Monday, November 30, 2009

What was Rothgar reading?

The Marquess of Rothgar was, of course, very interested in science and engineering, and so he would be reading the Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society.

Such as this paper: An Account of the Success of the Bark of the Willow in the Cure of Agues.

In other words -- what we now know as aspirin or acetylsalicylic acid and its effects on pain.

How do I know this? Because the Royal Society, the world's oldest scientific association, founded in 1660, has put some of the most important papers from their Philosophical Transactions, on line, along with a time line.

You can read the above paper here.

And go to their sharing site, Trailblazing, here.

And how do I know about this? Because it was on BBC 4, which is so chock full of fascinating and entertaining content that I have to drag myself away to do other things. Like write books. I'm even listening as a blog!


Friday, November 27, 2009

18th century songs

A nice site with many 18th century songs.


The picture is there just because it's so hilariously odd! A smoking cherub. Only in Victorian times.

Jo :)

Thursday, November 26, 2009

What's an Astrolabe?

If you've ever wondered what one is and how it works (I had) here's the explanation.

From TED. There are lots of other interesting short talks up there.

Jo :)

Find out all about my recent and upcoming books here.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Researching the new book

I'm writing a new Georgian with a blank slate -- ie it's not directly linked to any previous book, and I'm trying to nail down details as often as I can.

I decided to open the book in Guisborough, not very far from here, so I can do on the spot research.

Today I was looking around for a place for the hero's family home that wasn't too far away, but far enough. As I scanned my large scale road atlas, I saw Aske Hall. Mainly because I'd highlighted it.

Perfect location, but the reason I'd highlighted it was because my father-in-law was a footman there before the war. We have photos of the outside that he took, like this one. So no, that's not him. And some that we took on a visit a few years ago.
(The colour picture below is one we took a few years ago. There's easy access to the outside by a footpath through the estate. Worth a stroll if you're nearby.)

We've never been inside because it's still a private home.

They do free tours once a year, so I've booked us in for next September, but that will be too late for the book.

It doesn't matter, though, because I'm not calling the place Aske Hall, only using it as a frame for my invention. I prefer to be able to arrange the layout etc to suit the story.

The other reason that I generally make up such places is that if we visit, we see what's there today, and even in the best preserved, there's a lot of modern included. I try to combine textual and pictorial information from the 18th century with the framework of what's there now.

But it'll be interesting to go aroud it. I also know now where the Aske Hall records are -- in Northallerton, not far away -- so we'll take a trip and see if we can find a servants' roster, payroll or something.


Sunday, November 22, 2009

The Museum of the History of Science.

It's in Oxford, but it has online exhibitions. Check it out!

Museum of the history of science.

There's an exhibition on there now about steampunk and a video's on line. Very interesting.


If you're in the US or Canada, my first book is now available again.

If you're in the UK, the first book of my Mallorens in now available.
In both cases, if your book store's sold out, they can order it for you.