Timeless Special Extras (Parasol Protectorate)

Posted by Gail Carriger


The Great Parasolverse read along continues with Timeless, the final Parasol Protectorate book. I talked a lot about ending a series when this book came out.  This was a first for me… ending a series.

Timeless released in March of 2012.

Here are some for the best blog posts that tie to this book. Chattering and amusement on the subject of Victorian Egypt, travel by sea, traveling acting troops, and unveiling more secrets of the Parasolverse .

This is the exciting and hilarious conclusion to the Parasol Protectorate series.

Timeless was a New York Times, Locus, and Publishers Weekly bestseller; was a Los Angeles Public Library Best Book of 2012; won the 2013 Prix Julia Verlanger Award(2013);  and the Parasol Protectorate Omnibus Volume Two was selected as a Best Book of the Year, by the Science Fiction Book Club.

Writing Timeless

I blogged about ending a series at the time in two parts, the practical mechanics of it and also the emotional feelings and my own personal struggles. I have to say that since then I’ve learned to feel differently about the last book in a series. In fact, writing the final book has become my favorite thing to do, because it’s an opportunity to wrap so much up and I LOVE that. It really suits my personality with is very organized, neat, and tidy (maybe a little OCD, but that’s just because the world isn’t as tidy as I want it to be).

Timeless still has some of my favorite comedy scenes I’ve ever written:

  • Lord Akeldama with Prudence and the bath
  • Ivy and Tunstell’s theater show
  • The riding a donkey sequence in Egypt

For the eagle eye of the super fan, yes, Ivy’s stage costume is, indeed, me lampooning the original German covers of the Parasol Protectorate books (also the second run printing in France).

German cover of Timeless

I have always believed that the best revenge is evisceration  in print.

Extras Pertaining to This Book

Random Author thoughts concerning Timeless

  • Yes, I knew Ivy’s arc from the get go, she was ways always intended for this outcome.
  • Biffy however was a complete surprise to me.
  • I knew Lyall & Alessandro’s back story from Changeless on.
  • I have written several of Alessandro’s journal entries that never made it into this book, I’m keeping them to perhaps one day write his book.
  • I worked for an Egyptian museum and I had always intended to be an Egyptologist until I reached university and realized my skills were better suited to Materials Archaeology. Still, the Middle Kingdom is a great love of mine, particularly the queens, hence Hatshepsut.
  • In addition to Ivy’s costume at the beginning of the book (based on my German covers) Tunstell’s costume is based on a friend’s panto gig at the Dickens Christmas Fair.

The many faces of Alexia…

The Many Faces of Alexia, T-B, L-R: Japan, Spain, Omnibus, USA, Germany, Manga

After Dark Book Lovers says of Timeless:

“The finale was a mix of crazy, tense, funny and heartwrenching. It was 3am and I was literally crying near the end. My cold, dead heart was shocked, let me tell you. Loved it. Great series, and it’s even greater because it has a solid ending.”

Yours (sadly never having visited Egypt),

Miss Gail

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

Preorder on Amazon | Elsewhere | Direct from Gail
Audio is coming. 


  • Reticence, The 4th and final Custard Protocol book. August 6, 2019
  • Fan Service Omnibus, October 2019 to celebrate the 10th Anniversary of Soulless.
  • Need to know what Gail is writing right now? That’s in the Chirrup.


Your Moment of Parasol . . .

Peterson’s Magazine June, 1879

Your Infusion of Cute . . .

Your Tisane of Smart . . .

Who Adapted it Better? TV vs. Movie Adaptations

Your Writerly Tinctures . . .  

Business Musings: Outrage Fatigue

Book News:

Words Words Words says of Timeless:

“I have now finished Gail Carriger’s Parasol Protectorate series. It had an incredibly strong finish, and I had the urge to start the series over from the beginning.”

Quote of the Day:

“Ever type a word. Pause. Then just look at it and be like… no…. no? That CAN’T be how that’s spelled. Can it?”

~ Self on Twitter

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!

