Scientific Magic

Rice_MagicintheStars276Pat here:

Before I can put the first word to the page of a new book, I need research. The characters may be hopping up and down in my mind, shouting their ire, but they’re still too unformed for me to “see” them—and I don’t mean their appearance.

As a for instance—the heroine of the Magic book I’m currently plotting has already appeared in other volumes, so I know what she looks like, and I know something of her personality and background. I know what she wants. But I have utterly no clue how she can go after it because this is 1830, after all, and they don’t have the internet or Craigslist. I don’t want to give her away just yet, until I’m ready to write (yeah, I’m one of those authors who can’t talk about plot until after a book is written). 

Nachet_collection;_Barrel_of_old_Nurenberg_microscope._Wellcome_M0000205But this time, I’m not writing one of my Ives heroes (pause for silent weeping). He’s scientific, yes, but I needed a titled nobleman and the Ives family has more bastards than titles. I had some odd idea that he might be a physician, or possibly someone who works with microscopes. Until I can “see” what he does, I can’t do anything. So I started by researching microscopes.

Yes, they had microscopes in 1830, but they were pretty crude. Even in the 2nd century BC the Greeks knew that water bends light. By 100 AD, the Romans could create glass that was thick in the middle and thin on the edge and learned this lens could magnify an image. Although, since they called them burning glasses, I suspect they spent more time trying to create fire with them.

The microscope above is an old German monocular, probably from the early 1700s. The one below left is a solar microscope by Peter Dolland of London from about 1790, considered one of the finest makers of microscopes at the time. But think–solar…London. Does not compute, right?

It wasn’t until the 17th century that Leeuwenhoek invented anything close to a microscope, and that was only a single lens. Low quality glass and lack of light created distortions that prevented microscopes from real 1780-1790,_solar_microscope_by_Peter_Dolland,_London,_England_-_Golub_Collection_of_Antique_Microscopes_-_DSC04810usefulness until nearly 1870, unfortunate for my hero. Although several glass problems were resolved by 1830, lighting wasn’t, and that limits usage. So in my time period, the best use of microscopes was determining the existence of cells and their structures—interesting but not exactly hero material. My guy might be able to discover a bacterium if he uses glass manufactured by my fictional Ives experts, but how do I work that into the story in my head?

To tell the truth, I don’t know yet. I’m now researching arsenic and medicine and tuberculosis and my characters are about to pitch fits. Anyone want to make a story of all this? Or I could just make my hero a gambling lout who changes his spots… But then I’d have to research gambling! Anyone know any good books on any of these topics?

(and this post is playing hide-and-seek today, sorry. Hope it shows this time around!)

185 thoughts on “Scientific Magic”

  1. Pat, the book I mentioned in the last WWR (Eye of the Beholder) focuses (no pun intended!) on Leeuwenhoek and his microscopes. According to the author’s research, they were pretty darn good! He made his own lenses, and experimented with optics, and made some revolutionary improvements. It might be worth a read!
    And BTW, I love the idea of a scientific hero! Far more interesting than a gambling lout!

    Reply
  2. Pat, the book I mentioned in the last WWR (Eye of the Beholder) focuses (no pun intended!) on Leeuwenhoek and his microscopes. According to the author’s research, they were pretty darn good! He made his own lenses, and experimented with optics, and made some revolutionary improvements. It might be worth a read!
    And BTW, I love the idea of a scientific hero! Far more interesting than a gambling lout!

    Reply
  3. Pat, the book I mentioned in the last WWR (Eye of the Beholder) focuses (no pun intended!) on Leeuwenhoek and his microscopes. According to the author’s research, they were pretty darn good! He made his own lenses, and experimented with optics, and made some revolutionary improvements. It might be worth a read!
    And BTW, I love the idea of a scientific hero! Far more interesting than a gambling lout!

    Reply
  4. Pat, the book I mentioned in the last WWR (Eye of the Beholder) focuses (no pun intended!) on Leeuwenhoek and his microscopes. According to the author’s research, they were pretty darn good! He made his own lenses, and experimented with optics, and made some revolutionary improvements. It might be worth a read!
    And BTW, I love the idea of a scientific hero! Far more interesting than a gambling lout!

    Reply
  5. Pat, the book I mentioned in the last WWR (Eye of the Beholder) focuses (no pun intended!) on Leeuwenhoek and his microscopes. According to the author’s research, they were pretty darn good! He made his own lenses, and experimented with optics, and made some revolutionary improvements. It might be worth a read!
    And BTW, I love the idea of a scientific hero! Far more interesting than a gambling lout!

    Reply
  6. I saw this post a couple of days ago and I sent some comments then, but it disappeared – and so did my comments. I wonder if you saw them. I also sent you some books on the blog’s email. Have you received them?

    Reply
  7. I saw this post a couple of days ago and I sent some comments then, but it disappeared – and so did my comments. I wonder if you saw them. I also sent you some books on the blog’s email. Have you received them?

    Reply
  8. I saw this post a couple of days ago and I sent some comments then, but it disappeared – and so did my comments. I wonder if you saw them. I also sent you some books on the blog’s email. Have you received them?

    Reply
  9. I saw this post a couple of days ago and I sent some comments then, but it disappeared – and so did my comments. I wonder if you saw them. I also sent you some books on the blog’s email. Have you received them?

    Reply
  10. I saw this post a couple of days ago and I sent some comments then, but it disappeared – and so did my comments. I wonder if you saw them. I also sent you some books on the blog’s email. Have you received them?

    Reply
  11. Yes, I saw them and responded and then we had a confusion of posts so I tried to repost today. Unfortunately, Typepad wouldn’t let me post the original, so I had to start over again. I loved your story idea and I’ve saved those links you sent, thank you!

