Francesca’s Tattoo

Yswfrontsm200dpi From Loretta

Fourth of July.  U.S. Independence Day.  I always wonder, What if King George III and his ministers had handled things differently?  What if, over here, the pro-England side had prevailed over the dump-England side?  What would we call ourselves?  Maybe the U.S. and Canada would all be the same country.  We wouldn’t be the U.S.  Would we be Canada?

But what I wonder most is, Would Regency-era historical romances be as popular?

Since a great many of our readers are not in the U.S., I’m going to skip the Independence Day blog.  Besides, I want to talk about tattoos.

In the course of my cybertour for Your Scandalous Ways, I’ve been asked more than once about Francesca’s tattoo.  Readers emailed me about it, as well.

Lautrec_the_tattooed_woman_1894 This was one of those topics I’d thought of addressing at some point in the story itself, but the right opportunity never appeared.  This happens a lot.  There are lots of little substories that don’t get told because it would disrupt the pacing to do so, and the topic doesn’t seem important enough for a detour…and I have only so much time to write a book as well as only so many pages.

So leaving out the story of Francesca’s tattoo was an artistic decision.  It bothered me a little at first, but the more I thought about it, the less inclined I was to try to wedge it into the story.  I figured this could be one of those “make up your own story” things.  Like, “Make up your own story about what happens to Francesca and James after the end of the book.”

Mehndi_designs_4 Let me start out by saying that anyone who wants to imagine Francesca has one of those henna tattoos that wear off after a few weeks should feel free to go on seeing it that way.  It’s a great concept. 

Here’s what was in my mind:  Tatoos were unheard of among the upper classes in Francesca's day.  Edward VII got one when he was Prince of Wales–but that was almost half a century later.  Tattoos in Francesca’s time were not respectable, absolutely not for ladies.  They were for sailors and criminals and savages.  So one element of Francesca’s tattoo is shock value–and that’s clear in the scene at the opera.  Even James, who’s seen it all, is shocked to see it.  After all, she may be a courtesan but she’s a lady by birth.

Portsmouth_point_rowlandsonwk Where did she get it?  By Francesca’s time there were professional tattoo artists in major ports, to accommodate the sailors.  I imagined that by this time there must be at least one professional tattoo artist in big, cosmopolitan cities like London and Paris.  I envisioned her getting her tattoo in Paris, as an act of defiance and a permanent symbol of her having turned her back on respectability.

Bast_serpent
I chose a serpent partly because of the Cleopatra-asp association.  Both Byron and James Cordier associate Francesca's unusual looks with an Egyptian goddess or queen.  I envisioned the kind of snakes one sees in Egyptian art and hieroglyphs.  Too, given the tools available, a simpler tattoo, say, from a hieroglyph, seemed to make the most sense.
One reader suggested a Garden of Eden connection.  That works well, too, given it’s her job to tempt men. 
The_death_of_cleopatra_arthurwk Another thing I considered was the pain and the risk.  They used sewing needles and rubbed in the ink.  I have no doubt it was a great deal more painful than today’s tattoos and of course the risk of infection was much higher…in a time when there were no antibiotics.  Again, this says something about Francesca’s character, her inner toughness, her daring–and the ferocity of her anger with the world that rejected her and which she, symbolically, rejects when she gets her tattoo.

Maori_tattoowk One reader asked why the tattoo doesn’t appear on the cover.  Covers are painted long before the book is finished, and they're usually based on the story outline, rather than actual chapters.  I did not mention the snake tattoo in the outline (one doesn't go into this much detail).  The covers are meant to appeal to a broad audience, and Avon has done a great job, I think, in making my recent covers very beautiful and apt.  I also suspect that, given the genre and the fact that not everyone likes tattoos, it would have been left out of the picture, even if I'd made prominent mention of it in the outline.

Yuefei_tattoowk
People do seem to feel pretty strongly about tattoos, pro and con.  What about you?  Like them?  Hate them?  Or does it depend?

150 thoughts on “Francesca’s Tattoo”

  1. I love Francesca’s serpent tattoo. When I was young, I would have been shocked at the notion of getting a one. (I was such a boringly good girl.) Now I am far more intrigued by the notion, but I fear it would look simply grotesque — after a certain age one’s body should be decently covered, not highlighted. My daughter is probably far too straitlaced to get a tattoo. However, my granddaughters show promise…

    Reply
  2. I love Francesca’s serpent tattoo. When I was young, I would have been shocked at the notion of getting a one. (I was such a boringly good girl.) Now I am far more intrigued by the notion, but I fear it would look simply grotesque — after a certain age one’s body should be decently covered, not highlighted. My daughter is probably far too straitlaced to get a tattoo. However, my granddaughters show promise…

    Reply
  3. I love Francesca’s serpent tattoo. When I was young, I would have been shocked at the notion of getting a one. (I was such a boringly good girl.) Now I am far more intrigued by the notion, but I fear it would look simply grotesque — after a certain age one’s body should be decently covered, not highlighted. My daughter is probably far too straitlaced to get a tattoo. However, my granddaughters show promise…

    Reply
  4. I love Francesca’s serpent tattoo. When I was young, I would have been shocked at the notion of getting a one. (I was such a boringly good girl.) Now I am far more intrigued by the notion, but I fear it would look simply grotesque — after a certain age one’s body should be decently covered, not highlighted. My daughter is probably far too straitlaced to get a tattoo. However, my granddaughters show promise…

    Reply
  5. I love Francesca’s serpent tattoo. When I was young, I would have been shocked at the notion of getting a one. (I was such a boringly good girl.) Now I am far more intrigued by the notion, but I fear it would look simply grotesque — after a certain age one’s body should be decently covered, not highlighted. My daughter is probably far too straitlaced to get a tattoo. However, my granddaughters show promise…

    Reply
  6. I LOVE the tattoo!!
    I hit the half century mark a few years ago and, always having been a bit of a ‘bad girl’, decided two years ago that the one thing I’d always wanted to do that I hadn’t was get a tattoo. So I did 🙂 I have a Phantom mask and rose on my ankle for all the world to see. And I love it!
    My little rebellion at getting older? Maybe. But you know, you get to a certain point in age, at least some people do, where they realize those things they didn’t have the nerve or desire or upbringing to do are suddenly moot. Life is too short not to make a statement.
    But that’s just me, and not everyone feels that way. I just think Francesca’s tattoo makes a wonderfully bold statement and adds so much more to her character description than an entire chapter could have done.
    🙂

    Reply
  7. I LOVE the tattoo!!
    I hit the half century mark a few years ago and, always having been a bit of a ‘bad girl’, decided two years ago that the one thing I’d always wanted to do that I hadn’t was get a tattoo. So I did 🙂 I have a Phantom mask and rose on my ankle for all the world to see. And I love it!
    My little rebellion at getting older? Maybe. But you know, you get to a certain point in age, at least some people do, where they realize those things they didn’t have the nerve or desire or upbringing to do are suddenly moot. Life is too short not to make a statement.
    But that’s just me, and not everyone feels that way. I just think Francesca’s tattoo makes a wonderfully bold statement and adds so much more to her character description than an entire chapter could have done.
    🙂

