So, Dracula is semi-autobiographical?

Today's Youtube video included some non-fiction recommendations of books I had a lot of fun with but also taught me a lot.

I though for this week's Trivia Tuesday I would share with you a fact I learned from one of those books, The Movers and Shakers of Victorian England.

Today we're talking Bram Stoker and his inspiration behind his classic of the horror genre, Dracula.

As it turns out Stoker spent much of his childhood ill, suffering from symptoms similar to the afflictions that his title character would posses and during these days spent confined to his darkened bedroom, his mother would regale him with horrific tales of the cholera epidemic of 1832.

These things, combined with Stokers determination to appear stronger and healthier than his youth had left him later in life, lead him to use himself as inspiration to write to what has become an enduring Gothic classic.

Banned books of an unusual sort

This week's Trivia Tuesday post is a bit of an odd one.

As most of you guys know, two particular interests of mine are children's literature and classics, both modern or otherwise, but did you know that combining the two can sometimes be a dangerous practice?

As it turns out older children's books were sometimes printed with traces of lead and because of this the United States congress passed a law in 2008 that prohibited the lending and selling of children's books published before 1985 unless they had been tested for dangerous substances.

I'm pretty sure this is a law that isn't often abided by...but in any case, I wouldn't recommend licking your vintage books anytime soon.

Bookmark facts. They exist.

I was doing a little research on bookmarks, because, I have no idea, and I thought I would share a couple of the facts I learned.

For starters did you know that bookmarks date back to the 6th century AD and were mainly made of leather or vellum and were attached to whatever script they were meant to be marking?

I know. Me neither.

I also didn't know that the first separate detached bookmarks came about in the 1850s and often Victorian ladies would make embroidered bookmarks to practice their skills and would then, usually, give them as little presents to their friends and family.

The 1860s saw the first mass produced bookmarks and examples woven of silk proved very popular with readers of the day.

These are honestly just a few bookmark highlights. It turns out there is a lot more to know about the humble bookmark than you would think.

To many of you this may seem incredibly dry information to have hold of, but for whatever reason, I am actually finding this pretty fascinating. My younger self would probably be ashamed.