Alexia’s Clothes in the Parasol Protectorate (Special Extras) Victorian 1870s Attire

Posted by Gail Carriger


According to Pip, I once received a Bookie Award for best dressed character in the form of Alexia Tarabotti. I can’t seem to find any evidence of this online, Fashionable Reader, but I trust Pip for she was at Authors After Dark reporting in.

Upon learning of the win, Alexia was suitably honored, Ivy was crushed, and Lord Akeldama took all the credit for loaning Alexia Biffy during her rise to fashionable mavin of London society.

Above you can see a quintessentially Alexia dresses from 1874.  This is a French designed reception dress from the Philadelphia Museum of Art. I always see Alexia gravitating towards darker colors. Although she would not have been allowed many of them by her mother.
Alexia is particularly fond of blue, stripes, and perch hats.

Below, is a collection of some of Alexia’s best moments present to you in the form of cover art, fan art, cosplay, and original fashion plate fodder.

I do hope you enjoy it!

Alexia in Soulless the Original (1873)

 The cover that wasn’t; the pose that wasn’t.


The Polish cover shows more of the dress

1883 Dinner Dress Charles Fredrick Worth The Kyoto Costume Institute for color inspiration

1873 fashion plate

Alexia’s first parasol.

Alexia in Soulless Volume 1, The Manga

First Manga

Manga cosplay

Emile Pingat, 1874

character sketch from the manga

1874 Fashion plate

1874 Striped dress

Amazing striped Swiss waist with matched bustle.

Alexia in Changeless (1874) & Omnibus Volume 1 & Soulless Manga Volume 2

Polish cover again, shows more of dress; self cosplay of cover.


Omnibus Vol. 1 cover

Alexia cosplay

Manga Soulless Vol. 2 cover art

inspiration for Alexia floating dress

1870  The Philadelphia Museum of Art color inspiration

1874 more diminished bustle

 Alexia walking dresses inspiration


 Dirigible floating dress inspiration from skirt tapes


Inspiration for the deck of the dirigible scenes.

The new parasol.

steampunk from NY Comic Con cosplay fake cover photo fun

Alexia in Blameless (1874)

Emile Pingat (1820–1901), Parisfor color inspiration

Highly modern French influenced walking dresses for Alexia to try.

Inspiration for the frilly dress Alexia is made to wear in Italy, 1874-5 wedding dress of white linen cambric with ivory ribbob and machine silk blonde lace.

More frills!


Alexia in Heartless (1874)

Alexia’s new more flowy choice of clothing

1874 Charles Fredrick Worth The Kyoto Costume Institute

Hungarian painter Szinyei Merse – The Lady in Purple

Day Dress France, ca. 1874 Silk taffeta Biffy has begun “Frenching-up” Alexia wardrobe.

Alexia in Timeless (1876) & The Omnibus Vol. 2

Alexia walking dress


summer day dress USA 1870-1874 Royal Ontario Museum

Alexia’s style has grown more relaxed and breezy under the drone’s tutelage. Although the fashions remain quite severe.

Evening dress, 1876-77 US

the Met Museum; day dress 1876

 1878-1880  The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Matt Harrison fan art

The Parasol Protectorate mangaka-chan



I hope you enjoyed this fashionable trip down memory lane. Now you can play a rousing game of “spot that dress” if you read the books! Or reread them again.

One of the things I always tried to do, for example, was find time during copy edits to write in a small paragraph describing the dress Alexia wears on the cover within the text. (Excepting Soulless for obvious reasons.)

The scene for Changeless was particularly fun to write for various amusing Ivy-related hair styles.

And, of course, my hugely non-period German covers show up on stage in all editions of Timeless.

This post first appeared on Retro Rack.

Yours in frilly dresses,

Miss Gail (except Madame Lefoux, of course, no frills for her!).

  • Want more behind the scenes info? This stuff goes to my Chirrup members, because I love them bestest. Sign up here.
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OUT MAY 18, 2019!

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

Preorder on Amazon | Elsewhere | Direct from Gail
Print and audio are coming, but will not be available for preorder. 

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.


  • Reticence, The 4th and final Custard Protocol book. August 6, 2019
  • Fan Service Omnibus, October 2019 to celebrate the 10th Anniversary of Soulless.
  • Need to know what Gail is writing right now? That’s in the Chirrup.


