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velkommen

Welcome. This is my blog, and you're my most coveted guest. If I seem a bit too intense, it's only because I have so much that I want to share with you, and I can see that you're eager to begin as well. So, please...make yourself at home, sip an East India cocktail (I blended the pomegranate juice myself), and sample some of my domestic and imported Arcana: useless, but fascinating information about Victoriana, Steampunk and other favoured topics; music which evokes that dark, lost Lenore sensibility; and other pleasant or, perhaps, unsettling non sequiters whispered in a darkened room. Linger long or short, leave a comment or refrain, but remember to come back soon to play a (shhhh) parlour game.
Velkommen. Dette er min blog, og du er min mest eftertragtedegæst. Hvis jeg synes en smule for intenst, det er kunfordi jeg har så meget at jeg vil dele med jer, og jeg kanse, at du er ivrig efter at begynde så godt. kan du ...føl dig hjemme, sip et East India cocktail (jeg blandetden granatæble juice mig selv), og prøve nogle af mine indenlandske o importerede Arcana: ubrugelig, menfascinerende oplysninger om Victoriana, Steampunkog andre begunstigede emner; musik der fremkalderdenne mørke, mistede Lenore sensibilitet, og andrebehagelige eller måske foruroligende, ikke sequitershviskede i et mørkelagt rum. Linger lang eller kort,efterlade en kommentar eller afstå, men husk at komme tilbage snart til at spille en (Shhhh) selskabsleg.

ABOUT ME

My photo

I love my grown children, miss all the dogs I ever had, and I cry at the drop of a hat, I believe in true love, destiny, fairness, and compassion. If I could be anywhere right now, it would be the ocean. My favorite city is New York, but I am always longing for London and craving more time in Copenhagen. I'm drawn to desolate places, deserted buildings, and unknown byways. I don't care how society perceives me as long as my gut tells me that what I'm doing is right. I am interested in paranormal things, spiritual things, historical things, and things that glow at night. I like to drink, I smoke when I write, I can't stand small talk, and despite my quick temper, I would rather kiss than fight. I'm selfish with my writing time, a spendthrift with my love. My heart has been broken so many times that it's held together with super glue and duct tape. The upside is that, next time, I won't be tempted to give away what I no longer have to give. But I will let you buy me a Pink Squirrel.

Fuldmane

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Helvede's så Nocturne

Helvede's så Nocturne
The raw, aching sadness with which the following words were typed has been reformatted to fit your screen. No need to adjust it. All names have been expunged to protect the innocent and the willfully insane.

Nocturne in G Flat major

Chopin, darkness, light, sand and wind, starlight tread. Beethoven, love, fear, madness, redemption in the night. Liszt, waltzing widows, desperate bargains, pleasure's secret plight. Now, then, before, always, forever. Promises made on lonely beaches, celestial summer's perfect kiss, passions quenched in salty breezes, the lure of distant mist-draped heights. Bitter interlude. Final, private nocturne. Burned down like a candle. Doomed bleeding beauty. Fated sacrificial night.
To be continued...

Gentle Visitor

Gentle Visitor
And now, Gentle Visitor, won't you please lend an eye (we've worked so hard)...
STATEMENT OF PURPOSE
We love all things dark and mysterious, macabre and obscure, odd and unfathomable. Nothing is too strange or bizarre for our little blog. And although we would never presume to offer definitive answers to the great questions of life, we shall do our best to enlighten, inform and delight our visitors with our whimsical potpurri of facts, anecdotes, trivia and informational outpourings. We strive not to offend, but to edify those who wish to reach beyond their comfort zone and touch the fabric of another time and place, and of distant, but genuine worlds and lives. As Victorian-themed blogs go, ours may not be the most austere, nor the most comprehensive, but we know what we like, and if our readers like it as well, then all is as it should be in this ramshackle corner of our own personal Victorian empire.