    Reply
  8. I LOVE the tattoo!!
    I hit the half century mark a few years ago and, always having been a bit of a ‘bad girl’, decided two years ago that the one thing I’d always wanted to do that I hadn’t was get a tattoo. So I did 🙂 I have a Phantom mask and rose on my ankle for all the world to see. And I love it!
    My little rebellion at getting older? Maybe. But you know, you get to a certain point in age, at least some people do, where they realize those things they didn’t have the nerve or desire or upbringing to do are suddenly moot. Life is too short not to make a statement.
    But that’s just me, and not everyone feels that way. I just think Francesca’s tattoo makes a wonderfully bold statement and adds so much more to her character description than an entire chapter could have done.
    🙂

    Reply
  9. I LOVE the tattoo!!
    I hit the half century mark a few years ago and, always having been a bit of a ‘bad girl’, decided two years ago that the one thing I’d always wanted to do that I hadn’t was get a tattoo. So I did 🙂 I have a Phantom mask and rose on my ankle for all the world to see. And I love it!
    My little rebellion at getting older? Maybe. But you know, you get to a certain point in age, at least some people do, where they realize those things they didn’t have the nerve or desire or upbringing to do are suddenly moot. Life is too short not to make a statement.
    But that’s just me, and not everyone feels that way. I just think Francesca’s tattoo makes a wonderfully bold statement and adds so much more to her character description than an entire chapter could have done.
    🙂

    Reply
  10. I LOVE the tattoo!!
    I hit the half century mark a few years ago and, always having been a bit of a ‘bad girl’, decided two years ago that the one thing I’d always wanted to do that I hadn’t was get a tattoo. So I did 🙂 I have a Phantom mask and rose on my ankle for all the world to see. And I love it!
    My little rebellion at getting older? Maybe. But you know, you get to a certain point in age, at least some people do, where they realize those things they didn’t have the nerve or desire or upbringing to do are suddenly moot. Life is too short not to make a statement.
    But that’s just me, and not everyone feels that way. I just think Francesca’s tattoo makes a wonderfully bold statement and adds so much more to her character description than an entire chapter could have done.
    🙂

    Reply
  11. Tattoos (and various piercings)are so common as to be expected in the < 30 year old population. When I was growing up as a young nurse in the 70s, people who had tattoos were either military or low class risk-takers and most likely drug abusers, so I've never gotten one myself even though I understand the current usage. Some of the artwork is very beautiful but you have to wonder how it will stand up under the ravages of gravity and age-related skin changes. As long as there is a societal prejudice against tatoos in the business/management group, it would be wisest to get any tattoo on an area which is concealed by clothing. Visible tattoos on hands, necks, etc may keep someone from getting a job. Then there's the permanent nature of tattoos: one should know that they are very expensive and painful to remove if you change your mind later. Has anyone seen the Saturday Night Live skit about the low back tattoo removal? I thought it was hilarious. I'll see if I can find the link and post it when found.

    Reply
  12. Tattoos (and various piercings)are so common as to be expected in the < 30 year old population. When I was growing up as a young nurse in the 70s, people who had tattoos were either military or low class risk-takers and most likely drug abusers, so I've never gotten one myself even though I understand the current usage. Some of the artwork is very beautiful but you have to wonder how it will stand up under the ravages of gravity and age-related skin changes. As long as there is a societal prejudice against tatoos in the business/management group, it would be wisest to get any tattoo on an area which is concealed by clothing. Visible tattoos on hands, necks, etc may keep someone from getting a job. Then there's the permanent nature of tattoos: one should know that they are very expensive and painful to remove if you change your mind later. Has anyone seen the Saturday Night Live skit about the low back tattoo removal? I thought it was hilarious. I'll see if I can find the link and post it when found.

    Reply
  13. Tattoos (and various piercings)are so common as to be expected in the < 30 year old population. When I was growing up as a young nurse in the 70s, people who had tattoos were either military or low class risk-takers and most likely drug abusers, so I've never gotten one myself even though I understand the current usage. Some of the artwork is very beautiful but you have to wonder how it will stand up under the ravages of gravity and age-related skin changes. As long as there is a societal prejudice against tatoos in the business/management group, it would be wisest to get any tattoo on an area which is concealed by clothing. Visible tattoos on hands, necks, etc may keep someone from getting a job. Then there's the permanent nature of tattoos: one should know that they are very expensive and painful to remove if you change your mind later. Has anyone seen the Saturday Night Live skit about the low back tattoo removal? I thought it was hilarious. I'll see if I can find the link and post it when found.

    Reply
  14. Tattoos (and various piercings)are so common as to be expected in the < 30 year old population. When I was growing up as a young nurse in the 70s, people who had tattoos were either military or low class risk-takers and most likely drug abusers, so I've never gotten one myself even though I understand the current usage. Some of the artwork is very beautiful but you have to wonder how it will stand up under the ravages of gravity and age-related skin changes. As long as there is a societal prejudice against tatoos in the business/management group, it would be wisest to get any tattoo on an area which is concealed by clothing. Visible tattoos on hands, necks, etc may keep someone from getting a job. Then there's the permanent nature of tattoos: one should know that they are very expensive and painful to remove if you change your mind later. Has anyone seen the Saturday Night Live skit about the low back tattoo removal? I thought it was hilarious. I'll see if I can find the link and post it when found.

    Reply
  15. Tattoos (and various piercings)are so common as to be expected in the < 30 year old population. When I was growing up as a young nurse in the 70s, people who had tattoos were either military or low class risk-takers and most likely drug abusers, so I've never gotten one myself even though I understand the current usage. Some of the artwork is very beautiful but you have to wonder how it will stand up under the ravages of gravity and age-related skin changes. As long as there is a societal prejudice against tatoos in the business/management group, it would be wisest to get any tattoo on an area which is concealed by clothing. Visible tattoos on hands, necks, etc may keep someone from getting a job. Then there's the permanent nature of tattoos: one should know that they are very expensive and painful to remove if you change your mind later. Has anyone seen the Saturday Night Live skit about the low back tattoo removal? I thought it was hilarious. I'll see if I can find the link and post it when found.

    Reply
  16. Love them. Got my tattoo –gosh! 20 years ago. Long before they became mainstream popular as they are now. Mine was both a commemorative piece and a symbol of independence. I thought long and hard about what I wanted it to look like and where I wanted it placed. I recall how shocked and appalled my mother was. Only sailors and bikers got tattoos (then)! I love that they have become so much more accepted and prevalent.
    I do wonder sometimes about the placement choices that some women make. For example, the lower back or belly button tattoo may look really awesome when they’re 22, but when they’re 42 and have children, I wonder how they’ll feel about it.