Your Moment of Parasol . . .

1878 pierre auguste renoir (1841-1919) the parasol

Your Infusion of Cute . . .

Frozen Victorian Garments Arranged into a Larger than Life Bouquet by Nicole Dextras

Your Tisane of Smart . . .

7 Reasons Book Signings are Better than Concerts

Your Writerly Tinctures . . .  

Male and female writers’ media coverage reveals ‘marked bias’

Book News:

“It takes an awful lot of time to not write a book.”

~ Douglas Adams

Quote of the Day:

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!

Japanese Covers of the Parasol Protectorate Books ~ So Cute! (Special Extras)

Posted by Gail Carriger


Dearest Gentle Reader,

Here’s  special extra peek at the covers for the Japanese translation (not the manga) of the Parasol Protectorate series. They are so cute and little and charming. Some may even still be available (signed to buy) over in Tinker’s Pack.

Speaking of the Japanese covers…

It’s always fun to see an artist’s take on a scene from one of my books.


Some Fun Related Links


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 . . .

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

Your Infusion of Cute . . .

Your Tisane of Smart . . .

The 7 Differences Between Professionals and Amateurs

Your Writerly Tinctures . . .  

On Parentheses:

“Never use hard words unnecessarily; nor particular words or phrases too often; use as few parentheses as possible; it is a clumsy way of disposing of a sentence, and often embarrasses the reader.”

~ The Lady’s Guide to Perfect Gentility by Emily Thornwell, 1856

Book News:

self getting all meta and cosplaying her own book cover

Quote of the Day:

“A good cook is not made, he is born; so if you are lucky enough to find one, do anything to keep him – short of letting him know that you are anxious to do so.”

~ Steel & Gardiner, 1888

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

What’s Chirruping? Timeless Giveaway (The Parasol Protectorate)

Posted by Gail Carriger


The Chirrup is about to go out and this month members will get gossip, an update on the third Custard Protocol book, why I’m lamenting proofs, some recommended books on sale, and a chance to enter and win one of 10 copies of Timeless (the out of print mass market paperback version).

Timeless & a 1930s Egyptian revival teacup from my collection

Join the Chirrup if you dare.* I promise I keep everything fun and light, only once a month, no spam and I never share your email with anyone.

Praise for Timeless

  • Britt Kris of For the Love of the Read says: “It made a great addition to the series, and I’m sad that it’s the end!”
  • Cassandra Giovanni says: “…that’s truly the magic of these novels, though there are many characters, you feel the depth in each one. I cannot wait to see what adventures Prudence finds herself on in the spin off series.”
  • Evaine’s Books, Books & More Books says: “It’s over??? The series is over?!? *weeps* But oh, it went out with a huge bang! The Parasol Protectorate series just kept getting better and better with each book and in this final installment, everyone was back, which made me so happy.”
  • Holed Up in a Book says: “The plot is also highly entertaining. I found the whole mystery of the God-Breaking Plague to be intriguing…”

Problems Getting Gail’s Newsletter?

* If you’re struggling to get The Chirrup, ESPECIALLY if you have spam filters set high or Gmail with tabs, your email service could be helpfully filing it away from your inbox. The “promotions” tab or the “spam” folder are two very common locations for newsletters. I’m afraid all I can do is confirm if you are signed up, not why you aren’t seeing The Chirrup in your inbox. You can check for yourself by just putting your email in, as if you wanted to subscribe again.

{Gail’s monthly read along for March is Brother’s Ruin by Emma Newman.}


Romancing the Inventor in Audiobook. A maid bent on seducing a brilliant cross-dressing scientist who’s too brokenhearted to notice. Or is she?


Your Moment of Parasol . . .

Coat ca. 1890 From the Galleria del Costume di Palazzo Pitti via Europeana Fashion

Your Infusion of Cute . . .

Lilliput versus my purse.

Your Tisane of Smart . . .

The East India Company and Nootka Sound

Your Writerly Tinctures . . .  

The Oxford Comma: Great for Listing, Pontificating, and Winning Court Cases

Book News:

SciFi Encounters Interviews Gail Carriger

Quote of the Day:

“The tea, once it arrived, had its customary effect—engendering comfort and loosening the tongue… No wonder tea was considered a vital weapon of espionage.”