    Reply
  12. Yes, I saw them and responded and then we had a confusion of posts so I tried to repost today. Unfortunately, Typepad wouldn’t let me post the original, so I had to start over again. I loved your story idea and I’ve saved those links you sent, thank you!

    Reply
  13. Yes, I saw them and responded and then we had a confusion of posts so I tried to repost today. Unfortunately, Typepad wouldn’t let me post the original, so I had to start over again. I loved your story idea and I’ve saved those links you sent, thank you!

    Reply
  14. Yes, I saw them and responded and then we had a confusion of posts so I tried to repost today. Unfortunately, Typepad wouldn’t let me post the original, so I had to start over again. I loved your story idea and I’ve saved those links you sent, thank you!

    Reply
  15. Yes, I saw them and responded and then we had a confusion of posts so I tried to repost today. Unfortunately, Typepad wouldn’t let me post the original, so I had to start over again. I loved your story idea and I’ve saved those links you sent, thank you!

    Reply
  16. I would be interested in being a background helper for anything medical. I’m not an expert on historical medicine but if you need to ask about something such as TB, the disease hasn’t changed, only the treatment. You probably have many medical sources to consult, so feel any pressure.

    Reply
  17. I would be interested in being a background helper for anything medical. I’m not an expert on historical medicine but if you need to ask about something such as TB, the disease hasn’t changed, only the treatment. You probably have many medical sources to consult, so feel any pressure.

    Reply
  18. I would be interested in being a background helper for anything medical. I’m not an expert on historical medicine but if you need to ask about something such as TB, the disease hasn’t changed, only the treatment. You probably have many medical sources to consult, so feel any pressure.

    Reply
  19. I would be interested in being a background helper for anything medical. I’m not an expert on historical medicine but if you need to ask about something such as TB, the disease hasn’t changed, only the treatment. You probably have many medical sources to consult, so feel any pressure.

    Reply
  20. I would be interested in being a background helper for anything medical. I’m not an expert on historical medicine but if you need to ask about something such as TB, the disease hasn’t changed, only the treatment. You probably have many medical sources to consult, so feel any pressure.

    Reply
  21. oh lovely, Kathy, thank you! TB is such a thorough disease that it seems able to affect anything, even though it’s the lung part we all know about. So far, I’ve only dug up generalities because I’m playing with so many possibilities. Is there a source for specific symptoms depending on what part of the body it’s affecting?

    Reply
  22. oh lovely, Kathy, thank you! TB is such a thorough disease that it seems able to affect anything, even though it’s the lung part we all know about. So far, I’ve only dug up generalities because I’m playing with so many possibilities. Is there a source for specific symptoms depending on what part of the body it’s affecting?

    Reply
  23. oh lovely, Kathy, thank you! TB is such a thorough disease that it seems able to affect anything, even though it’s the lung part we all know about. So far, I’ve only dug up generalities because I’m playing with so many possibilities. Is there a source for specific symptoms depending on what part of the body it’s affecting?

    Reply
  24. oh lovely, Kathy, thank you! TB is such a thorough disease that it seems able to affect anything, even though it’s the lung part we all know about. So far, I’ve only dug up generalities because I’m playing with so many possibilities. Is there a source for specific symptoms depending on what part of the body it’s affecting?

    Reply
  25. oh lovely, Kathy, thank you! TB is such a thorough disease that it seems able to affect anything, even though it’s the lung part we all know about. So far, I’ve only dug up generalities because I’m playing with so many possibilities. Is there a source for specific symptoms depending on what part of the body it’s affecting?

    Reply
  26. Maybe you’ll find something as lethal, yet less obvious ;p I think too much potassium could induce heart failure and be easily absorbed, so possibly undetectable in the past. A valerian overdose could also lead to an ‘accidental’ death (or not so accidental :p).

    Reply
  27. Maybe you’ll find something as lethal, yet less obvious ;p I think too much potassium could induce heart failure and be easily absorbed, so possibly undetectable in the past. A valerian overdose could also lead to an ‘accidental’ death (or not so accidental :p).

    Reply
  28. Maybe you’ll find something as lethal, yet less obvious ;p I think too much potassium could induce heart failure and be easily absorbed, so possibly undetectable in the past. A valerian overdose could also lead to an ‘accidental’ death (or not so accidental :p).

    Reply
  29. Maybe you’ll find something as lethal, yet less obvious ;p I think too much potassium could induce heart failure and be easily absorbed, so possibly undetectable in the past. A valerian overdose could also lead to an ‘accidental’ death (or not so accidental :p).

    Reply
  30. Maybe you’ll find something as lethal, yet less obvious ;p I think too much potassium could induce heart failure and be easily absorbed, so possibly undetectable in the past. A valerian overdose could also lead to an ‘accidental’ death (or not so accidental :p).

    Reply
  31. Kathy K’s comment stirred some memories for me. I don’t know much about the treatment or stigma that might have been attached to the disease in the nineteenth century – I’m not sure if they realized it was contagious. But there was a lot of stigma attached to it in the mid 20th century.
    When I was a small child in the 1950s, I had an uncle who had TB. He was forced (by who I don’t know) to go to what he called an asylum for treatment. I had the impression that he didn’t want to be there and at one point he escaped and came to stay with us. I can remember my mother washing his eating utensils separate from ours. I’m not sure how long he as with us, but eventually the returned and finished his treatment.
    Because he had stayed with us, we all HAD to go to the health department at the county hospital to be tested for TB periodically for some time. There was quite a stigma attached to it. I remember when the neighbors found out that we kids were being tested they didn’t want their kids playing with us. I can remember my mother saying to the other parents that because we were being tested, she know we didn’t have TB, but she wasn’t sure about their kids (smile).
    BTW, my uncle finished his treatment (had part of his lung removed) and lived to a ripe old age.

