Newsletters and Other Resources
Before I get started, I wanted to draw your attention to the QRI Newsletter. Queer Romance Ink is one of the resources I use for book promotion. They list ‘coming soon’ titles, have a blog, lists of authors and their books, and they review new books. They have favourably reviewed many of my titles over the years, and this month, are giving away one of my novels, ‘The Mentor of Barrenmoor Ridge.’ This mentor novel is currently my third most popular title (after Deviant Desire and Twisted Tracks), and you can get a free copy plus three others when you join their newsletter list. This offer runs for a month, and the sign-up form is here:
You can also sign up for my newsletter, not that I send one out very often, and the link for that is here: http://jacksonmarsh.com/newsletter/
I am currently writing ‘Agents of the Truth’ (working title), the third Larkspur Mystery, and the 14th novel set in the Clearwater world. While doing so, I found myself looking for a PDF of a book I wanted to refer to, and went scrambling through folders on my PC trying to find it. ‘I know it’s on here somewhere… What book did I use it for?’ I tend to do this. To download a book or reference material into the current WIP file and leave it there. What I should do, is have a central folder for all books, make sure I change the file name to the title, and put them in categories.
I’m pleased to say, I’ve started to do this with the aim of one day putting the list on a page on this site, so other authors and interested parties can easily find the resources. They are all online and mostly free anyway, so it’s a case of knowing where to go, and if I can help point people in the right direction, all well and good.
I just checked into my new ‘Research Books and Docs’ folder, and the list is quite a healthy one, but it needs further sorting and labelling. I have, for example, the rather vague, and yet very specific, ‘Arsenic poisoning’ pdf. I know I read that for ‘One of a Pair’, but couldn’t remember exactly what it was, so I had a look…
Arsenic Poisoning by Dr D.N. Guha Mazumder, Institute of Post Graduate Medical Education and Research, Calcutta.
Well I never.
I have a copy of ‘Monumenta Historica Britannica’ (or ‘Materials for the History of Britain from the earliest period to the end of the reign of King Henry II.’) Published by command of Her Majesty in 1848. That was of use when writing ‘Keepers of the Past.’ Well, the parts that weren’t in Latin, Anglo Saxon and Greek were quite useful.
I have two copies of ‘The Uncommercial Traveller’ by Charles Dickens next to ‘Rent, Same-Sex Prostitution in modern Britain’, and nearby, a copy of The Vulgar Tongue. (Those last two titles are not related.)
The list contains other gems, many from the past, such as Dickens Dictionary of London 1890. The dictionary was published every year, by Charles’ Dickens son, I believe, but as I am writing in 1890, this edition was perfect. It’s priceless for all authors working in the late 19th century, and I only wish I could afford/find a printed copy for my bookshelves. It’s the sort of thing I can sit and read all day. There are maps, advertisements, lists of historical and forthcoming events, and then a dictionary of all things London from the Bank of England to the Sanitary Assurance Association. Did you know that to subscribe to the Saville Club in Adelphi Terrace cost £5. 5s, and to become a member, ‘The committee elects; one black ball in five excludes.’ Or, you could join the (new) Salisbury Club in St James as a ‘town member’ for £10. 10s, assuming you are not black balled, and for £5. 5s if you are a country member. Foreign members only had to pay £2. 2s. Bargain.
The Vulgar Tongue is one of my favourites, and I have a hardback copy next to me on this desk. It’s a dictionary of cant (street language/slang) compiled in 1785. You can open it to any page and find a gem. Examples:
Page 165, India Wipe: a silk handkerchief.
Page 129, Fussock. A frowsy old woman.
Page 128, Frummagemmed. Choked, strangled or hanged. Cant.
If your darby consisted of a strike, your ready money was twenty shillings which you could have spent on ‘strip me naked’ (gin). Brothers were interesting things. A brother of the blade was a soldier, of the bung, a brewer, and of the gusset, a pimp. Yaffling was eating, to milk the pigeon was to attempt an impossible task, and a cock hoist was a cross buttock, something I have still to get to the bottom of.
I am straying. Sorry, that’s what happens when I open such a dictionary.
I shall return to the subject of resources in the future, as I have many more to tell you about, but I think my point, for now, is that I have collected an amount of useful or interesting recourses, free books in pdf format, newspaper articles from the National Archives Online (a subscription service), and other places of interest, and will set about cataloguing them, and sharing the most useful ones on a new page on my site. One day.
For now, the sun is coming up, and I want to take a walk while I plan chapter seven of ‘Agents of the Truth.’ So I will finish now, and leave you with a reminder to sign up to the QRI Newsletter and receive four free eBooks, one of which is mine.
Don’t forget to catch up with what’s happening with ‘Agents’ on my Wednesday Work In Progress blog.