The Fires That Devastated San Francisco

In April 1906, following the great earthquake (for more on the earthquake, see my previous post), numerous fires broke out all over the city of San Francisco. The city had recently installed gas and water mains, and these ruptured during the quake, so the combination of explosive gas and no water made for a volatile… Read more »

The San Francisco Earthquake of 1906

As you saw in my previous post, Enrico Caruso experienced a devastating earthquake. At 5:12 on the morning of April 18, 1906, San Francisco was rocked by an earthquake estimated now to have been of magnitude 7.8 (the Richter scale was yet to be instituted; this magnitude is the same as the recent initial Tibetan… Read more »

The Voice of the Early 1900s: Enrico Caruso

In the climactic chapters of FORGIVEN, Kula, along with other wealthy patrons, spends an evening at the opera and hears Enrico Caruso perform. It was to be his last performance in San Francisco, and her last night of stability. Enrico Caruso (1873-1921) was an Italian tenor who captivated the world with his voice. He lived… Read more »

The Wealthy of Old Nob Hill

In FORGIVEN, after Kula’s rude introduction to San Francisco’s meaner streets (as described in my last post), she finds her way to the home of her future benefactor. Here’s how she describes it: “Turrets and towers, porches and balconies…these only began to describe what looked like a confection of furbelows and curlicues and fancies.” Before… Read more »

San Francisco: The Barbary Coast and Chinatown

My previous post sets the stage for my novel, FORGIVEN. In FORGIVEN, Kula’s first experience of San Francisco is most unfortunate, as she is abandoned by a thief in the heart of the Barbary Coast. She’s lucky to have landed there in the light of day, for this was not a place safe for proper… Read more »

San Francisco: Gold and Growth Before 1906

Over the next few weeks I’m running  a series on San Francisco at the turn of the last century, culminating with the Great Earthquake of 1906. My novel FORGIVEN is set in San Francisco in 1906. Here’s how I describe the city as Kula finds it: “The Spanish named San Francisco for a saint. The… Read more »