    Reply
  32. Kathy K’s comment stirred some memories for me. I don’t know much about the treatment or stigma that might have been attached to the disease in the nineteenth century – I’m not sure if they realized it was contagious. But there was a lot of stigma attached to it in the mid 20th century.
    When I was a small child in the 1950s, I had an uncle who had TB. He was forced (by who I don’t know) to go to what he called an asylum for treatment. I had the impression that he didn’t want to be there and at one point he escaped and came to stay with us. I can remember my mother washing his eating utensils separate from ours. I’m not sure how long he as with us, but eventually the returned and finished his treatment.
    Because he had stayed with us, we all HAD to go to the health department at the county hospital to be tested for TB periodically for some time. There was quite a stigma attached to it. I remember when the neighbors found out that we kids were being tested they didn’t want their kids playing with us. I can remember my mother saying to the other parents that because we were being tested, she know we didn’t have TB, but she wasn’t sure about their kids (smile).
    BTW, my uncle finished his treatment (had part of his lung removed) and lived to a ripe old age.

    Reply
  33. Kathy K’s comment stirred some memories for me. I don’t know much about the treatment or stigma that might have been attached to the disease in the nineteenth century – I’m not sure if they realized it was contagious. But there was a lot of stigma attached to it in the mid 20th century.
    When I was a small child in the 1950s, I had an uncle who had TB. He was forced (by who I don’t know) to go to what he called an asylum for treatment. I had the impression that he didn’t want to be there and at one point he escaped and came to stay with us. I can remember my mother washing his eating utensils separate from ours. I’m not sure how long he as with us, but eventually the returned and finished his treatment.
    Because he had stayed with us, we all HAD to go to the health department at the county hospital to be tested for TB periodically for some time. There was quite a stigma attached to it. I remember when the neighbors found out that we kids were being tested they didn’t want their kids playing with us. I can remember my mother saying to the other parents that because we were being tested, she know we didn’t have TB, but she wasn’t sure about their kids (smile).
    BTW, my uncle finished his treatment (had part of his lung removed) and lived to a ripe old age.

    Reply
  34. Kathy K’s comment stirred some memories for me. I don’t know much about the treatment or stigma that might have been attached to the disease in the nineteenth century – I’m not sure if they realized it was contagious. But there was a lot of stigma attached to it in the mid 20th century.
    When I was a small child in the 1950s, I had an uncle who had TB. He was forced (by who I don’t know) to go to what he called an asylum for treatment. I had the impression that he didn’t want to be there and at one point he escaped and came to stay with us. I can remember my mother washing his eating utensils separate from ours. I’m not sure how long he as with us, but eventually the returned and finished his treatment.
    Because he had stayed with us, we all HAD to go to the health department at the county hospital to be tested for TB periodically for some time. There was quite a stigma attached to it. I remember when the neighbors found out that we kids were being tested they didn’t want their kids playing with us. I can remember my mother saying to the other parents that because we were being tested, she know we didn’t have TB, but she wasn’t sure about their kids (smile).
    BTW, my uncle finished his treatment (had part of his lung removed) and lived to a ripe old age.

    Reply
  35. Kathy K’s comment stirred some memories for me. I don’t know much about the treatment or stigma that might have been attached to the disease in the nineteenth century – I’m not sure if they realized it was contagious. But there was a lot of stigma attached to it in the mid 20th century.
    When I was a small child in the 1950s, I had an uncle who had TB. He was forced (by who I don’t know) to go to what he called an asylum for treatment. I had the impression that he didn’t want to be there and at one point he escaped and came to stay with us. I can remember my mother washing his eating utensils separate from ours. I’m not sure how long he as with us, but eventually the returned and finished his treatment.
    Because he had stayed with us, we all HAD to go to the health department at the county hospital to be tested for TB periodically for some time. There was quite a stigma attached to it. I remember when the neighbors found out that we kids were being tested they didn’t want their kids playing with us. I can remember my mother saying to the other parents that because we were being tested, she know we didn’t have TB, but she wasn’t sure about their kids (smile).
    BTW, my uncle finished his treatment (had part of his lung removed) and lived to a ripe old age.

    Reply
  36. I just replied and Typepad wiped me out, sorry! I love this story. In 1830, they didn’t know about the contagion, which makes talking about it difficult, knowing what we do today!

    Reply
  37. I just replied and Typepad wiped me out, sorry! I love this story. In 1830, they didn’t know about the contagion, which makes talking about it difficult, knowing what we do today!

    Reply
  38. I just replied and Typepad wiped me out, sorry! I love this story. In 1830, they didn’t know about the contagion, which makes talking about it difficult, knowing what we do today!

    Reply
  39. I just replied and Typepad wiped me out, sorry! I love this story. In 1830, they didn’t know about the contagion, which makes talking about it difficult, knowing what we do today!

    Reply
  40. I just replied and Typepad wiped me out, sorry! I love this story. In 1830, they didn’t know about the contagion, which makes talking about it difficult, knowing what we do today!

    Reply
  41. You might want to look at the CDC website or NIH. Lay-type information that is accurate could be at MayoCinic.com or webMD. TB has been called the great imitator because it can have so many symptoms based on where the infection is growing. Feel free to email me as issues arise. I’m glad to help.

    Reply
  42. You might want to look at the CDC website or NIH. Lay-type information that is accurate could be at MayoCinic.com or webMD. TB has been called the great imitator because it can have so many symptoms based on where the infection is growing. Feel free to email me as issues arise. I’m glad to help.

    Reply
  43. You might want to look at the CDC website or NIH. Lay-type information that is accurate could be at MayoCinic.com or webMD. TB has been called the great imitator because it can have so many symptoms based on where the infection is growing. Feel free to email me as issues arise. I’m glad to help.

    Reply
  44. You might want to look at the CDC website or NIH. Lay-type information that is accurate could be at MayoCinic.com or webMD. TB has been called the great imitator because it can have so many symptoms based on where the infection is growing. Feel free to email me as issues arise. I’m glad to help.

