BRASS Stacks 3: The Mysterious Case of Miss V., by Virginia Woolf

The late 19th and early 20th century were the golden age of the ghost story. Some of the greatest tales of the supernatural were written at this time, including masterpieces by Sheridan Le Fanu, Algernon Blackwood and M.R. James, as well as short stories by such heavyweight novelists as Dickens,  George Eliot, and Henry James. A surprising name on this … Read More

BRASS Stacks 2: Tobermory by Saki

For our second BRASS Stacks, we are featuring one of the greatest short story writers of the pre-War years, H.H. Munro, who wrote as Saki. This brilliant journalist-turned-short story writer was one of the great wits of the Edwardian age. Orphaned at age 2, Munro was raised by his grandmother and a household of puritanical aunts. (In both his comic … Read More

Back in the Stacks

Even more than Victorian history, the world of BRASS is inspired by the fiction of the 19th and early 20th century. Literary creations like the Phantom of the Opera and Sherlock Holmes rub shoulders with Tesla and Oscar Wilde in our story, creating a mash-up of fiction, history and alternative history which samples from each. This period was the flowering … Read More

Steampunk Primer: Why Dirigibles, Anyway?

One of the iconic images of Steampunk is the dirigible airship, either rigid (a zeppelin), rounded (a blimp) or some imaginative variant. Along with top hats and corsets, these inflatable aircraft are part of the basic vocabulary of alternative 19th centuries—and that includes in BRASS, where the family returns to London in Episode 1 aboard such a ship, and are … Read More

Costermongers or Costermob?

Is there a word more redolent of the bustle and hustle of a Victorian London street than “costermonger?” In the popular imagination, these barrow-sellers of fruits and vegetables (among other items) are “cheery chirpy Cockney chappie” figures, best known for singing and dancing about in colorful rags and scenic grime in films like Mary Poppins and Oliver. But the truth … Read More