~ Waistcoats & Weaponry

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

Egypt from a Dirigible: Imprudence & Timeless (Parasol Protectorate Special Extras)

Posted by Gail Carriger


In Imprudence Rue and her crew visit Egypt just as Alexia and Conall did in Timeless.

Rue goes in for the capital, Cairo, while Alexia spent most of her time in the port city of Alexandria.

Ancient Alexandria

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

Victorian Alexandria

Alexandia shoreline 1882, personal collection



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

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

Alexandria 1882 landscape rebellion, personal collection


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

Alexandria 1882, personal collection


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

Victorians leaving Alexandria by steam ship, 1882, personal collection




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

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

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

Nile River


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



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

Modern Alexandria

Alexandria Image #95


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

Mix of ancient and modern.



Want more behind the scenes sneak peeks? Join the Chirrup


Your Moment of Parasol . . .

carolathhabsburg- Mourning attire. Fashion plate, circa 1894

carolathhabsburg- Mourning attire. Fashion plate, circa 1894

Your Infusion of Cute . . .

Bean Back wiskers curled paws2

Your Tisane of Smart . . .

Why We Should Never Underestimate the Intelligence of an Octopus

Your Writerly Tinctures . . .  

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

Quote of the Day:

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

~ Oscar Wilde

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

What Happened to the Italian & Spanish Editions of the Parasol Protectorate Books?

Posted by Gail Carriger


First of all, Gentle Reader, I apologize that this post isn’t in Italian or Spanish. I actually understand Spanish pretty well but I’m sadly out of practice for a written post. I can only hope the translation application you push this through doesn’t mangle meaning too much.

Where are the final Parasol Protectorate Books in Italian and Spanish?

Here’s the long winded answer…

First, what happens when you sell a book overseas for translation?

From my end? Not a great deal. I get the (very) occasional ping from my French and Polish translators and slightly more reoccurring emails from Japan (mostly concerning made up words or colloquial use). I have little to no contact with my foreign editors (until they demand instant help with promotion). Most of the time I don’t even know when or if a book has released in a foreign territory until someone tweets me. When I say I get all the information about my career from Twitter, I’m not joking.


Legally? Here’s the gist: The foreign house has purchased the rights to translate and produce the book exclusively in their territory. They have paid me an advance (on return of royalties). They own that right for a specific length of time and conditional on continued production, depending on the contract. Now, as they then have to go to the expense of getting the book translated and put into production and distribution, you can imagine that they purchase this right long before the book actually appears in the bookstores of that country.

If you look under Foreign Language Editions for the Parasol Protectorate, Finishing School, Custard Protocol you can see where each series has sold and which books have been bought ahead of time.


Here is what it looks like for Italy:

Italy ~ Baldina & Castoldi

The problem? They bought the rights to translate all of the Parasol Protectorate, so any declaration of bankruptcy or other issues means my contracts are involved in the litigation – because the money has been advanced and this means my books are now assets of the company. We cannot find a new publisher until the rights are available. Eventually, we might have to activate the reversion clause for non-production but that clause is often in terms of years so it could take a very long time for us to even be able to ask.

 Here is what it looks like for Spain:

Spain ~ Versatil

Look on the bright side, Spain, you could be Italy left with the cliff hanger at the end of Changeless.

This situation is slightly different as they bought and brought out all three of the books that we contracted with them. However, my editor at Versatil is gone and the house looks shaky. They are unlikely to buy the final two books, even if they were able to put them into production.

So what if Gail gets the rights for the final books back and could sell them into these territories all over again to a different publisher?

It is VERY unusual for a publisher to pick up any series in the middle. Especially one that has gone down with the ship, as it were. Or has under-performed to expectations.

But but but, when you own the rights again, couldn’t you, Gail, get them translated and self publish them?

No. I can barely handle self publishing in my own language. I’d have to figure out how to promote, produce, and distribute into foriegn markets and I find the US/UK quite frustrating enough. I’d need to find and hire translators at a fair pay with no way to proof read the end quality of the product (since I don’t read any foriegn languages). Then, lucky me: I’d get angry emails about formatting and translation errors in a whole new set of languages. (As opposed to just UK and USA.) Plus, what if someone decides to sue me in one of those countries? I’d need an IP lawyer, and the necessary cash flow to protect myself in a foriegn country.