    Reply
  17. Love them. Got my tattoo –gosh! 20 years ago. Long before they became mainstream popular as they are now. Mine was both a commemorative piece and a symbol of independence. I thought long and hard about what I wanted it to look like and where I wanted it placed. I recall how shocked and appalled my mother was. Only sailors and bikers got tattoos (then)! I love that they have become so much more accepted and prevalent.
    I do wonder sometimes about the placement choices that some women make. For example, the lower back or belly button tattoo may look really awesome when they’re 22, but when they’re 42 and have children, I wonder how they’ll feel about it.

    Reply
  18. Love them. Got my tattoo –gosh! 20 years ago. Long before they became mainstream popular as they are now. Mine was both a commemorative piece and a symbol of independence. I thought long and hard about what I wanted it to look like and where I wanted it placed. I recall how shocked and appalled my mother was. Only sailors and bikers got tattoos (then)! I love that they have become so much more accepted and prevalent.
    I do wonder sometimes about the placement choices that some women make. For example, the lower back or belly button tattoo may look really awesome when they’re 22, but when they’re 42 and have children, I wonder how they’ll feel about it.

    Reply
  19. Love them. Got my tattoo –gosh! 20 years ago. Long before they became mainstream popular as they are now. Mine was both a commemorative piece and a symbol of independence. I thought long and hard about what I wanted it to look like and where I wanted it placed. I recall how shocked and appalled my mother was. Only sailors and bikers got tattoos (then)! I love that they have become so much more accepted and prevalent.
    I do wonder sometimes about the placement choices that some women make. For example, the lower back or belly button tattoo may look really awesome when they’re 22, but when they’re 42 and have children, I wonder how they’ll feel about it.

    Reply
  20. Love them. Got my tattoo –gosh! 20 years ago. Long before they became mainstream popular as they are now. Mine was both a commemorative piece and a symbol of independence. I thought long and hard about what I wanted it to look like and where I wanted it placed. I recall how shocked and appalled my mother was. Only sailors and bikers got tattoos (then)! I love that they have become so much more accepted and prevalent.
    I do wonder sometimes about the placement choices that some women make. For example, the lower back or belly button tattoo may look really awesome when they’re 22, but when they’re 42 and have children, I wonder how they’ll feel about it.

    Reply
  21. LOL at the Dr. Turlington clip, Kathy!
    I love Francesca’s tattoo–as has been said, it spoke VOLUMES about her character and circumstances. I gave one of my heroines a tattoo, when she needed to exactly match the twin sister who went missing. (The twin sister had gone on the stage, shockingly. There’s that scandal factor again!)
    I enjoy seeing people glorying in their tattoos, though I prefer being obtrusive and am also averse to making permanent changes in my own personal body. (It took me DECADES to get my ears pierced.)
    As for the aging tattoo factor–I have a friend who got one enough years ago that it was definitely racy for a young lady to do. It’s a butterfly, and in a place where not normally visible. I haven’t seen it, but she said that medical personnel had commented on it admiringly.
    She says that when she’s 80, people can see the tattoo and know that she had a lot of fun when she was younger. But it’s worth noting that she’s naturally slim and elegant and probably always will be.
    Mary Jo

    Reply
  22. LOL at the Dr. Turlington clip, Kathy!
    I love Francesca’s tattoo–as has been said, it spoke VOLUMES about her character and circumstances. I gave one of my heroines a tattoo, when she needed to exactly match the twin sister who went missing. (The twin sister had gone on the stage, shockingly. There’s that scandal factor again!)
    I enjoy seeing people glorying in their tattoos, though I prefer being obtrusive and am also averse to making permanent changes in my own personal body. (It took me DECADES to get my ears pierced.)
    As for the aging tattoo factor–I have a friend who got one enough years ago that it was definitely racy for a young lady to do. It’s a butterfly, and in a place where not normally visible. I haven’t seen it, but she said that medical personnel had commented on it admiringly.
    She says that when she’s 80, people can see the tattoo and know that she had a lot of fun when she was younger. But it’s worth noting that she’s naturally slim and elegant and probably always will be.
    Mary Jo

    Reply
  23. LOL at the Dr. Turlington clip, Kathy!
    I love Francesca’s tattoo–as has been said, it spoke VOLUMES about her character and circumstances. I gave one of my heroines a tattoo, when she needed to exactly match the twin sister who went missing. (The twin sister had gone on the stage, shockingly. There’s that scandal factor again!)
    I enjoy seeing people glorying in their tattoos, though I prefer being obtrusive and am also averse to making permanent changes in my own personal body. (It took me DECADES to get my ears pierced.)
    As for the aging tattoo factor–I have a friend who got one enough years ago that it was definitely racy for a young lady to do. It’s a butterfly, and in a place where not normally visible. I haven’t seen it, but she said that medical personnel had commented on it admiringly.
    She says that when she’s 80, people can see the tattoo and know that she had a lot of fun when she was younger. But it’s worth noting that she’s naturally slim and elegant and probably always will be.
    Mary Jo

    Reply
  24. LOL at the Dr. Turlington clip, Kathy!
    I love Francesca’s tattoo–as has been said, it spoke VOLUMES about her character and circumstances. I gave one of my heroines a tattoo, when she needed to exactly match the twin sister who went missing. (The twin sister had gone on the stage, shockingly. There’s that scandal factor again!)
    I enjoy seeing people glorying in their tattoos, though I prefer being obtrusive and am also averse to making permanent changes in my own personal body. (It took me DECADES to get my ears pierced.)
    As for the aging tattoo factor–I have a friend who got one enough years ago that it was definitely racy for a young lady to do. It’s a butterfly, and in a place where not normally visible. I haven’t seen it, but she said that medical personnel had commented on it admiringly.
    She says that when she’s 80, people can see the tattoo and know that she had a lot of fun when she was younger. But it’s worth noting that she’s naturally slim and elegant and probably always will be.
    Mary Jo

    Reply
  25. LOL at the Dr. Turlington clip, Kathy!
    I love Francesca’s tattoo–as has been said, it spoke VOLUMES about her character and circumstances. I gave one of my heroines a tattoo, when she needed to exactly match the twin sister who went missing. (The twin sister had gone on the stage, shockingly. There’s that scandal factor again!)
    I enjoy seeing people glorying in their tattoos, though I prefer being obtrusive and am also averse to making permanent changes in my own personal body. (It took me DECADES to get my ears pierced.)
    As for the aging tattoo factor–I have a friend who got one enough years ago that it was definitely racy for a young lady to do. It’s a butterfly, and in a place where not normally visible. I haven’t seen it, but she said that medical personnel had commented on it admiringly.
    She says that when she’s 80, people can see the tattoo and know that she had a lot of fun when she was younger. But it’s worth noting that she’s naturally slim and elegant and probably always will be.
    Mary Jo

    Reply
  26. I love tattoos, but on other people! In ten or twenty years, my taste will have changed. I don’t want to be stuck with something I have come to dislike.