A Musical Note

A Musical Note: We feel that our blog is best viewed when accompanied by one or more of the following musical selections. Then again, we also feel that our blog is best viewed when accompanied by a glass of absinthe, a bite of lemon cake, and a foot massage (preferably by someone you know). So, to paraphrase the otherwise completely irrelevant-to-our-blog Mr. Aleister Crowley, "Do what thou wilt...but be open to Chopin."
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And now we begin

And now we begin
"One must strive to show decorum even when scrolling." Queen Victoria, Buckingham Palace Blog, August 11,1879

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Our Top Five Waistcoated Wonders

  We must begin this bit of self-indulgent drivel by stating emphatically that, were this a list of our top five historical hearthrobs as opposed to a Victorian one, our number one choice would be, bar none, Percy Bysshe Shelley, whom we have loved beyond reason ever since we were twenty-seven years old and first read Newman Ivy White's exhaustive biography of the divine poet and fell madly and unabashedly in love with all things Shelleyan, while at the same time developing a restrained distaste for Lord Byron, who was not only less attractive both physically and intellectually, but much less interesting and much too misogynistic for our enlightened sensibilities.

Percy Bysshe Shelley: The original PBS
But since it is, in fact, a list of our top five Victorian heartthrobs, and PBS died on July 8, 1822 at the age of twenty-nine we must leave our passion for him in the age of the Romantics and focus on the sepia print sexpots of the subsequent generation. So, then, in no particular order...


Thomas Alva Edison knew how to light up a room
 
     A big brain is about the sexiest organ a man can have, but it doesn't hurt that Tom Edison also happened to be relatively good-looking for a 19th century inventor. Posterity may remember the creator of the phonograph, the electric light bulb, kineophone and other technological miracles as an aging, white-bearded genius brainstorming in his Black Maria in Menlo Park, but we prefer to think of him as he was in the above photograph taken in 1878: a handsome, brilliant, somewhat awkward young man with the future of modern technology in the upper lefthand pocket of his waistcoat.

Frederic Chopin was called "the poet of the piano"

  Frederic Francois Chopin may have only been a Victorian for the final ten years of his life, but that's at least more than Ludwig "Beloved" Beethoven can say. The tortured Pole who penned some of the most beautiful music of all time (including Nocturne in E Flat Minor, the name of which inspired the title of this blog) did more for posterity during that single decade than most men do in an entire lifetime. Sickly with an unnamed disease (probably tuberculosis) which eventually killed him and in love with a woman with whom he was never destined to find happiness (French writer and hellcat George Sand), Frederic Chopin was a Lothario of the piano whose music still touches us in a place where his fingers never could have gone.






Robert Barrett Browning, we love thee despite thy hair

Like his predecessor Percy Bysshe Shelley, Robert Barrett Browning was less famous than his wife, Elizabeth during their marriage. Unlike Shelley, Browning went on to enjoy a larger measure of fame after his wife's death, while Shelley simply died an unsung, premature death. Neverthless, we forgive Robert B, not only because it wasn't his fault, but because he himself was a true poet, in life, love and language. But most of all because there is absolutely nothing sexier than a man who is as deeply in love with his wife as he was with his, even if he did have what we consider to be the absolute worst hairstyle we have ever seen in a portrait from the 1840s.


George Gissing: A bad boy with a gift for writing classics
  A ruggedly handsome ne're do well from Yorkshire, England, George Gissing once served hard time for stealing clothes and money to support his prostitute girlfriend. But of course he went on to write 19th century classics like "An Odd Woman" and "Workers In The Dawn", making him a bad boy with a brilliant mind, and we admit that we're impressed. Best of all, George is one of those rare Victorians who we can imagine still looking good sans waistcoat. Don't you agree?

Thomas Jennings was the first African American to receive a US patent. He invented dry scouring, later known as dry cleaning
Thomas Jennings could take us to the cleaners

Thomas Jennings was not only the first black American to receive a patent (for a dry cleaning process in 1821), he was a handsome, brilliant inventor (like our Thomas E) who poured almost every penny he made into the mid-century abolitionist movement. And the fact the fact that he was born a free man in New York City didn't stop him from using some of his earnings to secure the "purchase" of family members who were enslaved in the South. We just love an idealistic man, and when he happens to be good-looking as well, we can but reach for the smelling salts and pray that something will break our fall.