

This one was written absolutely and utterly for readers. I suggest you be as caught up as possible by the time you pick this up. It is unequivocally NOT designed to be read as a standalone (I honestly have no idea if it does, you tell me?). It should be mad cap, hilarious, and surprising no matter what. But you will get all the inside jokes and cookies only if you’ve read the full back catalogue of the Parasolverse.

I talk about what it’s like to end a series in these posts. (My feelings haven’t changed much on the subject over the years.)

Dear Author: How Could You End the Series?! 

  1. Ending A Series ~ Part 1: Practicalities
  2. Ending a Series ~ Part 2: Emotions

Books not in the Custard Protocol series but still directly referenced within the first few chapters of Reticence include:

Ace Artemis Fan Artist Percy

Extras Pertaining to the Characters in This Book

ace-artemis-fanartist by request from queerspacenya Aggie from Custard Protocol – she is probably glaring at Rue

Background Research for Reticence

Some of my favorite quotes from Reticence

Arsenic’s unique point of view, I’ve never had the opportunity to write a doctor character before:

“No one was more easily offended than a male intellectual whose expertise was challenged.”

Sometimes it’s Percy’s perspective on old familiar characters that I had fun with:

“Ivy Tunstell had a loose relationship with vocabulary. So far as Percy could tell, it involved groping about for a word and having about as much success as one would locating a bar of soap in the bathtub. Whatever came out of her mouth as a result was squeezed forth and landed with a splash, surprising everyone around, except her.”

PRAISE FOR RETICENCE

“Carriger’s prose is playful and droll, with frequent laugh-worthy moments, tongue-in-cheek humor, and sparkling repartee.”

Publisher’s Weekly

“Beautiful descriptions of Edo’s floating Paper City and other Japanese-inspired traditions adds to Carriger’s already richly built world. One of the biggest draws of Carriger’s steampunk travelogues is the writing style, and she again delivers witty dialogue and amusing internal monologues. This may be Carriger’s final Custard Protocol novel, but hopefully we’ll see more adventures set in her much-beloved, neo-Victorian setting. ”

Booklist

“This charming conclusion to the Custard Protocol steampunk series (following 2018’s Competence) sees the unorthodox crew of the good airship Spotted Custard taking on a new ship’s doctor before setting forth for Japan to investigate rumors of unknown shapeshifters.”

Publisher’s Weekly

“I can’t really say too much more without spoilers, but I love being in Percy’s head, I want to be Arsenic, and Spoo is great! Lots of old favourites and future characters popping up to say hi. A satisfying adventure and rescue. Politeness, fisticuffs and tea. Everything we love and expect from Gail Carriger.”

Roberta Reads

“This was, as per usual for Carriger’s books, a fun read.”

Sana’s Reads

“All three series have been too funny with Carriger’s unique take on steampunk and the paranormal, as she pokes fun at society’s rules and expectations.”

KD Did It Edits

“This book finally allows us to see Percy embrace his place and prove that he is a truly valuable member of the Spotted Custard.”

ABQ Live

“I did not realize how much I wanted a Percy love story until I read this book. It was everything that I did not know I needed, and I am so glad that it exists.”

Sophil Reads

Good Gossip Coming to the Chirrup

Next Chirrup will be chock full of gossip! I confess to disliking something immensely in Scotland/Ireland and I talk about a book of mine being soundly rejected. These are things I’d never post about publicly and are exclusive to Chirrup readers. Also, if you join by end of day Saturday (Sept 7, 2019) and confirm your email, on Sunday you can enter to win this awesome goodie box:

Yours not at all reticent,

Miss Gail

  • Want more behind the scenes info? This stuff goes to my Chirrup members, because I love them bestest. Sign up here.
  • Not into newsletters? Get only new releases by following Gail on Amazon or BookBub!

OUT NOW!

Reticence: The forth and final Custard Protocol Book!

Reticence

USA & Canada: Amazon print & digital & audiobook | Kobo | B & N | Apple | Audible | Other

UK digitalprint | Kobo UK | Apple UK coming soon I hope

Amazon Overseas DE | FR | AU 

Kobo Overseas DE | FR | AU

Bookish and proper Percival Tunstell finds himself out of his depth when floating cities, spirited plumbing, and soggy biscuits collide in this delightful conclusion to New York Times bestselling author Gail Carriger’s Custard Protocol series.

UPCOMING SCRIBBLES

GAIL’S DAILY DOSE

Your Moment of Parasol . . .

