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Category: History

Interviewing Sulari Gentill

Today on the Word Wench blog, I’m interviewing historical crime writer Sulari Gentill. In the interview she  talks about her inspiration, her books, ridiculous research rabbit holes and her upcoming US tour.

Sulari writes a crime series set in the 1930’s during the rise of fascism — in Australia, in Nazi Germany and elsewhere in the world. Fascinating history and good stories with likable and interesting characters.

One of the things I really enjoy in her books are little historical “bon-bons” where a  walk on peripheral character will be a real person from history. You won’t recognize them all, but she explains them at the end of each book. Such fun.

Sulari is giving away a book on the word wench blog so if you pop over there and leave a comment, you’ll be in the draw.

Anyway Sulari and three other aussie crime writers are about to head off on a US tour. The schedule is below.

If they’re appearing near you, why not pop over and say hi.
And try her books. They really are fun.

Getting Dressed in 1665

There’s a growing collection of videos being made showing how women —and sometimes men— got dressed in various time periods.

Here’s a link to one, showing how a woman got dressed —all the various layers and the whys and wherefores — in 1665.

That’s the same period as the painting on the left —  Vermeer’s famous painting called Girl with a Pearl Earring.

If you’re interested in the painting, you can read more about it here. I’ve always thought that pearl was exceptionally large to be worn by an unknown artist’s model. In those days all pearls were natural and therefore accidental, and one that size would have been exceptionally rare and the kind of thing that only a queen could afford. I was interested to see that the authenticity of the pearl was questioned in recent times, and thought by some to be polished tin. That sounds much more likely to me. But who cares? It’s a very beautiful and evocative painting, and the pearl adds beauty and mystique. 

The clothing video is here:

Respect?

In 1881, a census survey was carried out in London and these were some of the occupations listed and preserved by the London Genealogical Society.

Not everyone appreciated it.  Some obviously regarded this census thingie as unwanted government interest in what they felt to be personal and private information. Clearly the people who listed these hilarious occupations didn’t take it at all seriously.

Which is your favorite of these? What spurious occupation might you list if you were part of this group?