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I’ve bought a few small Victorian diaries in my time, but never a full-sized antique ledger being used as a journal!

It’s the best of both worlds: part business ledger for a blacksmithing business, part personal diary.

The blacksmith’s name is G. R. Shultes. He was young, still in school, but at the same time, he was a blacksmith apprentice. School was held in the evenings, which meant he most likely lived in a town where the majority of businesses were trades where families needed help from their children to run them during the day. So school would be held at night.

G. R.’s handwritten script is very nice, which is especially surprising since his spelling can be quite off at times. Sometimes he writes a fancy capital letter, maybe for practice or because he likes the look of it.

In my latest Patreon post, I show you the inside of this Victorian blacksmith apprentice’s journal as well as two particular 1870s diary entries that give some insight into his life. I also spell out his writing for you in typed text, in case you find it hard to read—it can be!

Victorian blacksmith in his blacksmithing workshop, surrounding by tools of the blacksmithing trade
19th century blacksmith in his workshop

I would have found these diary entries interesting anyway. But I find them even more exciting because, in my third Victorian urban fantasy book Prohibited Magic, I feature a magical blacksmith, Drew Morton, who is also a weapons expert; he’s in the second book too, but he’s a main character in the third book. In addition, three of my characters visit a magical weapon blacksmith’s shop and I show you how that magic works!

So I’ve loved owning a tie to the 1800s blacksmith industry in real life.

I had to do quite a bit of research just to write that one scene in Prohibited Magic. I needed to find out what 1800s blacksmith workshops looked like, what tools blacksmiths used, and what Victorian blacksmiths wore, among other things.

For the magical blacksmith scene, I have a combination workshop and actual shop, so it’s a little different-looking than just a blacksmith’s workshop. It’s also ideally designed for ease of use for the blacksmith character, Mr. Michael Pike. (Yes, deliberately Mike Pike, although he’s never ever referred to that way—too informal!)

I hope you enjoy reading the 1870s blacksmith apprentice’s diary! And if you’re interested in the magical blacksmiths I include in my Grimoire Society of Dark Acts series, don’t miss Prohibited Magic.

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