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Men Sold their Wives at Market

“Centuries before legal divorce was accessible, selling your partner to someone else allowed working-class couples to be publicly separate.”

Source: A brief history of when men sold their wives at market, and why some women enthusiastically consented to it – inews.co.uk

Here’s an interesting trope for a Historical Romance novel. I wondered if anyone has tried weaving this historical tidbit into a tantalizing book, and apparently, they have (see below).  Read all about it. Men who sold their wives.

‘The options available were to grin and bear it, try and get an annulment (tricky), desertion, bigamy, or to tie a rope around their neck and sell them at market to the highest bidder’  Read more at iNews/UK.

To read more about divorce laws, here’s a refresh on a previous post I wrote some time ago:  AND THEY LIVED HAPPILY EVER AFTER

Period Fashions – The End of the Victorian Era (1890-1910)

The ever-changing styles.  We now enter the 1890s to 1900s and find the fashions of the decades. For a wonderful background on Women’s Fashions of the 1890s and what influenced the changes, head over to Bellatory for fashion and history.

Here are some beautiful fashions, closing out the Victorian era.

Queen Victoria died January 22, 1901, which ushered in the Edwardian era. Here a few of the dresses that followed.

I hope you enjoyed the period fashions to help you visual your historical romance novel. Of course, we didn’t cover all of them, but a sampling is enough.

If you wish to see more of the dresses, visit The Metropolitan Museum of Arts website and surf to your heart’s content.

Period Fashions Victorian Era – (1870-1880)

An era of reasonableness in ladies fashions has returned. The skirts are slimmer, the waists are smaller, the collars are high, and the sleeves are tighter. These are the decades that I drool over the fashions, knowing full well even in my twenties, I didn’t have a waist that small.  The dresses are absolutely gorgeous for the next three decades.  The hoops are gone, and the bustles have made an appearance. It’s the hourglass figure with crushed organs and narrower skirts.

There were morning dresses, afternoon dresses, tea gowns, evening gowns, and ball gowns. The rich changed throughout the day into various fashions, showing their wealth and status by the frocks they wore.  Women who could afford beautiful clothing were delicate in appearance, adorned in silk and lace, and tied up very neatly in tight corsets.  I, on the other hand, run around in blue jeans, blouses, and sneakers all day.  The first thing I do when I get home is strip off my bra.  Comfort is the order of the day in the twenty-first century, while ladies of the past didn’t care how tight they were wound to look like a million while they sought husbands.

Imagine a heroine in that gorgeous red 1875 British ball gown waltzing with the hero in a historical romance novel.  Thanks, again, to the Metropolitan Museum of Arts posting these wonderful fashion creations. (Click on the pictures to enlarge and use the arrows on the right to scroll through the collection.)

Period Fashions – Victorian Era (1850-1860)

It’s the years of the huge skirts!  Get out of the way men, women need room to navigate.  I mean, who came up with this idea?  A man?  A woman?  I’m too lazy to research that point, but nevertheless, whoever decided that skirts needed to have a huge circumference didn’t realize they were putting women’s lives in danger.   The cartoons are enough to make you chuckle and the horror of going up in flames or dying from arsenic poisoning because you wore green were female hazards. Here are a few good articles thanks to Racked to give you historical background on fashionable hazards.

A History of Women Who Burned to Death in Flammable Dresses

The History of Green Dye Is a History of Death


So authors and readers alike, if you read a historical romance set in these eras, you can wonder if they wore any of the fashions below. You can also wonder if they lived to tell about it.

Period Fashions – Early Victorian Years (1840-1850)

Below is a sampling of dresses from the Metropolitan Museum of Arts from 1840 to 1850. Necklines are up; sleeves are longer, skirts are a bit fuller.   You’ll see, though, as the years progressed, the skirts widen, as well as the sleeves.  I’ll write next about the dangerous years of arsenic in fabrics and highly flammable crinoline.  Frankly, I prefer the simplicity of these fashions in the early Victorian years.

Period Fashions – The Regency Period

Most of us think of the Regency Period and Jane Austen at the same time.  Naturally, Mr. Darcy comes to mind and plenty of Regency Era historical romances, plus favorite authors of the genre.

