Tag Archives: James Bond

Victorian-Era Walking Sticks to Stir the Imagination

Dandys_1830In my Victorian-era romance Duke of a Gilded Age, Wesley is obliged to hire a valet to tend to his new wardrobe and help him navigate the potential minefield of moving in Society as an American duke. Bristling at the idea he can no longer dress himself nor enjoy the complete freedom he’d had in Brooklyn, Wesley is determined to hire someone who will stay out of his way. When valet candidate Cavendish appears, he represents himself as a drunk who enjoys baseball–thereby fulfilling all of Wesley’s requirements. Although Cavendish wins the job, he quickly proves himself to be much more than he seems…starting with a rather extraordinary collection of walking sticks.

Excerpt:

As he reached for a freshly baked fruit muffin, Wesley noticed yet another one of Cavendish’s walking sticks propped up in the corner. This one was slender, fashioned of a highly polished dark wood, and sported a deep blue cut‐glass knob handle. I wonder how many walking sticks the man has?

Since there was much to be done, Cavendish didn’t allow his master to linger overlong at breakfast. After Wesley bathed, the valet gave him a shave and manicure. Wesley examined his buffed fingernails, impressed.

“I’m not uncouth anymore,” he said.

“I daresay you never were, Your Grace.”

“Tell me, Cavendish, how many walking sticks do you own?”

“I’ve never actually counted them, Your Grace, but I am quite the collector.”

Wesley read Jules Verne until his mother was ready to go, while Cavendish sat nearby reading a pocket‐sized copy of L’Art de la Guerre. Wesley gave the book’s title a curious glance.

“Is that French?” he asked.

“Yes. It’s The Art of War by Chinese military general Sun Tzu.”

“He speaks French?”

“No, he lived thousands of years ago. This is a translation from Chinese.”

“Why don’t you read it in English?”

“Sadly, the English translation does not yet exist.”

Wesley returned to his book, puzzled. The man is extremely learned for a valet. Could there be more to Cavendish than meets the eye?

ornament29Walking Stick Compass image courtesy Design ToscanoAn an author, my imagination is seized by the idea of Victorian-era walking sticks serving more than one purpose. Cavendish has all manner of decorative walking sticks, but he also has a very cool walking stick with a compass, a tippling stick containing a compartment in which alcohol can be stored, and a cane with a blade for self-defense. Although admittedly low-tech, it’s rather James Bond-ish, to my way of thinking.  Here are a few resources, if you’re inclined to do further research or purchase one for yourself. Some of these walking sticks are truly amazing works of art. Like Cavendish, I suspect one could build an impressive and fun collection.

~ S.G. Rogers

Design Toscano

Scotties Walking Sticks & Canes (UK)

Ebay

M.S. Rau Antiques

Antique Cane World

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Fun Facts About Norse Mythology – Dwarves, the Go-To Guys

If a dwarf in Norse mythology could play any character in modern movies, he would play Q from the James Bond films.  Q was responsible for providing Bond with a myriad of marvelous spy technology and wondrous inventions.  (Mood music HERE). Similarly, when the gods of the Norse Pantheon wanted some fantastic object custom-made, they knew whom to call.

One of the coolest dwarf-made toys is a ship made by the Sons of Ivaldi for Freyr.  Skidbladnir was known as the best of ships and nifty-keen because of its ability to be folded up like a napkin and stored in a pocket.  When unfolded, however, it was large enough to hold all the gods complete with their weapons of war.  Its sails always found a good wind and therefore Skidbladnir could be navigated anywhere.

Q would have been jealous.

~ S.G. Rogers

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DANICOVER7When Dani was a teen, she had it all; a starring role in her own television series, a wonderful family, and her health. A few years later, everything has changed for the worse—and her time is running short. All she wants to do before she dies is to fall in love, but when she’s kidnapped and taken to Asgard of Norse mythology, she becomes enmeshed in a quarrel between immortals. Prince Rein lends a hand in her quest to return home, and she begins to think the handsome elf has captured her heart. After a magical artifact goes missing, however, he may be forced to marry another woman to avert a diplomatic catastrophe. To find the artifact and save the prince, Dani must undertake a dangerous quest involving ogres, dark fairies, and underworld criminals. Ultimately, however, she’ll have to defy Odin himself.

Dani & the Immortals is available for the Kindle HERE