    Reply
  27. I love tattoos, but on other people! In ten or twenty years, my taste will have changed. I don’t want to be stuck with something I have come to dislike.

    Reply
  28. I love tattoos, but on other people! In ten or twenty years, my taste will have changed. I don’t want to be stuck with something I have come to dislike.

    Reply
  29. I love tattoos, but on other people! In ten or twenty years, my taste will have changed. I don’t want to be stuck with something I have come to dislike.

    Reply
  30. I love tattoos, but on other people! In ten or twenty years, my taste will have changed. I don’t want to be stuck with something I have come to dislike.

    Reply
  31. Nowadays getting a tattoo seems rather boringly conformist, so I couldn’t really get excited about Francesca having one in one of the standard places.
    The first tattoos I ever saw were as a small child on the arms of my great-uncle and uncle. Having seen what old tattoos look like, I was never tempted to get a fresh one of my own.
    To tell you the truth, what shocked me was the cavalier way Francesca accepted the loss of her emeralds. She was even willing to throw her sapphires after them. It seemed foolhardy in a woman who would have to live the rest of her life on what she could make in her youth. And she didn’t really work at her career. The elderly man who was introduced as her lover turned out to be no such thing. How did she manage to amass all these riches? She was obviously spending money, but there was nothing coming in. It seems to me that the economics of being a courtesan would be slightly more stringent.
    This sounds as if I didn’t enjoy the book, while I did, Loretta! I suppose that the economics of being a writer require you to make your bad girls only slightly bad. I loved the setting in Venice, for instance. That was definitely all it was cracked up to be.

    Reply
  32. Nowadays getting a tattoo seems rather boringly conformist, so I couldn’t really get excited about Francesca having one in one of the standard places.
    The first tattoos I ever saw were as a small child on the arms of my great-uncle and uncle. Having seen what old tattoos look like, I was never tempted to get a fresh one of my own.
    To tell you the truth, what shocked me was the cavalier way Francesca accepted the loss of her emeralds. She was even willing to throw her sapphires after them. It seemed foolhardy in a woman who would have to live the rest of her life on what she could make in her youth. And she didn’t really work at her career. The elderly man who was introduced as her lover turned out to be no such thing. How did she manage to amass all these riches? She was obviously spending money, but there was nothing coming in. It seems to me that the economics of being a courtesan would be slightly more stringent.
    This sounds as if I didn’t enjoy the book, while I did, Loretta! I suppose that the economics of being a writer require you to make your bad girls only slightly bad. I loved the setting in Venice, for instance. That was definitely all it was cracked up to be.

    Reply
  33. Nowadays getting a tattoo seems rather boringly conformist, so I couldn’t really get excited about Francesca having one in one of the standard places.
    The first tattoos I ever saw were as a small child on the arms of my great-uncle and uncle. Having seen what old tattoos look like, I was never tempted to get a fresh one of my own.
    To tell you the truth, what shocked me was the cavalier way Francesca accepted the loss of her emeralds. She was even willing to throw her sapphires after them. It seemed foolhardy in a woman who would have to live the rest of her life on what she could make in her youth. And she didn’t really work at her career. The elderly man who was introduced as her lover turned out to be no such thing. How did she manage to amass all these riches? She was obviously spending money, but there was nothing coming in. It seems to me that the economics of being a courtesan would be slightly more stringent.
    This sounds as if I didn’t enjoy the book, while I did, Loretta! I suppose that the economics of being a writer require you to make your bad girls only slightly bad. I loved the setting in Venice, for instance. That was definitely all it was cracked up to be.

    Reply
  34. Nowadays getting a tattoo seems rather boringly conformist, so I couldn’t really get excited about Francesca having one in one of the standard places.
    The first tattoos I ever saw were as a small child on the arms of my great-uncle and uncle. Having seen what old tattoos look like, I was never tempted to get a fresh one of my own.
    To tell you the truth, what shocked me was the cavalier way Francesca accepted the loss of her emeralds. She was even willing to throw her sapphires after them. It seemed foolhardy in a woman who would have to live the rest of her life on what she could make in her youth. And she didn’t really work at her career. The elderly man who was introduced as her lover turned out to be no such thing. How did she manage to amass all these riches? She was obviously spending money, but there was nothing coming in. It seems to me that the economics of being a courtesan would be slightly more stringent.
    This sounds as if I didn’t enjoy the book, while I did, Loretta! I suppose that the economics of being a writer require you to make your bad girls only slightly bad. I loved the setting in Venice, for instance. That was definitely all it was cracked up to be.

    Reply
  35. Nowadays getting a tattoo seems rather boringly conformist, so I couldn’t really get excited about Francesca having one in one of the standard places.
    The first tattoos I ever saw were as a small child on the arms of my great-uncle and uncle. Having seen what old tattoos look like, I was never tempted to get a fresh one of my own.
    To tell you the truth, what shocked me was the cavalier way Francesca accepted the loss of her emeralds. She was even willing to throw her sapphires after them. It seemed foolhardy in a woman who would have to live the rest of her life on what she could make in her youth. And she didn’t really work at her career. The elderly man who was introduced as her lover turned out to be no such thing. How did she manage to amass all these riches? She was obviously spending money, but there was nothing coming in. It seems to me that the economics of being a courtesan would be slightly more stringent.
    This sounds as if I didn’t enjoy the book, while I did, Loretta! I suppose that the economics of being a writer require you to make your bad girls only slightly bad. I loved the setting in Venice, for instance. That was definitely all it was cracked up to be.

    Reply
  36. I love Francesca’s tatoo, Loretta. It would have taken something extraordinary to make a man as worldly as James sit up and take notice, and the tat does that. I also love the fact that you didn’t make a big deal about it — it’s just one more facet of Francesca’s complicated character.
    When I was in college a zillion years ago, there was a group of boys (they all rowed together in the same heavy-weight boat for crew) who had little butterflies tatooed on their hips. There was the usual nonsense about being asked to view the tatoos (yeah, it was a long time ago!), and though the boys all dared us girls to come with them to get matching ones, none of us did. Back then, the only places to get tatoos were near the naval base, and we were all too chicken. At least I was. *g*
    But I’ve always wondered about that group of boys, who went on to become doctors, lawyers, and other general all-around Pillars of Society. How many other secret butterfly tatoos are lurking out there, I wonder, hidden away beneath pin-striped suits?

    Reply
  37. I love Francesca’s tatoo, Loretta. It would have taken something extraordinary to make a man as worldly as James sit up and take notice, and the tat does that. I also love the fact that you didn’t make a big deal about it — it’s just one more facet of Francesca’s complicated character.
    When I was in college a zillion years ago, there was a group of boys (they all rowed together in the same heavy-weight boat for crew) who had little butterflies tatooed on their hips. There was the usual nonsense about being asked to view the tatoos (yeah, it was a long time ago!), and though the boys all dared us girls to come with them to get matching ones, none of us did. Back then, the only places to get tatoos were near the naval base, and we were all too chicken. At least I was. *g*
    But I’ve always wondered about that group of boys, who went on to become doctors, lawyers, and other general all-around Pillars of Society. How many other secret butterfly tatoos are lurking out there, I wonder, hidden away beneath pin-striped suits?