    Reply
  45. You might want to look at the CDC website or NIH. Lay-type information that is accurate could be at MayoCinic.com or webMD. TB has been called the great imitator because it can have so many symptoms based on where the infection is growing. Feel free to email me as issues arise. I’m glad to help.

    Reply
  46. In the days before antibiotics there wasn’t much of anything that could be done to help TB other than rest, good nutrition, sunshine and isolation from non-infected people.The public health department set up asylums for this purpose to keep the infection from spreading. Since TB is more common in people who are poorly nourished and living in crowded conditions (like a slum) the asylum was a step up in living conditions for most of them. TB is only slightly contagious for people with intact immune systems. The scary thing now is multi-drug-resistant strains of TB. It’s a return to the bad old days.

    Reply
  47. In the days before antibiotics there wasn’t much of anything that could be done to help TB other than rest, good nutrition, sunshine and isolation from non-infected people.The public health department set up asylums for this purpose to keep the infection from spreading. Since TB is more common in people who are poorly nourished and living in crowded conditions (like a slum) the asylum was a step up in living conditions for most of them. TB is only slightly contagious for people with intact immune systems. The scary thing now is multi-drug-resistant strains of TB. It’s a return to the bad old days.

    Reply
  48. In the days before antibiotics there wasn’t much of anything that could be done to help TB other than rest, good nutrition, sunshine and isolation from non-infected people.The public health department set up asylums for this purpose to keep the infection from spreading. Since TB is more common in people who are poorly nourished and living in crowded conditions (like a slum) the asylum was a step up in living conditions for most of them. TB is only slightly contagious for people with intact immune systems. The scary thing now is multi-drug-resistant strains of TB. It’s a return to the bad old days.

    Reply
  49. In the days before antibiotics there wasn’t much of anything that could be done to help TB other than rest, good nutrition, sunshine and isolation from non-infected people.The public health department set up asylums for this purpose to keep the infection from spreading. Since TB is more common in people who are poorly nourished and living in crowded conditions (like a slum) the asylum was a step up in living conditions for most of them. TB is only slightly contagious for people with intact immune systems. The scary thing now is multi-drug-resistant strains of TB. It’s a return to the bad old days.

    Reply
  50. In the days before antibiotics there wasn’t much of anything that could be done to help TB other than rest, good nutrition, sunshine and isolation from non-infected people.The public health department set up asylums for this purpose to keep the infection from spreading. Since TB is more common in people who are poorly nourished and living in crowded conditions (like a slum) the asylum was a step up in living conditions for most of them. TB is only slightly contagious for people with intact immune systems. The scary thing now is multi-drug-resistant strains of TB. It’s a return to the bad old days.

    Reply
  51. I’m afraid we’ll see a lot of return to the bad old days as bugs become more immune to our drugs. TB actually used to be considered “romantic” because poets and other creatives died of it, presumably ala Camille, wasn’t that the book?

    Reply
  52. I’m afraid we’ll see a lot of return to the bad old days as bugs become more immune to our drugs. TB actually used to be considered “romantic” because poets and other creatives died of it, presumably ala Camille, wasn’t that the book?

    Reply
  53. I’m afraid we’ll see a lot of return to the bad old days as bugs become more immune to our drugs. TB actually used to be considered “romantic” because poets and other creatives died of it, presumably ala Camille, wasn’t that the book?

    Reply
  54. I’m afraid we’ll see a lot of return to the bad old days as bugs become more immune to our drugs. TB actually used to be considered “romantic” because poets and other creatives died of it, presumably ala Camille, wasn’t that the book?

    Reply
  55. I’m afraid we’ll see a lot of return to the bad old days as bugs become more immune to our drugs. TB actually used to be considered “romantic” because poets and other creatives died of it, presumably ala Camille, wasn’t that the book?

    Reply
  56. My grandfather’s second wife died of ‘a weak chest’. I never found out if that meant TB or her heart. She died young. My mother was a toddler at the time, so she couldn’t remember what it was. I still wonder why my grandfather chose to marry a sick woman, who couldn’t take care of his children. He had to ask one of his sisters to come and help, since his young bride needed to lie in bed all the time.
    LOL My maternal grandfather had three wives (not all at once, of course): he divorced the first one, the second one died, the third one lived to raise me. He didn’t have any of them beheaded :p , although I’m sure he would have beheaded the first one, if it had been possible.
    The king in the novel I’m writing right now also had three wives. =)) And one of them died unexpectedly while he was falling for the princess who would eventually become his third wife. No one dared whisper, ‘Murder’ – but lots of people thought she had died of a broken heart – and on her tomb cover she was represented crying tears of blood. (!)

    Reply
  57. My grandfather’s second wife died of ‘a weak chest’. I never found out if that meant TB or her heart. She died young. My mother was a toddler at the time, so she couldn’t remember what it was. I still wonder why my grandfather chose to marry a sick woman, who couldn’t take care of his children. He had to ask one of his sisters to come and help, since his young bride needed to lie in bed all the time.
    LOL My maternal grandfather had three wives (not all at once, of course): he divorced the first one, the second one died, the third one lived to raise me. He didn’t have any of them beheaded :p , although I’m sure he would have beheaded the first one, if it had been possible.
    The king in the novel I’m writing right now also had three wives. =)) And one of them died unexpectedly while he was falling for the princess who would eventually become his third wife. No one dared whisper, ‘Murder’ – but lots of people thought she had died of a broken heart – and on her tomb cover she was represented crying tears of blood. (!)