Your Infusion of Cute . . .

Your Tisane of Smart . . .

Say this and thought, Bent YA, huh, I write that.

Your Writerly Tinctures . . .  

How to Send Email Newsletters to Instapaper

Book News:

Gail on the BiCurean Podcast ~ Bi the Way
A conversation between 3 bi women about identity, relationships, and labels. Ranging from entertaining to serious, we explore the intersection between queer and straight cultural expectations of women and how being bi and “femme” challenges those expectations in both communities. (Quotes around femme explained in the episode ;p)

Quote of the Day:

“You can’t discriminate against someone based on their Hogwarts’ House!”

~ Borderlands overheard in the store

Your Moment of Gail

 

“I suspect it may be like the difference between a drinker and an alcoholic; the one merely reads books, the other needs books to make it through the day.”

(Interview with The Booklovers blog, September 2010)” ~ Gail Carriger

Questions about Gail’s Parasolverse? Wiki that sheez!


Some Super Fun Reticence Stuff ~ Links & Video (Custard Protocol Special Extras)

Posted by Gail Carriger

My darling Gentle Reader,

Reticence has now been launched into the world, hooray!

Reticence Update

Here’s all the behind the scenes stuff for Reticence while you read or after you finish! I really hope you enjoy both the book and the extras.

Video About Reticence!

Questions answered while trying not to cause any spoilers. See Gail try to dodge around topics and talk in code.

More Fun Shizz to Tickle Your Fancy While I’m On Hiatus

Read The 5th Gender, because it will change the way you think about life, human interaction, and culture. Oh and it’s cute, funny, and sexy. So there!

Here’s a sample of the audiobook which is uploading and going through the quality check process…

All the Dear Lord Akeldama blog posts

All my books have been updated with special extras and behind the scenes features, just click on the book and then scroll to the bottom section.

Reviews Mean You Love Me

If you feel at all inclined, please review one of my books? Why? It’s really helpful in getting the word out and keeps me writing. It’s emotional motivation. Also it has lots of side effects in terms of offers for marketing deals from different platforms allowing me to reach even more readers.

Also, honestly? Soulless has been at 858 reviews for ages and I would SO SO SO love to crack 1000. I mean, come on, wouldn’t that be awesome? 1000 reviews?

Yours, traveling with lots to read,

Miss Gail

  • Want to know where I went and what I did? This stuff goes to my Chirrup members, because I love them bestest. Sign up here.
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OUT NOW!

Reticence: The forth and final Custard Protocol Book!

Reticence

USA & Canada: Amazon print & digital & audiobook | Kobo | B & N | Apple | Audible | Other

UK digitalprint | Kobo UK | Apple UK coming soon I hope

Amazon Overseas DE | FR | AU 

Kobo Overseas DE | FR | AU

Bookish and proper Percival Tunstell finds himself out of his depth when floating cities, spirited plumbing, and soggy biscuits collide in this delightful conclusion to New York Times bestselling author Gail Carriger’s Custard Protocol series.

UPCOMING SCRIBBLES

GAIL’S DAILY DOSE

Your Moment of Parasol . . .

Parasol by Jackie for Erin seen at Reticence launch

Your Infusion of Cute . . .

Enjoy This ‘Divorced Birds’ Subreddit

Your Tisane of Smart . . .

9 LGBT Book Blogs That Will Keep You Up To Date With Your Favorite Authors

Your Writerly Tinctures . . .  

How authors make money

Book News:

Joyfully Jay says:

The 5th Gender is a really engaging story that combines humor, romance, and a little bit of mystery. The first thing that struck me here is the playful tone to the story. Fans of Carriger’s San Andreas Shifters series will recognize the style with a lot of humor and silliness amidst the more serious plot elements.”

Quote of the Day:

What is it about fuzzy socks that’s so comforting? I mean it doesn’t work with… say… fuzzy undies or a fuzzy bra.

~ Self on Twitter

Questions about Gail’s Parasolverse? Wiki that sheez!


Tidbits & Behind the Scenes Research for Reticence (Custard Protocol Special Extras)

Posted by Gail Carriger

So here’s some bits and bobs I researched for Reticence! I don’t think these are very spoiler-y but if you are super worried you might want to save this to read after you’ve finished the book.

These are things, Gentle Reader, that may assist with comprehension but are not at all necessary.

Party Inspiration

For the big event at the beginning:

This is what Vauxhall looked like in 1751.