Yes, I am bitterly sorry that my books have become those books (you know the unfinished series ones that I myself loathe) but I can’t afford the time or money needed to become a foreign publisher. Which is basically what publishing them on my own would require. I don’t have my sell numbers for these territories (are you surprised, given the lack of communication?) but I never earned royalties in either Italy or Spain so I can’t imagine the books sold well enough for me to justify taking time away from writing my next book.

Yes, I’m so sorry for Italy who never even got to Blameless, the book that epitomizes my love for that country. And I’m upset to say goodby to Spain and a darling editor I adored and my fellow authors who I actually got to meet. I live in California, Spanish is all around me. I have dear friends who will never get to finish my books because of this.

Also, these just happen to be two of my favorite countries to visit (and eat in) and now my work is unlikely to take me there.

I know, in the end, it all comes back to food with me. You’re surprised?

In the words of Dimity, “I’m a terribly, terribly shallow person.”

{Coop de Book for January 2015 was Kat, Incorrigible by Stephanie Burgis}


Your Moment of Parasol . . .

backstoryradio ~ tumblr Lantern slides showing movie theater etiquette and announcements, circa 1912.
via Library of Congress.

Your Infusion of Cute . . .

PowerLine PowerCup 200/400 Watt Mobile Inverter with USB Power Port 90309

Your Writerly Tinctures . . .  
Small Changes in Your Writing Process Can Lead to Big Results

Quote of the Day:
“You know how I feel about tacos. It’s the only food shaped like a smile. ”
~ Danielle Sanchez-Witzel and Michael Pennie

Trade Release Heartless & Timeless + Victorian Slang for Alexia (Special Extras)

Posted by Gail Carriger


Today trade paperbacks release of the final two Parasol Protectorate books, Heartless and Timeless.

 New trade covers.

These books are larger in size than the mass market editions, also the print is larger and easier to read. The backgrounds are a more pail color. Content is unchanged, apart from the sample chapters at the back which may be different.

1811 Slang for Alexia

  • Sauce box ~ A bold of forward person.
  • Ottomised ~ To be dissected.
  • Trigrymate ~ An idle female companion.
  • I am not a plump currant ~ I am out of sorts.
  • Gudgeon ~ One easily imposed on.
  • Hobbleygee ~ A pace between a walk or a run, a dog-trot.
  • Piddling ~ Trifling, to do a thing in a small degree.
  • She’s a prime article ~ she’s a devilish good piece, a hell of a goer.
  • Bushel bubby ~ A full breasted woman.
  • Comfortable importance ~ A wife

~ 1811 Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue

“…there is no wit, but there is shocking ungentility, in a lady to speak of taking a “snooze” instead of a nap,—in calling pantaloons “pants,” or gentlemen “gents,”—in saying of a man whose dress is getting old that he looks “seedy,”—and in alluding to an amusing anecdote, or a diverting incident, to say that it is “rich.” All slang words are detestable from the lips of ladies.”

by Eliza Leslie (American 1864) 

Want more behind the scenes tricks and Easter eggs for these books? I am interviewed all about Timeless over on Sci-Fi Encounters

{What is Gail’s Book Group reading for July? Blood and Chocolate by Annette Curtis Klause ~ YA werewolf from before it was a thing}


Your Moment of Parasol . . .

1870  The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Your Infusion of Cute . . .

Your Tisane of Smart . . .

rufflesnotdiets tumblr

Your Writerly Tinctures . . .  

“It is well to have always there a small writing-case of your own, with paper, pens, ink, wafers, sealing-wax, envelopes, post-office stamps, &c.”

by Eliza Leslie (American 1864) 

Book News:
Girl Lost in a Book says of Heartless, “I love the characters and they feel like family…A fabulous read and I simply couldn’t put it down.”

Quote of the Day:

“It’s not just children who need heroes.”