    Reply
  58. My grandfather’s second wife died of ‘a weak chest’. I never found out if that meant TB or her heart. She died young. My mother was a toddler at the time, so she couldn’t remember what it was. I still wonder why my grandfather chose to marry a sick woman, who couldn’t take care of his children. He had to ask one of his sisters to come and help, since his young bride needed to lie in bed all the time.
    LOL My maternal grandfather had three wives (not all at once, of course): he divorced the first one, the second one died, the third one lived to raise me. He didn’t have any of them beheaded :p , although I’m sure he would have beheaded the first one, if it had been possible.
    The king in the novel I’m writing right now also had three wives. =)) And one of them died unexpectedly while he was falling for the princess who would eventually become his third wife. No one dared whisper, ‘Murder’ – but lots of people thought she had died of a broken heart – and on her tomb cover she was represented crying tears of blood. (!)

    Reply
  59. My grandfather’s second wife died of ‘a weak chest’. I never found out if that meant TB or her heart. She died young. My mother was a toddler at the time, so she couldn’t remember what it was. I still wonder why my grandfather chose to marry a sick woman, who couldn’t take care of his children. He had to ask one of his sisters to come and help, since his young bride needed to lie in bed all the time.
    LOL My maternal grandfather had three wives (not all at once, of course): he divorced the first one, the second one died, the third one lived to raise me. He didn’t have any of them beheaded :p , although I’m sure he would have beheaded the first one, if it had been possible.
    The king in the novel I’m writing right now also had three wives. =)) And one of them died unexpectedly while he was falling for the princess who would eventually become his third wife. No one dared whisper, ‘Murder’ – but lots of people thought she had died of a broken heart – and on her tomb cover she was represented crying tears of blood. (!)

    Reply
  60. My grandfather’s second wife died of ‘a weak chest’. I never found out if that meant TB or her heart. She died young. My mother was a toddler at the time, so she couldn’t remember what it was. I still wonder why my grandfather chose to marry a sick woman, who couldn’t take care of his children. He had to ask one of his sisters to come and help, since his young bride needed to lie in bed all the time.
    LOL My maternal grandfather had three wives (not all at once, of course): he divorced the first one, the second one died, the third one lived to raise me. He didn’t have any of them beheaded :p , although I’m sure he would have beheaded the first one, if it had been possible.
    The king in the novel I’m writing right now also had three wives. =)) And one of them died unexpectedly while he was falling for the princess who would eventually become his third wife. No one dared whisper, ‘Murder’ – but lots of people thought she had died of a broken heart – and on her tomb cover she was represented crying tears of blood. (!)

    Reply
  61. You might consider something to do with protozoa…since VanLeeuwenhoek discovered those as well…and it might be considered magical watching things like a Paramecium move…

    Reply
  62. You might consider something to do with protozoa…since VanLeeuwenhoek discovered those as well…and it might be considered magical watching things like a Paramecium move…

    Reply
  63. You might consider something to do with protozoa…since VanLeeuwenhoek discovered those as well…and it might be considered magical watching things like a Paramecium move…

    Reply
  64. You might consider something to do with protozoa…since VanLeeuwenhoek discovered those as well…and it might be considered magical watching things like a Paramecium move…

    Reply
  65. You might consider something to do with protozoa…since VanLeeuwenhoek discovered those as well…and it might be considered magical watching things like a Paramecium move…

    Reply
  66. “Illicium anisatum, with common names Japanese star anise, aniseed tree, and sacred anise tree, known in Japan as Shikimi (樒 ?, シキミ), is a tree closely related to the Chinese star anise. Since it is highly toxic, the fruit is not edible; instead, the dried and powdered leaves are burned as incense in Japan.”
    I translated (and subbed) a Korean (historical) TV series into Romanian once – and in it some people kept trying to poison the king by adding this type of anise into his daily tonic. Since it closely resembles edible anise, it would be hard to track. Moreover, it could have been available in the 1830s, as any traveller coming from Asia could have brought it along with other spices.

    Reply
  67. “Illicium anisatum, with common names Japanese star anise, aniseed tree, and sacred anise tree, known in Japan as Shikimi (樒 ?, シキミ), is a tree closely related to the Chinese star anise. Since it is highly toxic, the fruit is not edible; instead, the dried and powdered leaves are burned as incense in Japan.”
    I translated (and subbed) a Korean (historical) TV series into Romanian once – and in it some people kept trying to poison the king by adding this type of anise into his daily tonic. Since it closely resembles edible anise, it would be hard to track. Moreover, it could have been available in the 1830s, as any traveller coming from Asia could have brought it along with other spices.

    Reply
  68. “Illicium anisatum, with common names Japanese star anise, aniseed tree, and sacred anise tree, known in Japan as Shikimi (樒 ?, シキミ), is a tree closely related to the Chinese star anise. Since it is highly toxic, the fruit is not edible; instead, the dried and powdered leaves are burned as incense in Japan.”
    I translated (and subbed) a Korean (historical) TV series into Romanian once – and in it some people kept trying to poison the king by adding this type of anise into his daily tonic. Since it closely resembles edible anise, it would be hard to track. Moreover, it could have been available in the 1830s, as any traveller coming from Asia could have brought it along with other spices.

    Reply
  69. “Illicium anisatum, with common names Japanese star anise, aniseed tree, and sacred anise tree, known in Japan as Shikimi (樒 ?, シキミ), is a tree closely related to the Chinese star anise. Since it is highly toxic, the fruit is not edible; instead, the dried and powdered leaves are burned as incense in Japan.”
    I translated (and subbed) a Korean (historical) TV series into Romanian once – and in it some people kept trying to poison the king by adding this type of anise into his daily tonic. Since it closely resembles edible anise, it would be hard to track. Moreover, it could have been available in the 1830s, as any traveller coming from Asia could have brought it along with other spices.