Of course my “Vauxhall Bob” doesn’t look like this at all, but it might not hurt to have a baseline…

1751 Vauxhall Gardens by Samuel Wale

A favorite moment from the first section:

He overheard Quesnel say, “Oh yes, because werewolves are so full of esprit de corps.”
To which Rue replied, “Oh, I see what you did there, how droll.”
Then one of the Kingair werewolves was pulled into the argument, his fellows backing him up. Whatever was said to him clearly caused offence, because the Scotsman looked like he was about to drop kilt and get furry.

Off to Japan!

Here’s some of the background research I did….

In order to construct my Japanese steampunk city I wanted to understand Japanese gardens and their historical evolution and philosophy of construction, so I watched this interesting documentary film Japan – Philosophical Landscapes.

I also watched the movie Silence. Wrong time period, 1600s, but I wanted to see how Hollywood would handle the set dressing and location shoots. Honestly, I think this is Scorsese trying to remake The Mission. Some of the settings were beautiful but I found the acting (I’m looking at you, white dudes) and story (yawn) regrettable. (I don’t know, is this Scorsese taking us on his own emotional journey equivalent of Bildungsroman in movie form? I was just as much interested as I was in Thomas Mann. Which is to say, not at all. Will women be represented as anything but plot devices? No. Will they be represented at all? Perhaps if you’re going to delve into a spiritual journey, you shouldn’t ignore half the population, Scorsese.)

I read Thomas Cook’s Guide to Japan (from 1910). A little late because it’s after the Russo–Japanese War but it gave be some basic insight in the lay out of Tokyo and the attitude of European tourists. Practicalities of transport, money changing, perceived safety, and so forth.

Had a Japanese Meiji Restoration expert sensitivity read this second half of the book, to make certain I wasn’t getting anything horribly wrong in ways I didn’t intend as part of the steampunk rewrite of history.

And, before you ask, yes there are hot tubs.

Whatcha take me for?

Occasionally in one’s life, it turns out, one ends up in a large round wooden cistern of hot water, with a fox spirit and the woman one hopes to marry.
Or one does if one is Percy.

Food References

Pikelet ~ A free-form crumpet or crumpet-like bread in areas of Great Britain (sometimes more like a small pancake).

Clootie Dumpling ~ A traditional dessert pudding made with flour, breadcrumbs, dried fruit (sultanas and currants), suet, sugar, and spice with some milk to bind it, and sometimes golden syrup. (A big one looks remarkably like haggis.)

Lotus root ~ actually, technically not roots but rhizomes have a crunchy texture with sweet-tangy flavor and are used extensively in many Asian dishes. I adore them, but have never had them fresh. Apparently fresh lotus root slices are limited by a fast browning rate (like apple slices).

Rutabaga ~ rutabaga is actually the North American English word for a swede, but I loved it so much I just had to have Percy use it in the book. Incidentally, this root vegetable is also known as a neep (Scotland and North England) or sometimes white turnip. It is a cross between a cabbage and a turnip and pretty much tastes that way.

Fashion

Something from the fashion side? Dressing Percy & Quesnel

Final teeser:

Yes, Lady Manami is EXACTLY who you think she is.

What, you doubted me?

Yours in coils,

Miss Gail

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OUT NOW!

The 5th Gender (A Tinkered Stars Mystery as G. L. Carriger).

Amazon | Elsewhere | Direct from Gail
Audio is coming. 

Sci-fi queer romance meets cozy mystery in which a hot space station cop meets the most adorable purple alien ever (lavender, pulease!) from a race with 5 genders.

UPCOMING SCRIBBLES

GAIL’S DAILY DOSE

Your Moment of Parasol . . .

1908c Frederick Frieseke (American artist, 1874-1939) The Japanese Parasol

Frederick Frieseke (American artist, 1874-1939) The Japanese Parasol

Your Infusion of Cute . . .

Ukiyo-e drawing showing a cat Andō, Hiroshige, 1797-1858, artist

Your Tisane of Smart . . .

Your Writerly Tinctures . . .  

The Ripped Bodice Bookstore Announces New Award for Romance Fiction

Book News:

Reticence USA arrives in my office

Quote of the Day:

“She sold her soul for a toaster oven.”
“So… what I’m hearing is that Wiccans shouldn’t drink.”