~ Tamora Pierce

Victorians In Egypt ~ Researching Timeless (Behind the Magic of the Parasol Protectorate)

Posted by Gail Carriger


With the release of the trade paperback of Timeless immanent, Gentle Reader…

1880 Ladies Dahabia Egypt Nile Parasol Travel

1880 Ladies Dahabia Egypt Nile

I thought you would enjoy a flashback glimpse at some of my research for that book.

British Paintings tumblr: Joseph Interprets Pharaoh’s Dream – Reginald Arthur 1894


British Paintings tumblr: 1839 David-Roberts-Interview-With-Mehmet-Ali-In-His-Palace-At-Alexandria


Below are some quick sources off the top of my head for the Victorians in Egypt, some you need a library, some are available to buy, some are in Google online or project Gutenberg. They range in time from early to late Victorian. Because of #AmazonJail I am leaving the source up to you. I trust you are intelligent enough to get hold of the book from wherever you like, should you wish.

Secondary Sources:

  • Queen Victoria’s Little Wars
  • Rape of the Nile
1880 Ladies Dahabia Egypt, Gutenberg project



  • A Thousand Miles Up the Nile
  • Baedeker’s Upper Egypt
  • Baedeker’s Lower Egypt
  • Travels in Greece, Palestine, Egypt, and Barbary, during the years 1806 and 1807 (FA de Chateaubriand) ~ this is too early but I still found it useful. And you better believe I drew upon it heavily for Alessandro, especially to soon to release short story.
1876 Port of Alexiandria, Gutenberg project


  • Google Images search: 1882 London Times coverage of the riots in Egypt (I’ve blogged about that already)
  • Google Images search: lithographs of David Roberts: A bit earlier than Victorian times but a great visual for what many of the famous sites looked like back then.

Some images that informed Timeless most particularly…

1882 Alexandria Suburbs, Gutenberg project
Desert Balloon 1 via Wiki commons
Hatshetsup’s Temple Wiki commons

Random thing: Portrayals of Cleopatra on film.

 Via booksnbuildings tumblr – Houses in Cairo showing carved windows, 1868 Photo by Frank M. Good (Getty)


Want more behind the scenes sneak peeks? Join the Chirrup


Your Moment of Parasol . . .

1882 Picnic Nile River, Gutenberg project

Your Infusion of Cute . . .

Tomb of Two Brothers wiki commons

Google it, you won’t be disappointed. Let’s just be quite clear, they are most likely NOT brothers.

Your Writerly Tinctures . . .  
This Is Your Brain on Writing

Book News:


Quote of the Day:

“It is to be supposed that before her arrival, the mistress of the house has inspected the chamber of her guest, to see that all is right—that there are two pitchers full of fresh water on the stand, and three towels on the rail, (two fine and one coarse,) with a china mug for teeth-cleaning, and a tumbler to drink from; a slop jar of course, and a foot-bath.”

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

Victorian Slang ~ Quintessentially Historical (Parasol Protectorate Special Extras)

Posted by Gail Carriger


“By-the-bye, the dizzy and ungraceful practice of rocking in a rocking-chair is now discontinued by all genteel people, except when entirely alone. A lady should never be seen to rock in a chair, and the rocking of a gentleman looks silly.”

by Eliza Leslie (American 1864) 

1811 Slang ~ Quintessentially Historical

  • The Devil is beating his wife with a shoulder of mutton ~ it rains whist the sun shines.
  • The kidney clapped his persuaders to his prad but traps boned him; the highwaymen spurred his horse hard, but the officers seized him.
  • Scald miserables. A set of mock masons, who, AD 1744, made a ludicrous procession in ridicule of the Free Masons.
  • A girl who is got with child is said to have sprained her ankle.
  • That happened in the reign of queen Dick, i.e. never.
  • To cross the herring pond at the king’s expense; to be transported.
  • Nation ~ An abbreviation of damnation.
  • Spice islands ~ A privy.
  • Green sickness ~ A disease of maids occasioned by celibacy.
  • To bar the bubble. To except against the general rule, that he who lays the odds must alwyas be adjudged the loser: this is restricted to bets laid for liquor.