From the years 1795 to 1820, this historical time began when the Prince of Wales ruled as Prince Regent when King George III was deemed unfit.  When we think of fashions, it’s the high empire waistlines that come to mind.  From the samplings I found, most colors were very neutral.  Below are actual dresses from that era. (Click to Enlarge)

Here are a few more dresses from 1821-1837, before the Victorian era began. There are so many styles during the Victorian years, I’ll break them down as they change through the decades.  As you can see, the styles are beginning to change with the lowering of the empire waist and the sleeves becoming longer and fuller and colors are returning to catch the male eye.  I’m particularly enthralled with silk fabrics.

Check back for the Victorian dresses! They are so beautiful.

Period Fashions – The Georgian Era

The Metropolitan Museum of Arts has opened up to the public a huge selection of photography that can be used for any purpose, including commercial.  In that collection is period clothing.  I thought since many readers have an avid interest in the Georgian, Regency, and Victorian eras, I’d do a post on each era with a few fashion examples.  Hopefully, while you read about the latest duke, wishing to take off the heroine’s dress and make mad passionate love, you’ll get an idea what the dress looked like before it hit the floor.  Enjoy.

The Georgian Era

(There are links on some dresses to read the background at the Met website.)

 

 

Copyright Infringement and Registration

News for authors! I know that some writers do not register copyrights at the U.S. Copyright office. I register all my books, and it’s easy to do and fairly inexpensive.  Even if you have copyright as soon as you create, in order to bring a lawsuit for infringement, which as you know has been a big discussion of late, you need registered copyright.  Frankly, getting that official certificate feels great and gives validation of your creation.

I also apply for a Library of Congress number for my own books and send a print copy off to Washington D.C. I guess it’s my legacy as an author to think after I’ll be long gone,  my books are still alive.

Authors, take the plunge if you haven’t already! Register your books and be protected. At least if someone steals your work, you’ll have recourse.

The U.S. Supreme Court held today that bringing a suit for copyright infringement requires that the infringed work actually be registered with the U.S. Copyright Office, and that a mere application fo

Source: SCOTUS on Copyright Infringement and Registration

Corsets and Carriages: 15 Must-Read Regency Romance Novels from BookRiot

Do you agree with their choice? Chime in on the comments and post your best Regency Romance Novels.


Get your TBR list ready. These are 15 of the best regency romance novels, which range in content from squeaky-clean to filthily explicit.

Source: Corsets and Carriages: 15 Must-Read Regency Romance Novels

Amazon Author Rank – Top Ten Historical Romance Authors as of 5:50 a.m. March 6, 2019

As Amazon states, the most popular author list is updated hourly.  So who are the reigning queens of the pen this time?  Some of the regulars remain, while some new releases have pushed others back up the ladder.  Here they are with their most popular books:

  1. Caroline Fyffe (Heart of Mine)
  2. Dragonblade Publishing (This is a collection of various authors – The Wicked Baron by Mary Lancaster leads the group.)
  3. Amy Harmon (What the Wind Knows)
  4. Christi Caldwell (The Governess)
  5. Samantha Holt (Once a Wallflower, Always a Wallflower)
  6. Kathryn Le Veque (The Mountain Dark)
  7. Lisa Kleypas (Devil’s Daughter)
  8. Mary Balogh (Second Chances)
  9. Ann Lethbridge (No Regrets)
  10. Alexa Aston (The Heir)

What the Wind Knows by Amy Harmon (Review)

Occasionally, I read other books but not often.  The reason is that I don’t want to be influenced in my own writing with the words or thoughts of other authors.  With all of the plagiarism going on at the moment, I think that is a safe practice.  It was probably a good thing that I did read it.  It was offered as an Amazon first read so I downloaded.  You can see my reason in the last paragraph below.

What the Wind Knows takes readers back in time to 1920’s Ireland. It’s a time-travel trope where the heroine disappears in the fog on a lake in Ireland while spreading her grandfather’s ashes after his death. No stones like Outlander. No time machine from 2001. No wonky portals. Just a rowboat and fog on the lough.