~ Borderlands overheard in the store

Your Moment of Gail

 

“I suspect it may be like the difference between a drinker and an alcoholic; the one merely reads books, the other needs books to make it through the day.”

(Interview with The Booklovers blog, September 2010)” ~ Gail Carriger

Questions about Gail’s Parasolverse? Wiki that sheez!


Introducing A New Character, Arsenic! Researching Lady Doctors in the Victorian Era for Reticence (Special Extras)

Posted by Gail Carriger

Reticence may have Percy on the cover but it opens with a fabulous new character, Arsenic! This is a teaser post and shouldn’t contain any spoilers so… read on!

The opening scene…

WANTED: Airship Doctor

Physician welcome, surgeon preferred. Remuneration according to experience level. Education open to negotiation. Progressive philosophy and equable temperament preferred. Must tolerate explosions and cats.

Arsenic turned the advertisement over in her hand. She’d spotted it three days before, in The Mooning Standard, which was a very forward-thinking paper. Yet it went beyond her expectations. It was, in a word, ideal. The author of such an oddly worded advert might be convinced to overlook her greatest failing as a doctor in the eyes of society: being female.

She read it over for the hundredth time. That last line was a corker. Arsenic knew of very few doctors who would put up with both explosions and cats. Or explosions caused by cats. She was one of the few.

So… Arsenic

As you can see, in Reticence we meet one of my most favorite new characters, Arsenic Ruthven. You can visit her inspiration board on Pinterest. Mild spoiler in the description if you didn’t already get it from her name.

Arsenic is partly driven into become a doctor to make amends for her mother’s profession. Arsenic is one of several sisters, all named after different poisons, and all much beloved by their doting father and in awe of their somewhat distant mother. (Spoiler behind the link, but if you want to read about how Arsenic’s parents got together, I wrote that book. Otherwise I hope my faithful readers will have fun figuring it out.)

From Reticence…

Arsenic turned to look curiously at the cheerful captain. “He tried to kill you?”
“Obviously he wasn’t successful.”
Arsenic nodded. Obviously. “My mother would say that shows a lack of follow-through.”
The captain grinned. “Your mother sounds logical.”
Miss Tunstell added, although not critically, “And a little bloodthirsty.”
It was a fair assessment. “You’ve no idea,” replied Arsenic, because it seemed they really didn’t.

Like Faith (How to Marry a Werewolf) Arsenic is very practical in her manners and mode of dress. She takes blood spatter into account and mobility, she was a former battle field surgeon.

Some Excerpts from 1871, Medical Common Sense & Plain Home Talk by Edward B. Foote, M.D.

  • The human machinery becomes clogged with poisonous humors.
  • As a female germ can not produce a child without the addition of a male germ, so there latent impure particles in the blood can not generate disease without meeting their affinitive poison.
  • These latent impurities, like the spoor of a minute plant buried far underground, must be of the right quality to unite with and engender specific diseases, or a person, however exposed, will escape.
  • Free circulation of vital or nervous electricity, and unruffled mind, and good blood are essential to health.
  • Leading us to the irresistible conclusion that the first duty of a physician to a patient is to see that his nervous system is set right, his mind emancipated from all depressing influences, and his blood restored to that condition which enables it to impart the tint of health to the skin, strength to the muscle, and abundant juices to all the tissues.

So there.

Medical Research!

I did a lot of research for writing a lady doctor in the late Victorian era. Wanna peek?

Victorian Lady Doctors!

Here are some interesting tidbits on the advancement of women gleaned from Godey’s Lady’s Book 1872.

On the Higher Education of Women in the United States

“Our readers are aware that a munificent offer of $250,000 has been made by Mr. Sage to the trustees of Cornell University, on condition that young women shall be admitted to the advantages of that institution on the same terms as young men. A correspondent states that President White, after having examined the practical workings of the co-education of the sexes at Antioch, Oberlin, the Michigan University, and several other institutions of less note, declared, in a recent speech, “that he was heartily glad that Mr. Sage had made this offer, and he should do all that he could to promote its acceptance.” Later accounts state that the gift has been accepted, and that the new buildings which will be required are soon to be commenced.”

~ Godey’s Lady’s Book and Magazine July 1872

A New Profession for Ladies: Dentistry

“We learn from the German papers that a young lady recently presented herself at the Faculty of Medicine at Munich for examination for a license to practice as a dentist. Being refused, she went to Erlangen. The question was here referred to the government, who at once authorized the examination on the ground that it was absurd to exclude a person desiring to submit herself to authorized professional tests of ability by reason of her sex. The young lady triumphed, and is likely to find immediate imitators.”