    Reply
  70. “Illicium anisatum, with common names Japanese star anise, aniseed tree, and sacred anise tree, known in Japan as Shikimi (樒 ?, シキミ), is a tree closely related to the Chinese star anise. Since it is highly toxic, the fruit is not edible; instead, the dried and powdered leaves are burned as incense in Japan.”
    I translated (and subbed) a Korean (historical) TV series into Romanian once – and in it some people kept trying to poison the king by adding this type of anise into his daily tonic. Since it closely resembles edible anise, it would be hard to track. Moreover, it could have been available in the 1830s, as any traveller coming from Asia could have brought it along with other spices.

    Reply
  71. In the book I sent you I found this: “By 1830, chemical analysis could detect most mineral compounds, but not organic poisons. In 1851, the Belgian chemist Jean Servais Stas was the first to discover a technique for extracting alkaloid poisons while investigating a homicide by nicotine. He was the first to isolate nicotine from postmortem tissue.”
    By the way, have you received the book? It’s called Deadly Doses, A Writer’s Guide to Poisons.

    Reply
  72. In the book I sent you I found this: “By 1830, chemical analysis could detect most mineral compounds, but not organic poisons. In 1851, the Belgian chemist Jean Servais Stas was the first to discover a technique for extracting alkaloid poisons while investigating a homicide by nicotine. He was the first to isolate nicotine from postmortem tissue.”
    By the way, have you received the book? It’s called Deadly Doses, A Writer’s Guide to Poisons.

    Reply
  73. In the book I sent you I found this: “By 1830, chemical analysis could detect most mineral compounds, but not organic poisons. In 1851, the Belgian chemist Jean Servais Stas was the first to discover a technique for extracting alkaloid poisons while investigating a homicide by nicotine. He was the first to isolate nicotine from postmortem tissue.”
    By the way, have you received the book? It’s called Deadly Doses, A Writer’s Guide to Poisons.

    Reply
  74. In the book I sent you I found this: “By 1830, chemical analysis could detect most mineral compounds, but not organic poisons. In 1851, the Belgian chemist Jean Servais Stas was the first to discover a technique for extracting alkaloid poisons while investigating a homicide by nicotine. He was the first to isolate nicotine from postmortem tissue.”
    By the way, have you received the book? It’s called Deadly Doses, A Writer’s Guide to Poisons.

    Reply
  75. In the book I sent you I found this: “By 1830, chemical analysis could detect most mineral compounds, but not organic poisons. In 1851, the Belgian chemist Jean Servais Stas was the first to discover a technique for extracting alkaloid poisons while investigating a homicide by nicotine. He was the first to isolate nicotine from postmortem tissue.”
    By the way, have you received the book? It’s called Deadly Doses, A Writer’s Guide to Poisons.

    Reply
  76. Perhaps you’ll find this interesting:
    “Humans can develop a tolerance for the poison [arsenic], such as the case of the arsenic eaters throughout the centuries who made a practice of having arsenic daily. One of the tests of the Hell Fire Club of Regency and Victorian England was to see how much arsenic and other poisons one could consume without being affected.”

    Reply
  77. Perhaps you’ll find this interesting:
    “Humans can develop a tolerance for the poison [arsenic], such as the case of the arsenic eaters throughout the centuries who made a practice of having arsenic daily. One of the tests of the Hell Fire Club of Regency and Victorian England was to see how much arsenic and other poisons one could consume without being affected.”

    Reply
  78. Perhaps you’ll find this interesting:
    “Humans can develop a tolerance for the poison [arsenic], such as the case of the arsenic eaters throughout the centuries who made a practice of having arsenic daily. One of the tests of the Hell Fire Club of Regency and Victorian England was to see how much arsenic and other poisons one could consume without being affected.”

    Reply
  79. Perhaps you’ll find this interesting:
    “Humans can develop a tolerance for the poison [arsenic], such as the case of the arsenic eaters throughout the centuries who made a practice of having arsenic daily. One of the tests of the Hell Fire Club of Regency and Victorian England was to see how much arsenic and other poisons one could consume without being affected.”

    Reply
  80. Perhaps you’ll find this interesting:
    “Humans can develop a tolerance for the poison [arsenic], such as the case of the arsenic eaters throughout the centuries who made a practice of having arsenic daily. One of the tests of the Hell Fire Club of Regency and Victorian England was to see how much arsenic and other poisons one could consume without being affected.”

    Reply
  81. Sooo interesting: honey can be deadly to adults if the bees have pollinated on oleander or rhododendron!
    Since honey is often used to alleviate cough, perhaps it could be given to a TB patient. Botulism (by honey) could kill the patient and who would have been able to guess the cause of death in the 1830s?

    Reply
  82. Sooo interesting: honey can be deadly to adults if the bees have pollinated on oleander or rhododendron!
    Since honey is often used to alleviate cough, perhaps it could be given to a TB patient. Botulism (by honey) could kill the patient and who would have been able to guess the cause of death in the 1830s?

    Reply
  83. Sooo interesting: honey can be deadly to adults if the bees have pollinated on oleander or rhododendron!
    Since honey is often used to alleviate cough, perhaps it could be given to a TB patient. Botulism (by honey) could kill the patient and who would have been able to guess the cause of death in the 1830s?

    Reply
  84. Sooo interesting: honey can be deadly to adults if the bees have pollinated on oleander or rhododendron!
    Since honey is often used to alleviate cough, perhaps it could be given to a TB patient. Botulism (by honey) could kill the patient and who would have been able to guess the cause of death in the 1830s?

    Reply
  85. Sooo interesting: honey can be deadly to adults if the bees have pollinated on oleander or rhododendron!
    Since honey is often used to alleviate cough, perhaps it could be given to a TB patient. Botulism (by honey) could kill the patient and who would have been able to guess the cause of death in the 1830s?

    Reply
  86. The period was actually one of many scientific discoveries. Find an area you like and look for something along those lines. Trouble is you already have so many areas of science covered .
    What about something along the lines of Darwin’s research as you already have an astronomer. Or of anesthesia? There were many experiments and discoveries about electricity, steam, and automated machines. The looms in the mills that turned out cloth were run by punch cards like the early computers. Chemistry is always a good field for magic. Advances were made in astronomy to zoology.