~ 1811 Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue

“If when about to ascend the stairs, you find that a gentleman is going up at the same time, draw back and make a sign for him to precede you. He will bow, and pass on before you. When coming down, do the same, that the gentleman may descend in advance of you.”

by Eliza Leslie (American 1864) 


Your Moment of Parasol . . .

 Lady’s Magazine Sunday, September 1, 1833

Your Infusion of Cute . . .

Dan Fiegert ‏@DFiegert TEACUP SEATING!

Your Tisane of Smart . . .

oldtimeystjohnsscifi-tumblr Luke Skywalker waiting for a snowplow, Water Street 1891

Your Writerly Tinctures . . .  

“Be not inquisitive as to the length of time consumed in writing this book or that—or how soon the work now on hand will be finished. It can scarcely be any concern of yours, and the writer may have reasons for keeping back the information. Rest assured that whenever a public announcement of a new book is expedient, it will certainly be made in print.”

Book News:
Joy’s Book Blog says of Etiquette & Espionage, “I enjoyed Etiquette & Espionage so much that I immediately downloaded the second book in the series, Curtsies & Conspiracies. Reading them back to back, the experience was more like one long book of spying adventure, crafty steampunk machine, and witty world-building.”

Quote of the Day:

“Substantial diet, that furnish nitrates for the muscles, and phosphates for the brain, and carbonates for the whole frame, prepare a man for effective work.”

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

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What Year Are The Parasol Protectorate Books Set In? (Special Extras)

Posted by Gail Carriger


Soulless Vol 3 (the manga adaptation of Blameless was #7) on the New York Times Best Seller List for graphic novels. Thank you for your support!

On a few occasions someone has asked me what exactly are the dates for my five Parasol Protectorate books.

Yes it’s alternate history, but what exactly is that alternate time? There are, of course, some hints, but in most of the books I never come outright and say. Some of the later books I have determined so closely it’s down to the time of year or even month, usually indicated by the type and kind of meals the characters are consuming. I know OCD for a writer whose science is based on defunked theories and whose dirigibles defy physics. What can I say, food and fashion, they are most meaningful to me. I’m so darn supercilious.

So here you go, Gentle Reader, the Parasol Protectorate Books by date:

Soulless ~ 1873
No specific month but the ladies are swanning around Hyde Park during the Season so it has to be sometime between late spring and late summer. Probably more towards the latter half of the year.

Changeless ~ Winter 1874
And by that I mean probably January or February, because it follows relatively quickly on the heels of Soulless but the weather is atrocious.


The Fashions for 1974 Season


Blameless ~ Spring 1874
Again, quickly after Changeless. These first three books formulate a pretty cohesive trilogy both temporally and plot wise. Which is one of the reason the mangas stick to these three books.

Heartless ~ July 1874
Because of Alexia’s condition this date is very firmly fixed. Also the time and location hinges on one of the key events that occurs in this book, in the real world the Pantechnicon burned as well.



Timeless ~ April 1876
There’s a time jump between these two books, for reasons to do with Prudence.


Your Moment of Parasol . . .

Your Infusion of Cute . . .

Your Tisane of Smart . . .

Recycle a Wine Bottle Plant Nanny Stake

Your Writerly Tinctures . . .  
Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Genre Series: Series vs. Standalones; Ones We Abandoned; Ones We Returned To

Book News:

Quote of the Day:

via the FB

7 Steampunk-ish Things In France (Parasol Protectorate Special Extras)

Posted by Gail Carriger


It’s hard for me to turn the steampunk hunting instincts off, Gentle Reader. I’m like a truffle pig in this particular matter. Snuffle snuffle snort . . . steampunk!

1Balloon St. Malo 1BalloonCarroseell copy

I thought there would be a more propitiatory connection to early flight, all my research suggests the French were once particularly enamored of floating about full of hot air, as it were. But I did see some fun items.

2CathedralClock copy2HousesWatch copy2ClockMusic copy

Some amazing clocks inside cathedrals, outside churches, and in museums.

3ClockRepair copy 3Closcks copy

The local market in Colmar had a clock repair station, rather charming.

4Crossbowl copy

Perhaps the crossbow isn’t quite steampunk, but there is something deliciously mechanical about this particular weapon.