Anne takes a trip through time and arrives in a rather violent welcome to the time period when her grandfather was a young child. Because of the close resemblance, her family and their friends instantly think that she is her grandfather’s mother, who disappeared years earlier. The book is set in the turbulent times of Ireland, wanting to break free from British rule and is filled with a historical backdrop that may be interesting to read but often takes away from the romance in the story.

Amy Harmon is a well-known writer, whose prose is very wordy. I’m more of a get to the point type of reader and writer, who gets bogged down in unnecessary flowery words. Such prose is beautiful to some readers. Frankly, it’s my personal preference not to drown in letters, so my comment is not meant to be a judgmental rant but rather a personal preference.

With a bit of Irish in me on my fourth-great grandfather’s line, I’ve never immersed myself in Irish history.  I am well aware and have watched other television shows about Easter Monday, April 24, 1916, and what occurred.  Therefore, the backdrop timeline was familiar but of little interest to me. Nevertheless, I found the romance between Anne and Thomas sweet in its own right. The fact that he eventually comes to the realization that she is not of his time is a long journey to acceptance. I guessed the antagonist twist long before the reveal (my author plot brain) and thought the ending probably made for another path to a sequel if that’s the author’s intent.

I will add that nothing is new under the sun in many ways when ideas pop into an author’s head. You’ll find similarities in this story with other time-travel storylines such as Outlander.  Amy Harmon wrote this book because of her Irish heritage.  To my gasping horror, the premise is very similar to an unfinished book of my own, time traveling back to my ancestor’s lives, falling in love with a family character, returning to my time, and my lover eventually following through that mysterious portal to live with me happily ever after.  To add to the problem, my main character is an author as well, just as Amy Harmon made her Anne a best-selling author in What the Wind Knows.  Unfortunately, now I’ll probably need to dump my idea and rethink the plot thanks to Amy who apparently was on the same wavelength with my muse.  Of course, she’s a NY Times bestselling traditionally published author, while I, on the other hand, live in the obscurity of the indie world.

It’s a good read, especially if you’re Irish and love the time-traveling trope.  I recommend it in spite of my slight negativity and disappointment that my own book just got trashed.

Amazon Logo

Can you ever forgive me? Fraud and plagiarism in the publishing industry – Creativindie

For authors and readers alike. Well worth the read.

This is a post about authenticity and craft vs. fraud and plagiarism, but it’s not a moral tirade. You can look elsewhere for that. The reason I don’t want to point fingers or make ulti…

Source: Can you ever forgive me? Fraud and plagiarism in the publishing industry – Creativindie

The Use of Ghostwriters – Have You Been Ghosted?

Do book mills exist?  Do ghostwriters crank out books for people who aren’t authors?  You betcha.  Perhaps you’ve unknowingly read a few from prolific so-called authors releasing works one after another. Frankly, I’ve wondered myself when authors have more than one book a month hitting the stands.

Click the link below to read a good blog post from another author and be informed. It’s all about money.

Because of the recent plagiarism scandal, there is a new cry from authors who actually write their own words.  You’ll probably see this statement cropping up on more author websites and social media pages.

“I write my own f***** books.”

#CopyPasteCris

Source: We’re Missing Something Big in this Cristiane Serruya Story — KILBY BLADES

#CopyPasteCris – Recent Plagiarism in Romance Land

I’m very sorry to report that many authors, some of whom you may have read, are victims of plagiarism.  You can read about Courtney Milan’s horrible experience HERE.

The romance community takes infringement very seriously, and it’s a sad day when authors spend hours writing original works only to have large portions stolen and rewritten in books that are sold to unsuspecting readers.  It’s even worse when the alleged thief makes the USA Today bestseller list, enjoying its fame, with words not written by her hand.

Please read these articles, and do not support the individual involved in this thief of intellectual property.  Some of the historical romance authors who have had their works plagiarized include Courtney Milan,  Christi Caldwell, Tessa Dare, Loretta Chase, and other contemporary romance authors.

Read more in the article below:

 

Your need-to-know information about the #CopyPasteCris hashtag born after romance author Courtney Milan discovered that her work was plagiarized by another.