~ Godey’s Lady’s Book and Magazine September 1872

Very Satisfactory

An English Lady, Mrs. Chaplin Ayrton, has just passed her second professional medical examination (anatomy and physiology) in Paris, with the note of “very satisfactory,” the faculty having, with the liberality to strangers for which they are so justly renowned, accepted that lady’s certificates from Apothecaries Hall and the Edinburgh University as equivalent to a “degree” in letters and science and to their first professional presented herself for the first professional examination (chemistry, physics, natural history, and botany), also passed with “very satisfactory.”

~ Godey’s Lady’s Book and Magazine November 1872

Dr. Walker

In line with the above image…

Women Delivering Ice in 1918. I love this picture, it’s so very Vieve.

To give an idea of what they were up against:

“Truth is, the female sex is really as inferior to the male in vigour of mind as in strength of body; and all arguments to the contrary are founded on a few anomalies, or based on theories that can never be reduced to practice.”

and

“Men make fortunes, women make livings. And none make poorer livings than those who waste their time, and bore their friends, by writing and lecturing upon the equality of the sexes, and what they call “Women’s Rights.” How is it that most of these ladies live separately from their husbands; either despising them, or being despised by them?”

by Eliza Leslie (American 1864)

Yours never wanted to be a doctor but always fascinated by the profession,

Miss Gail

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OUT NOW!

The 5th Gender (A Tinkered Stars Mystery as G. L. Carriger).

Amazon | Elsewhere | Direct from Gail
Audio is coming. 

Sci-fi queer romance meets cozy mystery in which a hot space station cop meets the most adorable purple alien ever (lavender, pulease!) from a race with 5 genders.

UPCOMING SCRIBBLES

GAIL’S DAILY DOSE

Your Moment of Parasol . . .

After a design by Cornelis Pronk (Dutch, Amsterdam 1691–1759 Amsterdam), Chinese, for Dutch market

Cornelis Pronk (Dutch, Amsterdam 1691–1759 Amsterdam) Plate depicting a lady with parasol, ca. 1734–37 Chinese, Yongzheng (1723–35)–Qianlong (1736–95) period The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York,

Your Infusion of Cute . . .

facesofthevictorianera- Two Fashionable Ladies c. 1880s

Your Tisane of Smart . . .

From Arsenic to Electricity: A Brief look at Victorian Hair Removal

Your Writerly Tinctures . . .  

Booksellers Announce First Annual Bookstore Romance Day: August 17, 2019

This is a soft launch for a hopefully annual event that is designed to facilitate community ties between romance readers and local bookstores.

Book News:

Nine Incredible Historical Romance Audiobooks (Romancing the Inventor makes the list)

Quote of the Day:

“Men don’t think any differently from women – they just make more noise about being able to.”

~ Tamora Pierce, The Woman Who Rides Like a Man

Your Moment of Gail

 

“I suspect it may be like the difference between a drinker and an alcoholic; the one merely reads books, the other needs books to make it through the day.”

(Interview with The Booklovers blog, September 2010)” ~ Gail Carriger

Questions about Gail’s Parasolverse? Wiki that sheez!


Why Dress Characters in Victorian Sportswear? (Claw & Courtship Custard Protocol Special Extra)

Posted by Gail Carriger

 

I love me some Victorian sportswear, Gentle Reader.

In How To Marry A Werewolf, Faith the main character (an upstart American girl) is a proponent of the great freedom and joy in the bicycle suit.

In Reticence, new character Arsenic wears all manner of sportswear from a golfing costume to a bicycling suit as well. Because she’s a doctor, she also doesn’t bother with hat (falls off, gets in the way) or gloves (how you supposed to stitch up a would with gloves on). And she usually has some kind of pinafore or apron over the top of everything.

Fashionable Reader, these articles of clothing were considered quite the SCANDAL at the time!

Possibly, just possibly, there is a bit of rebellion in this choice, but I can imagine no matter what both ladies love the freedom of movement granted by such attire.

via @VictorianWeb Twitter Punch 1895, The Bicycle Suit—very dashing

1895 The Bicycling Suit

Cycling ensemble, 1895, USA via shewhoworshipscarlin tumblr
Cycling shoe, 1895-1900 via shewhoworshipscarlin tumblr

I have a bit of a passion for vintage bicycle riding gear.*

And this before I learned that there is some significant connection between the advent of bike riding and women’s liberation.