    Reply
  87. The period was actually one of many scientific discoveries. Find an area you like and look for something along those lines. Trouble is you already have so many areas of science covered .
    What about something along the lines of Darwin’s research as you already have an astronomer. Or of anesthesia? There were many experiments and discoveries about electricity, steam, and automated machines. The looms in the mills that turned out cloth were run by punch cards like the early computers. Chemistry is always a good field for magic. Advances were made in astronomy to zoology.

    Reply
  88. The period was actually one of many scientific discoveries. Find an area you like and look for something along those lines. Trouble is you already have so many areas of science covered .
    What about something along the lines of Darwin’s research as you already have an astronomer. Or of anesthesia? There were many experiments and discoveries about electricity, steam, and automated machines. The looms in the mills that turned out cloth were run by punch cards like the early computers. Chemistry is always a good field for magic. Advances were made in astronomy to zoology.

    Reply
  89. The period was actually one of many scientific discoveries. Find an area you like and look for something along those lines. Trouble is you already have so many areas of science covered .
    What about something along the lines of Darwin’s research as you already have an astronomer. Or of anesthesia? There were many experiments and discoveries about electricity, steam, and automated machines. The looms in the mills that turned out cloth were run by punch cards like the early computers. Chemistry is always a good field for magic. Advances were made in astronomy to zoology.

    Reply
  90. The period was actually one of many scientific discoveries. Find an area you like and look for something along those lines. Trouble is you already have so many areas of science covered .
    What about something along the lines of Darwin’s research as you already have an astronomer. Or of anesthesia? There were many experiments and discoveries about electricity, steam, and automated machines. The looms in the mills that turned out cloth were run by punch cards like the early computers. Chemistry is always a good field for magic. Advances were made in astronomy to zoology.

    Reply
  91. Which is why I chose the 1830s for the series! It was a really exciting time for science. Although the men spent a good part of it establishing their territory and kicking out women, which is a lovely point of contention for fiction but probably not so great for women at the time.

    Reply
  92. Which is why I chose the 1830s for the series! It was a really exciting time for science. Although the men spent a good part of it establishing their territory and kicking out women, which is a lovely point of contention for fiction but probably not so great for women at the time.

    Reply
  93. Which is why I chose the 1830s for the series! It was a really exciting time for science. Although the men spent a good part of it establishing their territory and kicking out women, which is a lovely point of contention for fiction but probably not so great for women at the time.

    Reply
  94. Which is why I chose the 1830s for the series! It was a really exciting time for science. Although the men spent a good part of it establishing their territory and kicking out women, which is a lovely point of contention for fiction but probably not so great for women at the time.

    Reply
  95. Which is why I chose the 1830s for the series! It was a really exciting time for science. Although the men spent a good part of it establishing their territory and kicking out women, which is a lovely point of contention for fiction but probably not so great for women at the time.

    Reply
  96. Yes, Camille and also Mimi in “La Traviata”, to name two. It is NOT a romantic way to die, though. The reason they were susceptible was the poverty and crowding in the slums where many artistic types lived since they didn’t make a lot of money doing their art, for the most part.
    I would like to give a slight correction, Pat, about the old understanding of contagion and modern germ theory. Even in Biblical days there was an understanding of contagion. Take note of how lepers were treated. In later days ships coming in from foreign ports had to stay in the harbor and be inspected for disease aboard before they could get off and spread any plague or smallpox to the townspeople. So they understood contagion. They just didn’t know that germs were the cause. Take, for example, malaria: the name of the disease means “bad air”. People noted that malarial fevers often happened in tropical climates and they thought it was something in the air that caused the problem. They didn’t know about mosquito transmission of the malaria parasite. Scientific understanding of infectious disease came much later in the 1800s and early 1900s. But sometimes by careful observation of the illness and trying a variety of prevention or treatment modalities (trial and error) the doctors of the time were able to stumble upon something that worked, even if they didn’t know the underlying cause.
    I hope that was helpful.

    Reply
  97. Yes, Camille and also Mimi in “La Traviata”, to name two. It is NOT a romantic way to die, though. The reason they were susceptible was the poverty and crowding in the slums where many artistic types lived since they didn’t make a lot of money doing their art, for the most part.
    I would like to give a slight correction, Pat, about the old understanding of contagion and modern germ theory. Even in Biblical days there was an understanding of contagion. Take note of how lepers were treated. In later days ships coming in from foreign ports had to stay in the harbor and be inspected for disease aboard before they could get off and spread any plague or smallpox to the townspeople. So they understood contagion. They just didn’t know that germs were the cause. Take, for example, malaria: the name of the disease means “bad air”. People noted that malarial fevers often happened in tropical climates and they thought it was something in the air that caused the problem. They didn’t know about mosquito transmission of the malaria parasite. Scientific understanding of infectious disease came much later in the 1800s and early 1900s. But sometimes by careful observation of the illness and trying a variety of prevention or treatment modalities (trial and error) the doctors of the time were able to stumble upon something that worked, even if they didn’t know the underlying cause.
    I hope that was helpful.

    Reply
  98. Yes, Camille and also Mimi in “La Traviata”, to name two. It is NOT a romantic way to die, though. The reason they were susceptible was the poverty and crowding in the slums where many artistic types lived since they didn’t make a lot of money doing their art, for the most part.
    I would like to give a slight correction, Pat, about the old understanding of contagion and modern germ theory. Even in Biblical days there was an understanding of contagion. Take note of how lepers were treated. In later days ships coming in from foreign ports had to stay in the harbor and be inspected for disease aboard before they could get off and spread any plague or smallpox to the townspeople. So they understood contagion. They just didn’t know that germs were the cause. Take, for example, malaria: the name of the disease means “bad air”. People noted that malarial fevers often happened in tropical climates and they thought it was something in the air that caused the problem. They didn’t know about mosquito transmission of the malaria parasite. Scientific understanding of infectious disease came much later in the 1800s and early 1900s. But sometimes by careful observation of the illness and trying a variety of prevention or treatment modalities (trial and error) the doctors of the time were able to stumble upon something that worked, even if they didn’t know the underlying cause.
    I hope that was helpful.