    Reply
  38. I love Francesca’s tatoo, Loretta. It would have taken something extraordinary to make a man as worldly as James sit up and take notice, and the tat does that. I also love the fact that you didn’t make a big deal about it — it’s just one more facet of Francesca’s complicated character.
    When I was in college a zillion years ago, there was a group of boys (they all rowed together in the same heavy-weight boat for crew) who had little butterflies tatooed on their hips. There was the usual nonsense about being asked to view the tatoos (yeah, it was a long time ago!), and though the boys all dared us girls to come with them to get matching ones, none of us did. Back then, the only places to get tatoos were near the naval base, and we were all too chicken. At least I was. *g*
    But I’ve always wondered about that group of boys, who went on to become doctors, lawyers, and other general all-around Pillars of Society. How many other secret butterfly tatoos are lurking out there, I wonder, hidden away beneath pin-striped suits?

    Reply
  39. I love Francesca’s tatoo, Loretta. It would have taken something extraordinary to make a man as worldly as James sit up and take notice, and the tat does that. I also love the fact that you didn’t make a big deal about it — it’s just one more facet of Francesca’s complicated character.
    When I was in college a zillion years ago, there was a group of boys (they all rowed together in the same heavy-weight boat for crew) who had little butterflies tatooed on their hips. There was the usual nonsense about being asked to view the tatoos (yeah, it was a long time ago!), and though the boys all dared us girls to come with them to get matching ones, none of us did. Back then, the only places to get tatoos were near the naval base, and we were all too chicken. At least I was. *g*
    But I’ve always wondered about that group of boys, who went on to become doctors, lawyers, and other general all-around Pillars of Society. How many other secret butterfly tatoos are lurking out there, I wonder, hidden away beneath pin-striped suits?

    Reply
  40. I love Francesca’s tatoo, Loretta. It would have taken something extraordinary to make a man as worldly as James sit up and take notice, and the tat does that. I also love the fact that you didn’t make a big deal about it — it’s just one more facet of Francesca’s complicated character.
    When I was in college a zillion years ago, there was a group of boys (they all rowed together in the same heavy-weight boat for crew) who had little butterflies tatooed on their hips. There was the usual nonsense about being asked to view the tatoos (yeah, it was a long time ago!), and though the boys all dared us girls to come with them to get matching ones, none of us did. Back then, the only places to get tatoos were near the naval base, and we were all too chicken. At least I was. *g*
    But I’ve always wondered about that group of boys, who went on to become doctors, lawyers, and other general all-around Pillars of Society. How many other secret butterfly tatoos are lurking out there, I wonder, hidden away beneath pin-striped suits?

    Reply
  41. Well, all I can say for my own experience is, it’s been better than 20 years since I saw Phantom opening week and my love for the story, the music, the pain and redemption haven’t changed in all those years so I think I’m safe in what I chose. If my taste hasn’t changed for that over that many years, I doubt it’s going to suddenly change now.
    And the only reason I waited was because I never wanted my girls to jump at getting it done, because it IS so permanent. I wanted them to think long and hard and how are they going to do that when I go out and get one while they’re barely teens? They know how many years I researched and tried to decide. Hopefully, they’ll do the same.
    But I have to say, I would much rather see a few tattoos in the workplace than a face so studded up that it turns my stomach with the thought of how painful all of that must have been to do. However, it’s their face…
    My hubby works for a company that has in their employee agreement that nothing on the employee’s face with be pierced. If they refuse to comply, they are out. Ah, the few perks of at-will employment.
    I worked for years in hospital and saw more tattoos than I can count. Fresh ones on young girls who had been drinking and driving and are suddenly on a vent and the only thing that looks vibrant on them is their tattoo and I wonder if it meant anything at all. I watched men who had served in WWII and lost their entire company, trace their unit tattoo and remember, and cry.
    Yes, the old one’s have faded, the new ones will last many years longer without touch-ups due to the progress in ink pigments but I have to believe, like mine, they all have some special reason for being there.
    Who am I to judge which was done for the better reason?

    Reply
  42. Well, all I can say for my own experience is, it’s been better than 20 years since I saw Phantom opening week and my love for the story, the music, the pain and redemption haven’t changed in all those years so I think I’m safe in what I chose. If my taste hasn’t changed for that over that many years, I doubt it’s going to suddenly change now.
    And the only reason I waited was because I never wanted my girls to jump at getting it done, because it IS so permanent. I wanted them to think long and hard and how are they going to do that when I go out and get one while they’re barely teens? They know how many years I researched and tried to decide. Hopefully, they’ll do the same.
    But I have to say, I would much rather see a few tattoos in the workplace than a face so studded up that it turns my stomach with the thought of how painful all of that must have been to do. However, it’s their face…
    My hubby works for a company that has in their employee agreement that nothing on the employee’s face with be pierced. If they refuse to comply, they are out. Ah, the few perks of at-will employment.
    I worked for years in hospital and saw more tattoos than I can count. Fresh ones on young girls who had been drinking and driving and are suddenly on a vent and the only thing that looks vibrant on them is their tattoo and I wonder if it meant anything at all. I watched men who had served in WWII and lost their entire company, trace their unit tattoo and remember, and cry.
    Yes, the old one’s have faded, the new ones will last many years longer without touch-ups due to the progress in ink pigments but I have to believe, like mine, they all have some special reason for being there.
    Who am I to judge which was done for the better reason?

    Reply
  43. Well, all I can say for my own experience is, it’s been better than 20 years since I saw Phantom opening week and my love for the story, the music, the pain and redemption haven’t changed in all those years so I think I’m safe in what I chose. If my taste hasn’t changed for that over that many years, I doubt it’s going to suddenly change now.
    And the only reason I waited was because I never wanted my girls to jump at getting it done, because it IS so permanent. I wanted them to think long and hard and how are they going to do that when I go out and get one while they’re barely teens? They know how many years I researched and tried to decide. Hopefully, they’ll do the same.
    But I have to say, I would much rather see a few tattoos in the workplace than a face so studded up that it turns my stomach with the thought of how painful all of that must have been to do. However, it’s their face…
    My hubby works for a company that has in their employee agreement that nothing on the employee’s face with be pierced. If they refuse to comply, they are out. Ah, the few perks of at-will employment.
    I worked for years in hospital and saw more tattoos than I can count. Fresh ones on young girls who had been drinking and driving and are suddenly on a vent and the only thing that looks vibrant on them is their tattoo and I wonder if it meant anything at all. I watched men who had served in WWII and lost their entire company, trace their unit tattoo and remember, and cry.
    Yes, the old one’s have faded, the new ones will last many years longer without touch-ups due to the progress in ink pigments but I have to believe, like mine, they all have some special reason for being there.
    Who am I to judge which was done for the better reason?

