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Guest blogger: Maddison Michaels

3 March 2019

Hi everyone, my name is Maddison Michaels and I’m thrilled to be doing a blog post for ARRA! First off, just to tell you a little about me, I write historical romances, that incorporate sexy history with a dash of mystery. My debut novel The Devilish Duke was published by Entangled Publishing in February last year, and is book one in my Saints and Scoundrels series. My second novel in the series, The Elusive Earl, was also published by Entangled, in August last year, and I’m currently working on book 3 in the series, The Sinful Saint.

One of the things I love about both writing and reading historical romances is how fun facts of the era can be interspersed in the story. And I found this to be particularly the case when I wrote The Elusive Earl. So, I thought I’d share with you all a particularly fun fact (at least I thought it was cool, lol) that I found out during the course of my research for book 2, which some of you may already know about, but some of you might not.

Anyone heard of Mackintosh raincoats? I’m sure you have, but I bet you don’t know the history behind the invention of them—which is what I’m going to share 🙂

Because my hero and heroine in The Elusive Earl are on a rather perilous adventure, I found myself having to research if there were any waterproof bags or materials available in the 1856 … And guess what I found? Yes, there was! Which was wonderful, because my heroine has a very special journal that she needs to take with her on an adventure through the Italian countryside, and during her travels there may be an occasion where she and the journal take an unexpected swim … But because I needed to have the journal remain intact, I had to make sure that it was possible and the only way that could work was if there was some material available that could protect the journal from the water …

I was so excited to read about the Macintosh waterproof canvas, that had actually been invented in the Regency era. Back in 1823, a Gloucestershire chemist by the name of Charles Macintosh was the inventor of waterproof canvas material, where he sandwiched a thin layer of Naptha-treated rubber, between two layers of cloth. The material itself became rather famous, when in 1827 on Captain W. E. Parry’s voyage to the North Pole, a bag of cocoa (the bag itself being made from Macintosh’s waterproof canvas) fell overboard and into the sea. Then when the captain had it retrieved, he stated that ‘it did not suffer the slightest injury … I know of no other material with an equal weight as equally durable and watertight—in the latter quality it is altogether perfect’. The fact that a bag of cocoa could survive a dunk in the ocean, without getting ruined from the water, was a bit of a game changer back then. And it even earned it’s inventor, Charles Macintosh, a Fellowship of the Royal Society.

So you see—by 1856, some nearly thirty years after the invention, it was often used to ensure things were made waterproof. In fact, the Mackintosh raincoat (spelt slightly different to the inventor’s surname, but still in existence to this day), was made from the same material. So YAY, the material was in existence back then and was just perfect for the perils my characters were going to have to face … lol!

This is why I love the Victorian era: there were some amazingly cool inventions during this time period, although technically, the invention of the waterproof rubber canvas bag actually pre-dates the Victorian era by a few decades. As an aside, in my research, I also discovered that rubber elastic bands were invented in 1850, and there were even rubber condoms invented and in existence since 1842 … History blows my mind!! I love it!!

Anyhow, thank you so much for having me on the blog! And I hope you had fun reading about the invention of the waterproof material I discovered in the course of my research!

Take care, Maddison

You can find Maddison here: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Bookbub

The Elusive Earl

Brianna Penderley has a knack for getting into precarious situations, especially when it comes to her love for archaeology. In the heart of Naples, her terrible Italian has her accidentally becoming engaged to two men at the same time. Of course, Daniel Wolcott—the Earl of Thornton and the only man ever able to vex her—shows up to rescue her.

Daniel has spent the majority of his life exercising rigid control over his emotions, determined never to become the rake his father was. But when he goes to aid his mentor’s danger-prone niece once again, he finds himself struggling to control his attraction to a woman who is his complete opposite.

When their situation goes from bad to worse, Daniel and Brianna find themselves swept up into a perilous adventure, and they must work together to set things right. Now, if they can just avoid killing each other in the process.

Available from Amazon | Amazon AU | iTunes | B&N | Kobo

  1. 3 March 2019 6:56 pm

    Super interesting! I did not know this!!

  2. 3 March 2019 1:41 pm

    I’m really enjoying the Devilish Duke. I can see it’s going to be a great series.

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