    Reply
  99. Yes, Camille and also Mimi in “La Traviata”, to name two. It is NOT a romantic way to die, though. The reason they were susceptible was the poverty and crowding in the slums where many artistic types lived since they didn’t make a lot of money doing their art, for the most part.
    I would like to give a slight correction, Pat, about the old understanding of contagion and modern germ theory. Even in Biblical days there was an understanding of contagion. Take note of how lepers were treated. In later days ships coming in from foreign ports had to stay in the harbor and be inspected for disease aboard before they could get off and spread any plague or smallpox to the townspeople. So they understood contagion. They just didn’t know that germs were the cause. Take, for example, malaria: the name of the disease means “bad air”. People noted that malarial fevers often happened in tropical climates and they thought it was something in the air that caused the problem. They didn’t know about mosquito transmission of the malaria parasite. Scientific understanding of infectious disease came much later in the 1800s and early 1900s. But sometimes by careful observation of the illness and trying a variety of prevention or treatment modalities (trial and error) the doctors of the time were able to stumble upon something that worked, even if they didn’t know the underlying cause.
    I hope that was helpful.

    Reply
  100. Yes, Camille and also Mimi in “La Traviata”, to name two. It is NOT a romantic way to die, though. The reason they were susceptible was the poverty and crowding in the slums where many artistic types lived since they didn’t make a lot of money doing their art, for the most part.
    I would like to give a slight correction, Pat, about the old understanding of contagion and modern germ theory. Even in Biblical days there was an understanding of contagion. Take note of how lepers were treated. In later days ships coming in from foreign ports had to stay in the harbor and be inspected for disease aboard before they could get off and spread any plague or smallpox to the townspeople. So they understood contagion. They just didn’t know that germs were the cause. Take, for example, malaria: the name of the disease means “bad air”. People noted that malarial fevers often happened in tropical climates and they thought it was something in the air that caused the problem. They didn’t know about mosquito transmission of the malaria parasite. Scientific understanding of infectious disease came much later in the 1800s and early 1900s. But sometimes by careful observation of the illness and trying a variety of prevention or treatment modalities (trial and error) the doctors of the time were able to stumble upon something that worked, even if they didn’t know the underlying cause.
    I hope that was helpful.

    Reply
  101. As a mere reader, whatever you find and decide upon will be fine with me….just sitting here waiting for the next book. I love this series.

    Reply
  102. As a mere reader, whatever you find and decide upon will be fine with me….just sitting here waiting for the next book. I love this series.

    Reply
  103. As a mere reader, whatever you find and decide upon will be fine with me….just sitting here waiting for the next book. I love this series.

    Reply
  104. As a mere reader, whatever you find and decide upon will be fine with me….just sitting here waiting for the next book. I love this series.

    Reply
  105. As a mere reader, whatever you find and decide upon will be fine with me….just sitting here waiting for the next book. I love this series.

    Reply
  106. I need to be more careful how I sling words around. Yes, they were aware of contagion but didn’t know how it spread. But with TB, from what I’ve read so far, they just expected everyone would get it at some point. They more or less treated it like cancers or other maladies that made one ill. They’d dissected bodies and could see lesions but didn’t understand they were caused by germs.

    Reply
  107. I need to be more careful how I sling words around. Yes, they were aware of contagion but didn’t know how it spread. But with TB, from what I’ve read so far, they just expected everyone would get it at some point. They more or less treated it like cancers or other maladies that made one ill. They’d dissected bodies and could see lesions but didn’t understand they were caused by germs.

    Reply
  108. I need to be more careful how I sling words around. Yes, they were aware of contagion but didn’t know how it spread. But with TB, from what I’ve read so far, they just expected everyone would get it at some point. They more or less treated it like cancers or other maladies that made one ill. They’d dissected bodies and could see lesions but didn’t understand they were caused by germs.

    Reply
  109. I need to be more careful how I sling words around. Yes, they were aware of contagion but didn’t know how it spread. But with TB, from what I’ve read so far, they just expected everyone would get it at some point. They more or less treated it like cancers or other maladies that made one ill. They’d dissected bodies and could see lesions but didn’t understand they were caused by germs.

    Reply
  110. I need to be more careful how I sling words around. Yes, they were aware of contagion but didn’t know how it spread. But with TB, from what I’ve read so far, they just expected everyone would get it at some point. They more or less treated it like cancers or other maladies that made one ill. They’d dissected bodies and could see lesions but didn’t understand they were caused by germs.

    Reply
  111. How about having him research something about anesthetics? Ether and nitrous oxide were around but were considered recreational drugs. Maybe he could do be a step ahead of medicine in finding them useful.

    Reply
  112. How about having him research something about anesthetics? Ether and nitrous oxide were around but were considered recreational drugs. Maybe he could do be a step ahead of medicine in finding them useful.

    Reply
  113. How about having him research something about anesthetics? Ether and nitrous oxide were around but were considered recreational drugs. Maybe he could do be a step ahead of medicine in finding them useful.

    Reply
  114. How about having him research something about anesthetics? Ether and nitrous oxide were around but were considered recreational drugs. Maybe he could do be a step ahead of medicine in finding them useful.

    Reply
  115. How about having him research something about anesthetics? Ether and nitrous oxide were around but were considered recreational drugs. Maybe he could do be a step ahead of medicine in finding them useful.

    Reply

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