Tag: Research

Antimacassars and Victorian furnishings

By Sharon K. Gilbert When I was a young girl, men who wanted to impress ladies still used hair oils and grease to make their hair behave and shine. It was no different in the 19th century, when men slicked back their unruly locks with a pomade known as Macassar Oil. Supposedly, the hair oil was created and popularized by a barber named Alexander Rowland in the early 19th century and eventually trademarked in 1888 (our Book One year).  Made from coconut oil or palm oil with the addition of ylang-ylang oil for a light fragrance, it not only served […]

Algorithms and Writing

By Sharon K. Gilbert Writing characters who travel and speak numerous languages fluently is less of a challenge than once it might have been, and it’s all because of algorithms. Not only am I able to use translation programs online to help me obtain the correct French phrases, but I’m also able to access entire passages from novels and newspapers in other languages. Research for the historical portions of the plot and context are also much easier, thanks to the many online dictionaries, encyclopedias, and transcribed/scanned material.  I began plotting out much of the Redwing Saga in the early 1990s, […]

Researching Ripper

By Sharon K. Gilbert Though the core plot and characters of The Redwing Saga series of books encompasses far more than Jack the Ripper, this series of brutal slayings does play an integral role in the early books in the series. Researching these murders is made easier with the advent of Internet archives. There are numerous Ripper websites, but one that I’ve found very useful is Casebook.org, which not only provides commentary but also original texts of police reports, newspaper articles, and even post-mortem reports. This morning, I’ve been reviewing the report submitted by Dr. Frederick Gordon Brown, who examined […]