    Reply
  44. Well, all I can say for my own experience is, it’s been better than 20 years since I saw Phantom opening week and my love for the story, the music, the pain and redemption haven’t changed in all those years so I think I’m safe in what I chose. If my taste hasn’t changed for that over that many years, I doubt it’s going to suddenly change now.
    And the only reason I waited was because I never wanted my girls to jump at getting it done, because it IS so permanent. I wanted them to think long and hard and how are they going to do that when I go out and get one while they’re barely teens? They know how many years I researched and tried to decide. Hopefully, they’ll do the same.
    But I have to say, I would much rather see a few tattoos in the workplace than a face so studded up that it turns my stomach with the thought of how painful all of that must have been to do. However, it’s their face…
    My hubby works for a company that has in their employee agreement that nothing on the employee’s face with be pierced. If they refuse to comply, they are out. Ah, the few perks of at-will employment.
    I worked for years in hospital and saw more tattoos than I can count. Fresh ones on young girls who had been drinking and driving and are suddenly on a vent and the only thing that looks vibrant on them is their tattoo and I wonder if it meant anything at all. I watched men who had served in WWII and lost their entire company, trace their unit tattoo and remember, and cry.
    Yes, the old one’s have faded, the new ones will last many years longer without touch-ups due to the progress in ink pigments but I have to believe, like mine, they all have some special reason for being there.
    Who am I to judge which was done for the better reason?

    Reply
  45. Well, all I can say for my own experience is, it’s been better than 20 years since I saw Phantom opening week and my love for the story, the music, the pain and redemption haven’t changed in all those years so I think I’m safe in what I chose. If my taste hasn’t changed for that over that many years, I doubt it’s going to suddenly change now.
    And the only reason I waited was because I never wanted my girls to jump at getting it done, because it IS so permanent. I wanted them to think long and hard and how are they going to do that when I go out and get one while they’re barely teens? They know how many years I researched and tried to decide. Hopefully, they’ll do the same.
    But I have to say, I would much rather see a few tattoos in the workplace than a face so studded up that it turns my stomach with the thought of how painful all of that must have been to do. However, it’s their face…
    My hubby works for a company that has in their employee agreement that nothing on the employee’s face with be pierced. If they refuse to comply, they are out. Ah, the few perks of at-will employment.
    I worked for years in hospital and saw more tattoos than I can count. Fresh ones on young girls who had been drinking and driving and are suddenly on a vent and the only thing that looks vibrant on them is their tattoo and I wonder if it meant anything at all. I watched men who had served in WWII and lost their entire company, trace their unit tattoo and remember, and cry.
    Yes, the old one’s have faded, the new ones will last many years longer without touch-ups due to the progress in ink pigments but I have to believe, like mine, they all have some special reason for being there.
    Who am I to judge which was done for the better reason?

    Reply
  46. And I apologize because I have no idea why that posted twice and can’t delete the second one on my end, of course, but if one of you could kindly do that?

    Reply
  47. And I apologize because I have no idea why that posted twice and can’t delete the second one on my end, of course, but if one of you could kindly do that?

    Reply
  48. And I apologize because I have no idea why that posted twice and can’t delete the second one on my end, of course, but if one of you could kindly do that?

    Reply
  49. And I apologize because I have no idea why that posted twice and can’t delete the second one on my end, of course, but if one of you could kindly do that?

    Reply
  50. And I apologize because I have no idea why that posted twice and can’t delete the second one on my end, of course, but if one of you could kindly do that?

    Reply
  51. I’m enjoying the answers about tattoos, reflecting as they do a range of personalities and experiences. And Theo, I do like your point: “Who am I to judge which was done for the better reason?” They are deeply meaningful to so many of their owners. I do believe that Francesca’s was deeply meaningful to her–and it’s definitely one way to get the jaded James’s attention in that day and age.
    Ingrid, the loss of the emeralds and the almost-loss of the sapphires raises another one of those topics there wasn’t room for in the story. I’m thinking about a future blog on the subject, but here are my thoughts for now: Jewels weren’t the only payment someone like Francesca received. In fact, typically, the patron would settle an annuity on the courtesan as well as providing cold cash, settling property, etc. I did envision Francesca as having acquired a considerable fortune in her short time as a courtesan (about 4 years) because she stuck to royals and really rich nobles. Like her mentor, she’d have a good financial advisor, and be building up a sizable retirement fund. As to taking the loss of the emeralds so coolly. I couldn’t see this character reacting any other way. This is a woman who’s lost everything, who’s had her life destroyed and has rebuilt it. Losing some jewelry just isn’t that big a deal. Unlike Marta, Francesca isn’t emotionally attached to it. Francesca’s a risk-taker, a gambler to a certain extent. Deciding to become a courtesan is a BIG gamble, on numerous counts. Meanwhile, her peers in England are losing fortunes at the gaming tables in a single night. It wasn’t cool to talk about money or worry about money. It was vulgar. So all these things feed into her behavior.
    If that were me, OTOH, I’d pitch a fit people could hear in Tokyo. *g*

    Reply
  52. I’m enjoying the answers about tattoos, reflecting as they do a range of personalities and experiences. And Theo, I do like your point: “Who am I to judge which was done for the better reason?” They are deeply meaningful to so many of their owners. I do believe that Francesca’s was deeply meaningful to her–and it’s definitely one way to get the jaded James’s attention in that day and age.
    Ingrid, the loss of the emeralds and the almost-loss of the sapphires raises another one of those topics there wasn’t room for in the story. I’m thinking about a future blog on the subject, but here are my thoughts for now: Jewels weren’t the only payment someone like Francesca received. In fact, typically, the patron would settle an annuity on the courtesan as well as providing cold cash, settling property, etc. I did envision Francesca as having acquired a considerable fortune in her short time as a courtesan (about 4 years) because she stuck to royals and really rich nobles. Like her mentor, she’d have a good financial advisor, and be building up a sizable retirement fund. As to taking the loss of the emeralds so coolly. I couldn’t see this character reacting any other way. This is a woman who’s lost everything, who’s had her life destroyed and has rebuilt it. Losing some jewelry just isn’t that big a deal. Unlike Marta, Francesca isn’t emotionally attached to it. Francesca’s a risk-taker, a gambler to a certain extent. Deciding to become a courtesan is a BIG gamble, on numerous counts. Meanwhile, her peers in England are losing fortunes at the gaming tables in a single night. It wasn’t cool to talk about money or worry about money. It was vulgar. So all these things feed into her behavior.
    If that were me, OTOH, I’d pitch a fit people could hear in Tokyo. *g*