At first women’s bike riding attire is not so different from other exercise attire of the late 1870s early 1880s. Which is to say, to the modern eye, not very exercise orientated at all.

via FB

But if you look closely you can begin to see the concept of freedom of movement (fewer undergarments, easier to get in and out of), and the importance of exercise (shunned in the early Victorian era as countrified and sporty) slowly embraced.

“Let the skirts be as short as possible – to clear the ankles. Nothing else is permissible for mountain work, where one must face bogs, deep heather, thorny gorse, and must not stumble into the hem of one’s garments on the face of a rocky precipice. I must, however, draw the line at the modern feminine costume for mountaineering and deerstalking, where the skirt is a mere polite apology – an inch or two below the knee, and the result hardly consistent with a high ideal of womanhood.”

~ Lillias Campbell Davidson, 1889 travel guide

And the style of bicycle attire combines this notion with that of equestrian and riding wear.

http://www.tumblr.com/liked/by/funsanity/page/6
http://www.tumblr.com/liked/by/funsanity/page/6

Then, finally, with the advent of access to higher education, rise of the middle class, the suffragette movement and the right to vote, better understanding and use of heath care particularly with regards to procreation, everything changes and, most germane to this blog… women wear trousers.

“1900 Doll” from the Gratitude Train  Calixte  1949  MET

George R. Sims on Cycling in London in the 1890’s.

1894 cycling_suit-1894-harpers-bazaar

Staring in the 1890s it becomes mostly acceptable for women to wear voluminous (but still actual) trousers to bike ride.

By 1895 we see large scale advertisements, and some lampooning in the popular press, but generally it’s clear that only the most elderly sticklers objected to the style.

1895 Cycling Ensemble  1895-1900 British Manchester City Galleries

And this wasn’t just in England, either. America, and indeed much of Europe, embraced the look.

1895 Mlle Babion et son professeur, Luchon, laiterie, 5 septembre 1895 par Eugène Trutat .      Via Rosalis tumblr

A great deal of the inspiration for this attire has its source in men’s hunting garments.

Bike wear for ladies involved heavy material: lots of country Harris tweeds, the early onset of houndstooth, all very much Too the Manor Borne. (This becomes quite a problem for Arsenic in Reticence.)

1895 Bifurcated-riding-ensemble-1895

If you want to read a fun comic novel set in the 1900’s featuring a New Woman and her fiscal and literal liberation via the bicycle, you can do no better than Miss Cayley’s Adventures by Grant Allen.

It’s free to download in ebook form.

1900bikes2

And what happened after the turn of the century?

1920s
via sydneyflapper-tumblr
1930s Riding Habit 1stdibs.com
1940s Claire McCardell bicycle outfit

Yours riding regularly,

Miss Gail

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Spot the Outfit in the Book? Clothing Featured in How to Marry a Werewolf: 1890s Hats, Dresses, and Men in Uniform (Claw & Courtship Special Extras)

Posted by Gail Carriger

 

Want to play a rousing game of spot that outfit in How to Marry a Werewolf, Fashionable Reader?

I feature a number of fashionable items from the historical record in this one. It was fun for me to research and to write.

On Faith…

Walking suit, American, circa 1890-95. Wool, silk taffeta.
Mint Museum
1890 ca. Boater Hat English Straw, silk, by Lincoln Bennett and Company’s Hats.
museumofcostume.co.uk
Raudnitz & Co. evening dress, 1897
From the Musee Galliera
Punch 1895 – History of the bicycle
Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Rouff ca. 1897 | French

Brooklyn Museum Costume Collection at The Metropolitan Museum of Art

I love this last one because it so perfectly goes with How to Marry a Werewolf‘s cover art.

On Teddy…

Walking dress L’Art et la Mode 1894 N°47 Marie de Solar
1895 Ballgown by House of Worth Paris,
the Bruce Museum

On Channing (in the flashbacks)…

Player’s Cigarettes “Regimental Uniforms, Second Series” (issued in 1914) #52

Coldstream Guards ~ Light Infantry Company, 1793

Peninsula 1812 1_The Honourable W Dawson 1st Foot Guards 2_Daniel Mackinnon,

Coldstream Guards 3_The Honourable Orlando Bridgeman 1st Foot Guards

This post originally appeared in Retro Rack.

Yours in vintage sportswear,

Miss Gail

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