Source: Romancelandia, Intellectual Property, and Plagiarism: A Round-Up of #CopyPasteCris

Jane Austen: Why do Millennials Love her so Much? Another Good Article

A long dead 19th century author who wrote about the rather limited lives of women, in a time when success was defined by who you married, might seem a strange crush for the modern millennial, yet on Instagram the hashtag ‘#janeausten’ brings up over half a million hits and counting.

                 Source: Jane Austen: Why do Millennials Love her so Much?

10 Years Later, ‘North & South’ Remains the Greatest Period-Drama Miniseries of All Time – Flavorwire

Have you read the book, North & South, by Elizabeth Gaskell? I encourage you to take the opportunity. A few years ago, I had the privilege of visiting Elizabeth’s home in Manchester, United Kingdom. It was the highlight of my trip. To see pictures of her home and life, visit my blog on my author website. I even pushed the doorbell once touched by Charlotte Bronte and Charles Dickens.  Here’s a good article about the on-screen version.

“It’s one of the most explosive, chemistry-rich misunderstanding-laden romances that’s ever graced the small screen.”

Read More:

Source: 10 Years Later, ‘North & South’ Remains the Greatest Period-Drama Miniseries of All Time – Flavorwire

It’s my Classic reading challenge!  Read North & South.

Meet the Historically Accurate Mr. Darcy |  Smithsonian

Not Colin Firth – Not Matthew Macfayden or any other.  Here’s an interesting take on what Mr. Darcy would have really looked like. Read more below.

Mr. Darcy, Jane Austen’s swoon-worthy, 18th-century aristocratic hero, has a sizzle that transcends time.  A team of experts on fashion and social culture offer their take on Jane Austen’s brooding hero.

Source: Meet the Historically Accurate Mr. Darcy | Smart News | Smithsonian

“Mr. Darcy soon drew the attention of the room by his fine, tall person, handsome features, noble mien; and the report which was in general circulation within five minutes after his entrance, of his having ten thousand [pounds] a year.”

Most Popular Authors in Historical Romance (Amazon January 1, 2019)

It’s a new day; it’s a new year.  So who is holding the top ten spot for historical romance authors?  Well, here’s the list, and interesting enough, there is a lot of crossover at the moment between true historical romance versus historical fiction.

By Diana Gabaldon’s own admission, her books are not historical romance.  Philippa Gregory is in the number two spot, and she’s definitely historical fiction. How do they get there? Well, when books are loaded for sale into Amazon, publishers and authors can choose two categories to list their books.  Most who write historical romance also choose historical fiction and sometimes other categories.

A few of the names are regulars in the top ten, such as Kathyrn Le Veque and Christi Caldwell, but an old favorite has made it this time around – Jane Austen.  I wonder what she would think about being in the top ten over two hundred years later?

Here are your top ten for January 1, 2019.

  1. Diana Gabaldon
  2. Philippa Gregory
  3. Fiona Valpy
  4. Sally Britton
  5. Dragonblade Publishing (Various Authors)
  6. Kathryn Le Veque
  7. Christi Caldwell
  8. Natasha Lester
  9. Jane Austen
  10. Scarlett Scott

Below is a sample of their most popular books.

 

 

The Origin of Clinch Covers on Romance Novels | Book Riot

You may not know the term by name, but you’ve probably seen one. Learn about the origin of clinch covers on romance novels, and why this reader loves them.

 

Source: The Origin of Clinch Covers on Romance Novels | Book Riot

Duchess by Design Charms and Brings Feminism to Romance

Source: Duchess by Design charms and brings feminism to romance

In the first novel of Maya Rodale’s enthralling new series, an English duke vows to make an American seamstress his duchess…

In Gilded Age Manhattan, anything can happen…

Seeking a wealthy American bride who can save his family’s estate, Brandon Fiennes, the duke of Kingston, is a rogue determined to do the right thing. But his search for an heiress goes deliciously awry when an enchanting seamstress tumbles into his arms instead.

…and true love is always in fashion

 

Miss Adeline Black aspires to be a fashionable dressmaker—not a duchess—and not even an impossibly seductive duke will distract her. But Kingston makes an offer she can’t refuse: join him at society events to display her gowns and advise him on which heiresses are duchess material. It’s the perfect plan—as long as they resist temptation, avoid a scandal, and above all do not lose their hearts.