    Reply
  53. I’m enjoying the answers about tattoos, reflecting as they do a range of personalities and experiences. And Theo, I do like your point: “Who am I to judge which was done for the better reason?” They are deeply meaningful to so many of their owners. I do believe that Francesca’s was deeply meaningful to her–and it’s definitely one way to get the jaded James’s attention in that day and age.
    Ingrid, the loss of the emeralds and the almost-loss of the sapphires raises another one of those topics there wasn’t room for in the story. I’m thinking about a future blog on the subject, but here are my thoughts for now: Jewels weren’t the only payment someone like Francesca received. In fact, typically, the patron would settle an annuity on the courtesan as well as providing cold cash, settling property, etc. I did envision Francesca as having acquired a considerable fortune in her short time as a courtesan (about 4 years) because she stuck to royals and really rich nobles. Like her mentor, she’d have a good financial advisor, and be building up a sizable retirement fund. As to taking the loss of the emeralds so coolly. I couldn’t see this character reacting any other way. This is a woman who’s lost everything, who’s had her life destroyed and has rebuilt it. Losing some jewelry just isn’t that big a deal. Unlike Marta, Francesca isn’t emotionally attached to it. Francesca’s a risk-taker, a gambler to a certain extent. Deciding to become a courtesan is a BIG gamble, on numerous counts. Meanwhile, her peers in England are losing fortunes at the gaming tables in a single night. It wasn’t cool to talk about money or worry about money. It was vulgar. So all these things feed into her behavior.
    If that were me, OTOH, I’d pitch a fit people could hear in Tokyo. *g*

    Reply
  54. I’m enjoying the answers about tattoos, reflecting as they do a range of personalities and experiences. And Theo, I do like your point: “Who am I to judge which was done for the better reason?” They are deeply meaningful to so many of their owners. I do believe that Francesca’s was deeply meaningful to her–and it’s definitely one way to get the jaded James’s attention in that day and age.
    Ingrid, the loss of the emeralds and the almost-loss of the sapphires raises another one of those topics there wasn’t room for in the story. I’m thinking about a future blog on the subject, but here are my thoughts for now: Jewels weren’t the only payment someone like Francesca received. In fact, typically, the patron would settle an annuity on the courtesan as well as providing cold cash, settling property, etc. I did envision Francesca as having acquired a considerable fortune in her short time as a courtesan (about 4 years) because she stuck to royals and really rich nobles. Like her mentor, she’d have a good financial advisor, and be building up a sizable retirement fund. As to taking the loss of the emeralds so coolly. I couldn’t see this character reacting any other way. This is a woman who’s lost everything, who’s had her life destroyed and has rebuilt it. Losing some jewelry just isn’t that big a deal. Unlike Marta, Francesca isn’t emotionally attached to it. Francesca’s a risk-taker, a gambler to a certain extent. Deciding to become a courtesan is a BIG gamble, on numerous counts. Meanwhile, her peers in England are losing fortunes at the gaming tables in a single night. It wasn’t cool to talk about money or worry about money. It was vulgar. So all these things feed into her behavior.
    If that were me, OTOH, I’d pitch a fit people could hear in Tokyo. *g*

    Reply
  55. I’m enjoying the answers about tattoos, reflecting as they do a range of personalities and experiences. And Theo, I do like your point: “Who am I to judge which was done for the better reason?” They are deeply meaningful to so many of their owners. I do believe that Francesca’s was deeply meaningful to her–and it’s definitely one way to get the jaded James’s attention in that day and age.
    Ingrid, the loss of the emeralds and the almost-loss of the sapphires raises another one of those topics there wasn’t room for in the story. I’m thinking about a future blog on the subject, but here are my thoughts for now: Jewels weren’t the only payment someone like Francesca received. In fact, typically, the patron would settle an annuity on the courtesan as well as providing cold cash, settling property, etc. I did envision Francesca as having acquired a considerable fortune in her short time as a courtesan (about 4 years) because she stuck to royals and really rich nobles. Like her mentor, she’d have a good financial advisor, and be building up a sizable retirement fund. As to taking the loss of the emeralds so coolly. I couldn’t see this character reacting any other way. This is a woman who’s lost everything, who’s had her life destroyed and has rebuilt it. Losing some jewelry just isn’t that big a deal. Unlike Marta, Francesca isn’t emotionally attached to it. Francesca’s a risk-taker, a gambler to a certain extent. Deciding to become a courtesan is a BIG gamble, on numerous counts. Meanwhile, her peers in England are losing fortunes at the gaming tables in a single night. It wasn’t cool to talk about money or worry about money. It was vulgar. So all these things feed into her behavior.
    If that were me, OTOH, I’d pitch a fit people could hear in Tokyo. *g*

    Reply
  56. Tattoos can be useful. I have three target dots used to focus radiation for my prostate cancer….acquired eight years ago.

    Reply
  57. Tattoos can be useful. I have three target dots used to focus radiation for my prostate cancer….acquired eight years ago.

    Reply
  58. Tattoos can be useful. I have three target dots used to focus radiation for my prostate cancer….acquired eight years ago.

    Reply
  59. Tattoos can be useful. I have three target dots used to focus radiation for my prostate cancer….acquired eight years ago.

    Reply
  60. Tattoos can be useful. I have three target dots used to focus radiation for my prostate cancer….acquired eight years ago.

    Reply
  61. Louis, I am assuming you are well now? Eight years! That’s wonderful.
    But yes, they are a permanent reminder of a part of your past, painful most likely, but you’re here.
    I had a patient once with tats like those and they’re not uncommon to see on the unit I worked on. For many who had survived, it was a badge of honor. One patient looked at me once and said: “I can see these every time I look in the mirror and every time I see them, I say ‘thank you'”
    I just stood there and cried.
    As for Francesca, like I said, that told me so much more about her than a thousand words would have. If the story were set in modern times, it wouldn’t have had nearly the impact and most likely, none.

    Reply
  62. Louis, I am assuming you are well now? Eight years! That’s wonderful.
    But yes, they are a permanent reminder of a part of your past, painful most likely, but you’re here.
    I had a patient once with tats like those and they’re not uncommon to see on the unit I worked on. For many who had survived, it was a badge of honor. One patient looked at me once and said: “I can see these every time I look in the mirror and every time I see them, I say ‘thank you'”
    I just stood there and cried.
    As for Francesca, like I said, that told me so much more about her than a thousand words would have. If the story were set in modern times, it wouldn’t have had nearly the impact and most likely, none.

    Reply
  63. Louis, I am assuming you are well now? Eight years! That’s wonderful.
    But yes, they are a permanent reminder of a part of your past, painful most likely, but you’re here.
    I had a patient once with tats like those and they’re not uncommon to see on the unit I worked on. For many who had survived, it was a badge of honor. One patient looked at me once and said: “I can see these every time I look in the mirror and every time I see them, I say ‘thank you'”
    I just stood there and cried.
    As for Francesca, like I said, that told me so much more about her than a thousand words would have. If the story were set in modern times, it wouldn’t have had nearly the impact and most likely, none.