5JulesVerneOld copy

Jules Verne, godfather of us all. We found ourselves in this fab old bookstore and whittled away many hours looking at the pretties. The fanciest older books were all either religious or Jules Verne. I don’t quite know what that says about the French but I found it intriguing.

6TinyTrain St Malo

Not on tracks, mind you, which means they aren’t really trains but they are cute. This one was in St. Malo. The AB and I rode on one in Colmar. Very silly.

CrazyObjects copy CrazyObjectss copy

These are Renaissance or earlier objects, so more clockpunk than steampunk, but I was still drawn to them at the museum in Colmar. They just all look like they do such interesting things. Even if that thing is just to sit and look intriguingly useful.


Your Infusion of Cute . . .
The Orchid
The Ambassador survived my trip away

Your Tisane of Smart . . .
Finishing School

Your Writerly Tinctures . . .
The Book Wranglers say of E&E that, “The pure charm radiating from this book (and, hopefully the series to come) is palpable.  Pick it up, read it once, then read it again – it’s that good and it’ll have you laughing the entire time!”
(This review is one of the cutest I’ve seen, with gifs punctuating it that were charming.)

Book News:
Gathering of English and Japanese Parasol Protectorate books

Quote of the Day:
“To be sold, an Erard grand piano, the property of a lady about to travel in a walnut-wood case, with carved legs.”
~ Godey’s Lady’s Book and Magazine November 1872

Holiday Fun ~ Books as Gifts Part 5 Timeless Egyptian Themed (Miss Carriger Recommends)

Posted by Gail Carriger


The book basket comes to an end with one final installment. If you want to know what I’m on about the introduction to this idea is here.

1. Order signed from Borderlands (Definitely get your request in before Dec 15th, that’s the last time I’ll be able to get in to sign stock for them before the holidays.)
2. Source a vintage looking basket, possibly from a local thrift store
3. Fill with accompanying fun items, many of which might also be found at a thrift store

This basket is themed to Timeless and/or The Parasol Protectorate Omnibus Volume 2.

1880 Ladies Dahabia Egypt
1880 Ladies Dahabia Egypt

Timeless Egypt Themed Basket

I’d like to reiterate that this doesn’t have to be done with my novels, I’m just the most familiar with them. It could be done with any fun book. I remember one young lady had a belly dance themed romance novel and include with it a teaching CD on how to belly dance, a coin belt, fun jewelry, and various other associated items. Have a younger reader on your list? Patricia Wrede’s excellent Enchanted Forest Chronicles: Dealing with Dragons / Searching for Dragons / Calling on Dragons / Talking to Dragons is on special as a box set for $16.29! But you’ll have to learn how to make Cherries Jubilee.

I think it’s a fun way to riff off of someone’s favorite read and can be made into a really nifty gift idea. It doesn’t have to marry to the theme of the book: if, for example, you’re gifting a romantic novel why not include it with a nice bottle of wine, a candle, some bubble bath, and a little box of chocolates? Steampunk novels are easy and fun, there’s so much good steampunk out there on Etsy and Clockwork Couture. A friend once gave me a cookbook complete with a set of cooking utensils, frying pan, spatula, pot, and mixing spoon ~ all mini sized. I just use google images “Gift Baskets” for ideas and ways to arrange. Here’s Zabar’s take. Better than a basket of soaps, I say!

I would be remiss if I did not remind you I have two short stores that make fun gifts, My Sister’s Song and Marine Biology. Buy, print out on fancy paper, roll and tie with a little ribbon add to the basket. Marine Biology is a contemporary paranormal romance, kind of like if Biffy and Lyall existed in the modern day.

Yes, I am trying hard to get you one more new short story up and available before the end of the year, but I simply must get this First Draft of Prudence done first! I hope you understand.


Your Moment of Parasol . . .
Ladies Seminary OUt and About
1910 Lady’s Seminary Trip

Your Writerly Tinctures . . .
How to Finish Writing a Novel

Book News:
Los Angeles Public Library picked Timeless as one of its Best Books of 2012. Their lists were also picked up by the Huffington Post.

Quote of the Day:
“Sleep ’til you’re hungry, eat ’til you’re sleepy.”
~ Author Unknown

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