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Gang Roundup – Ottobre 2018

At last I’m back!!!

Sorry I disappeared, I realise it was nearly a month. But in addition to October being the busiest month of the year at work (which sucks the life out of me, let me tell you) I had problems with my laptop and for more than two weeks I could not access this site, I still don’t know why. I could access it from all other devises, but not from my laptop, where of course I do all the job for this little baby of mine.
But hey, here I am, right? So you know that everything went the right way.

Sorry if this Gang Roudup will be scantier than it normally is. I got my laptop back only yesterday, I basically never went online (except on my phone) for two weeks, but I really want to keep up with this tradition.

So, here it goes!

A black-and-white picture from a 1920s exhibit of infants in incubators.

When Infants in Incubators Were a Sideshow Attraction

I never knew that babies in uncubators had ever been a show, but apparently in the early decades of the XX century, people could go to an exposition of incubators and watch as babies lived and were taken care of on site.

Initially, I was appalled by this idea, but as I read the article and learned that this permitted to raise funds that then helped offer the service to parents who couldn’t afford it, I changed my mind about it.
Yes, it is controversial, but it did save hundreds of children.

A black-and-white picture of a young flapper languidly reclined on a couch.

Looking Like a Flapper Meant a Diet of Celery and Cigarettes

In the 1920s a new kind of diet became popular. Ut to that time, diets might have given advice on how both gain and lose weight. From the 1920s, ‘dieting’ has meant, try and lose weight.

Advice abounded on all magazines and if some of them are still solid today (like doing sports or eat more vegetables) some others are quite funny. We would say, outright dangerous. Girls starved themselves in order to gain that ‘flapper look’. Well, this also may sound familiar.

Cover of the novel "In the Shadow of Lakecrest by Elizabeth Blackwell". The cover shows half of the closeup of the face of a young woman with a 1930s hairdo. At the back, a country manor house is visible.

In the Shadow of Lakecrestby Elizabeth Blackwell

The year is 1928. Kate Moore is looking for a way out of the poverty and violence of her childhood. When a chance encounter on a transatlantic ocean liner brings her face-to-face with the handsome heir to a Chicago fortune, she thinks she may have found her escape—as long as she can keep her past concealed.

After exchanging wedding vows, Kate quickly discovers that something isn’t quite right with her husband—or her new family. As Mrs. Matthew Lemont, she must contend with her husband’s disturbing past, his domineering mother, and his overly close sister. Isolated at Lakecrest, the sprawling, secluded Lemont estate, she searches desperately for clues to Matthew’s terrors, which she suspects stem from the mysterious disappearance of his aunt years before. As Kate stumbles deeper into a maze of family secrets, she begins to question everyone’s sanity—especially her own. But just how far will she go to break free of this family’s twisted past?

Letters from Alice: A tale of hardship and hope. A search for the truthby Petrina Banfield

Based on extensive research into the archive material held at the London Metropolitan Archives, and enriched with lively social history and excerpts from newspaper articles, LETTERS FROM ALICE is a gripping and deeply moving tale, which brings the colourful world of 1920s London to life. Full of grit, mystery and hope, it will have readers enthralled from the very first page.

Pinteret pin. The text reads, "GANG ROUNDUP (October 2018)". The picture shows a closeup of a chess piece on a chessboard.


    Posted October 14, 2018 at 11:06

    Computer troubles! Tell me about it. My broadband was down yesterday and it bothered me more than my car being out of action for a week recently. Yet computers and the Internet are great gifts really, particularly for us writers. When I was a kid I dreamed of flying cars and living on other planets, but not a powerful computer in most homes.

    • Post Author
      Posted October 15, 2018 at 09:06

      True, eh? I felt cut out of the world. I did have my phone and I managed to keep a few things moving, but I can’t work on this blog on a phone.
      And it is very true, internet has changed the way we writers work. I could have never written my Ghost Trilogy without internet and the possibility to research online, not to mention browse bibliographies and buy books from abroad. Seriously, it’s no wonder what we go mad when we can’t use it 😉

  • Carrie-Anne
    Posted October 14, 2018 at 22:02

    Glad to see you’re back! Computer troubles are very annoying, though I know they’re a very First World problem. I’ll check out those links.

    • Post Author
      Posted October 15, 2018 at 09:07

      True, eh? But after all, we do live in the so called ‘First World’ and we son’t really know any other kind of problem… whether this is good or bad 😉

      • JOHN T. SHEA
        Posted October 15, 2018 at 13:00

        Well put! First world problems are still problems but better than second and third world problems, I think. And the first world is rapidly expanding, particularly in Asia. One of the benefits of writing Dieselpunk is that research into the past encourages me not to take our present world for granted. The 1920s and 1930s were actually quite advanced in Europe and America and cities elsewhere, compared to earlier times, but we do live in a world they only imagined in Science Fiction!

        One of my research resources is the Human Progress website, http://WWW.HUMANPROGRESS.ORG which gives an interesting perspective on such things. We stand on the shoulders of giants!

  • Hilary
    Posted October 15, 2018 at 18:54

    Hi Sara – interesting thought provoking post … I couldn’t manage anything on my phone … so would hate to be without connectivity! Good to see you and thank you for the Elizabeth Blackwell review … sounds ‘creepy’ – cheers Hilary

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