Claire: Gail, what made you decide to set your historical romance in this particular time in our history?
Gail: I wanted my heroine to be feisty, to question the establishment–and in the 19th century it was a rigid one.
Claire: Well, Allie Baldwin certainly fits the role! But it’s not just the women’s vote Allie fights for. What else motivates her?
Gail: It was a time when women immigrants were leaving their homelands for a better life. Instead, they were working in deplorable conditions in factories and their children weren’t schooled. They had to work. Families lived in crowded tenements with so many others in the same situation.
Claire: Who helped inspire Allie’s cause?
Gail: Allie follows in the footsteps of Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton and so many others fighting for the votes for women, the fight for freedom, and the fight for the right to choose.
Claire: But she runs into the same kind of resistance they did, doesn’t she?
Gail: Most certainly. Allie had to fight her father, her brother, and even turn away from marriage to work for the vote.
Claire: What was one of Allie’s pet peeves?
Gail: She hated the corset. It was symbolic of the stranglehold on women.
Claire: Well your timing couldn’t be better, Gail! 2020 is the 100th anniversary of the 19th amendment granting women the right to vote. Bravo!
A little more about the book:
Opposites attract in this gilded age historical romance when a young American suffragette eschews marriage until a handsome detective is hired to protect her from a dangerous stalker.
It’s not that she doesn’t want to marry…
Allie Baldwin is tired of writing about the latest fashions for the society column of her father’s newspaper, the New York Sentinel. Determined to write about important issues, Allie can’t help but defy danger at every turn. When she narrowly escapes a riot at a suffrage rally, Allie’s beleaguered parents enlist the services of a security agent—a dashing and debonair detective, with a knack for getting under Allie’s skin.
He’s not ready for marriage…
Peter Harrison is too busy running Harrison Detective Agency to bother with courtships and conjugality. He refuses to make the same mistakes his father made—marrying too young and forsaking family for work. But when a newspaper magnate hires him to protect his willful daughter—Peter is torn between his oath to bachelorhood and an alluring attraction to the ravishing redhead with a nose for trouble.
When a mysterious fire sparks her investigative instincts, can Allie stick to reporting the facts and restrain her flowering feelings for the handsome detective?
~~~Spunky Allie Baldwin wants to write about more significant issues in her father’s newspaper than the current fashion trends. Bottom line is, Allie is a suffragette who is far from shy and, defying her father, plunges headfirst into the fray of suffragette rallies. Worried for her safety, her parents hire a security guard to try to keep her out of trouble.
You can get your copy of The Unforgettable Miss Baldwin here, and find out more about Gail Ingis at her website.
Interviewer, Claire Gem is a multi-published, award-winning author of emotional romance—contemporary, paranormal, romantic suspense, and women’s fiction. She writes about strong, resilient women who won’t give up their quest for a happy-ever-after—and the men lucky enough to earn their love. No helpless, hapless heroines here. These spunky ladies redefine romance, on their terms.
A Taming Season
Claire has a special of short stories up for preorder on Amazon: ENIGMATA: Eerie Bits, Book 1 – A Collection of Short Stories by Claire Gem. Leaves you wondering where, why and what. It certainly ignited my curiosity, and gave me goosebumps, the kind that chilled me deep in my imagination. Want a thrill? Order now, and they’ll be ready to read on 9/29.
Fire burned down architect Joseph Paxton’s Crystal Palace. It was built in London’s Hyde Park to house The Great Exhibition of 1851, the first all glass and iron modular structure built at the time of the Industrial Revolution.
In the 1850s, the cheapness and availability of cast iron led James Bogardus of New York City to advocate and design buildings using cast iron components. Cast iron could be cast into a wide array of shapes and designs, allowing elaborate facades that were far cheaper than traditional stone carved ones. These facades could also be painted in desirable colors. If you’ve been to New York City, you’ve seen and know the elaborate neo-classical and Romanesque designs.
The designs were used pervasively on commercial and industrial buildings. Surviving examples in SoHo and Tribeca areas of New York are vast. One of the most intact ensembles in the American West can be seen in the Skidmore/Old Town Historic District, a National Historic Landmark, in Portland, Oregon. In the old cities of the southern United States, the use of cast-iron in architecture was popular in the 1800s. Cast iron columns had the advantage of being slender compared with masonry columns but capable of supporting similar weight. That saved space in factories and other kinds of buildings like theaters, churches and synagogues.
However, cast iron has some architectural weaknesses. It is strong in compression, but weak in tension and bending. Its strength and stiffness deteriorate when subjected to high heat, such as in a fire. In the early era of the industrial revolution cast iron was often used in factory construction, in part owing to the misconception that such structures would be fireproof. Inventor William Strutt pioneered this innovation, building a number of industrial buildings using cast iron supports. Cast iron was strong enough to support the heavy machinery but was vulnerable to the frequent fires that would occur in such factories.
Dee Bridge Tragedy
Cast iron was also used in bridge construction for the new railway system, sometimes with horrific results, especially when cast iron girders were used instead of arches. Engineer Robert Stephenson (not the author) built a bridge over the river Dee, mistakenly adding wrought iron trusses to strengthen the structure. This led to the Dee bridge disaster of 1847, which killed five when the bridge collapsed.
Tay Bridge disaster
Following the disaster, such trussed bridges were demolished and cast-iron was replaced with wrought iron composite beams formed by riveting sheets together, and then steel rolled beams when steel became available in the late 1860s and 1870s. Cast iron continued to be used in railway under bridges, and there were a number of serious failures involving loss of life. The most serious accident occurred in 1879 with the Tay Bridge disaster when the center part of the bridge collapsed in a storm as an express train was passing over. The whole train was lost with more than 75 passengers and crew. The weakest parts of the bridge were cast iron lugs holding tie bars in place, and cast iron in new bridges was effectively abandoned after the disaster.
In the late 19th century modern steel was developed, and it proved more suitable than cast iron for structural and support purposes. Many of the innovations of the cast iron period were carried over to the new steel frame buildings, and were essential to the development of the modern skyscraper. But in 2001, the disasters of the World Trade Center proved that structural steel melts under intense heat and fire. We are reinventing the wheel over and over.
Thank you to Wikipedia for components of this blog.
Are you familiar with those 19th century architectural Victorian works in your hometown?