Monday 19 November 2018

Sexy History With Mystery!

BITB welcomes guest blogger  MADDISON MICHAELS

Hi everyone! I'm Maddison Michaels and I write sexy history with a dash of mystery! Being a historical romance writer, one of the things I absolutely love doing is researching. I particularly adore learning about historical inventions. For example, have you heard of a waterproof canvas bag in the 1800s?

I certainly hadn't - until I needed to do some research for my second novel THE ELUSIVE EARL. You see my heroine, Brianna, had a very special journal that she needs to take with her on her 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 legible, I had to research what sort of materials were available in the 1850s that could actually work to protect the journal from the water...

Photo credit:

I was thrilled when I read about the Macintosh waterproof canvas, which was a material invented in the Regency era by a chemist names Charles Macintosh. The material itself was made by sandwiching a thin layer of Naptha-treated rubber between two layers of cloth. It was made famous when in 1827 on a voyage to the North Pole, a bag of cocoa (which was made from Macintosh's waterproof canvas) fell overboard into the sea, and when it was retrieved, the Captain said that 'it did not suffer the slightest injury...'.

So in 1856 (when my novel is set), the Macintosh canvas was often used to ensure things were kept 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 than and was just perfect for the perils my character was going to have to face… LOL!

Photo source: Carson, Pirie, Scott & CO. catalogue, 1893, within the public domain

What about you? Any cool historical inventions you've discovered in the course of reading?

From Maddison 

I Love To Love: with all my heart.

I Love To Laugh: until I cry (happy tears of course).

I Love To Learn: something new every single day!


  1. The Elusive Earl sounds fabulous, Maddison!

  2. Hi Maddison! One of the things I just love about writing is the research involved. I've never come across an actual historical invention that I didn't know about (like the waterproof canvas - fascinating!) but I'm always intrigued by the things I learn. Just ask my family (who don't seem nearly as interested as I am in learning about the process of creating vellum - go figure ;)).

  3. Hi Maddison. Researching is such fun, isn't it? Having missed out on history at school (did geography instead), I love learning about the past, the people, the events that happened, all the things invented. Makes for some fascinating reading.

  4. This is awesome, Maddison. Fancy unearthing something wonderful like Macintosh canvas for your book! What fun you must have! I often think writers must have the best (or scariest) Google histories! Can’t wait to read The Elusive Earl, it’s nearly at the top of my TBR.

  5. Hi Maddison, thanks for sharing the way you research and the history behind the invention of the Macintosh canvas.


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