    Reply
  64. Louis, I am assuming you are well now? Eight years! That’s wonderful.
    But yes, they are a permanent reminder of a part of your past, painful most likely, but you’re here.
    I had a patient once with tats like those and they’re not uncommon to see on the unit I worked on. For many who had survived, it was a badge of honor. One patient looked at me once and said: “I can see these every time I look in the mirror and every time I see them, I say ‘thank you'”
    I just stood there and cried.
    As for Francesca, like I said, that told me so much more about her than a thousand words would have. If the story were set in modern times, it wouldn’t have had nearly the impact and most likely, none.

    Reply
  65. Louis, I am assuming you are well now? Eight years! That’s wonderful.
    But yes, they are a permanent reminder of a part of your past, painful most likely, but you’re here.
    I had a patient once with tats like those and they’re not uncommon to see on the unit I worked on. For many who had survived, it was a badge of honor. One patient looked at me once and said: “I can see these every time I look in the mirror and every time I see them, I say ‘thank you'”
    I just stood there and cried.
    As for Francesca, like I said, that told me so much more about her than a thousand words would have. If the story were set in modern times, it wouldn’t have had nearly the impact and most likely, none.

    Reply
  66. You know, I should just stop typing today…
    S/B THE patient, not One… *sigh*
    **goestocurlonbedinfetalpositionandpretend
    she’swakingupandit’smorning…**

    Reply
  67. You know, I should just stop typing today…
    S/B THE patient, not One… *sigh*
    **goestocurlonbedinfetalpositionandpretend
    she’swakingupandit’smorning…**

    Reply
  68. You know, I should just stop typing today…
    S/B THE patient, not One… *sigh*
    **goestocurlonbedinfetalpositionandpretend
    she’swakingupandit’smorning…**

    Reply
  69. You know, I should just stop typing today…
    S/B THE patient, not One… *sigh*
    **goestocurlonbedinfetalpositionandpretend
    she’swakingupandit’smorning…**

    Reply
  70. You know, I should just stop typing today…
    S/B THE patient, not One… *sigh*
    **goestocurlonbedinfetalpositionandpretend
    she’swakingupandit’smorning…**

    Reply
  71. I also was fascinated about the tattoo, not just that she had it, not just the subject matter, but where it was placed. I’m not really sure what my fascination says about me given that I have none and am unlikely ever to get any, but I have a contemporary female character in a WIP who will also receive one (as a memento of a South Seas trip rather than a big philosophical statement) and I’m stumped about where, anatomically, it should go. What made you decide on a corner of her back?

    Reply
  72. I also was fascinated about the tattoo, not just that she had it, not just the subject matter, but where it was placed. I’m not really sure what my fascination says about me given that I have none and am unlikely ever to get any, but I have a contemporary female character in a WIP who will also receive one (as a memento of a South Seas trip rather than a big philosophical statement) and I’m stumped about where, anatomically, it should go. What made you decide on a corner of her back?

    Reply
  73. I also was fascinated about the tattoo, not just that she had it, not just the subject matter, but where it was placed. I’m not really sure what my fascination says about me given that I have none and am unlikely ever to get any, but I have a contemporary female character in a WIP who will also receive one (as a memento of a South Seas trip rather than a big philosophical statement) and I’m stumped about where, anatomically, it should go. What made you decide on a corner of her back?

    Reply
  74. I also was fascinated about the tattoo, not just that she had it, not just the subject matter, but where it was placed. I’m not really sure what my fascination says about me given that I have none and am unlikely ever to get any, but I have a contemporary female character in a WIP who will also receive one (as a memento of a South Seas trip rather than a big philosophical statement) and I’m stumped about where, anatomically, it should go. What made you decide on a corner of her back?

    Reply
  75. I also was fascinated about the tattoo, not just that she had it, not just the subject matter, but where it was placed. I’m not really sure what my fascination says about me given that I have none and am unlikely ever to get any, but I have a contemporary female character in a WIP who will also receive one (as a memento of a South Seas trip rather than a big philosophical statement) and I’m stumped about where, anatomically, it should go. What made you decide on a corner of her back?

    Reply
  76. Louis, they may be a painful reminder of the past or a sign of triumph or a badge of courage to you–but whatever the personal meaning, they are certainly meaningful!
    Maya, I chose that corner because it was a place not easily visible, given the clothing of the time, yet not absolutely hidden. Because it’s not in the open, it hints at intimacy–and yet it’s visible if she’s wearing the right dress and the observer happens to be close enough and looking from the right angle. In other words, I wanted a tantalizing place for it.

    Reply
  77. Louis, they may be a painful reminder of the past or a sign of triumph or a badge of courage to you–but whatever the personal meaning, they are certainly meaningful!
    Maya, I chose that corner because it was a place not easily visible, given the clothing of the time, yet not absolutely hidden. Because it’s not in the open, it hints at intimacy–and yet it’s visible if she’s wearing the right dress and the observer happens to be close enough and looking from the right angle. In other words, I wanted a tantalizing place for it.

    Reply
  78. Louis, they may be a painful reminder of the past or a sign of triumph or a badge of courage to you–but whatever the personal meaning, they are certainly meaningful!
    Maya, I chose that corner because it was a place not easily visible, given the clothing of the time, yet not absolutely hidden. Because it’s not in the open, it hints at intimacy–and yet it’s visible if she’s wearing the right dress and the observer happens to be close enough and looking from the right angle. In other words, I wanted a tantalizing place for it.

    Reply
  79. Louis, they may be a painful reminder of the past or a sign of triumph or a badge of courage to you–but whatever the personal meaning, they are certainly meaningful!
    Maya, I chose that corner because it was a place not easily visible, given the clothing of the time, yet not absolutely hidden. Because it’s not in the open, it hints at intimacy–and yet it’s visible if she’s wearing the right dress and the observer happens to be close enough and looking from the right angle. In other words, I wanted a tantalizing place for it.

    Reply
  80. Louis, they may be a painful reminder of the past or a sign of triumph or a badge of courage to you–but whatever the personal meaning, they are certainly meaningful!
    Maya, I chose that corner because it was a place not easily visible, given the clothing of the time, yet not absolutely hidden. Because it’s not in the open, it hints at intimacy–and yet it’s visible if she’s wearing the right dress and the observer happens to be close enough and looking from the right angle. In other words, I wanted a tantalizing place for it.

    Reply
  81. Loretta, I loved Francesca’s tattoo–and the reasons for it you give above–but I wouldn’t dream of getting one myself. I have no problems with people getting them, though my primary associations for them are sailors and Marines, rock stars, and those awful prison ones done with pins and ink. I like the Celtic designs, and might be tempted to get one of the books of temporary tattoos that Dover sells; but mainly I don’t want to call attention to myself because I don’t look the least bit like Francesca. Au very, VERY contraire! I don’t need people looking at me.
    Historically tattoos have been very important, with religious or cultural significance; and military personnel tend to get their unit’s insignia done. Merely recreational tattoos seem to me rather silly. And remember the trouble Roseanne had trying to get rid of the tattoo of Tom’s name she got when they married?
    The fluffy cat has arrived with her stick toy, and I wonder how long I can put her off?

    Reply
  82. Loretta, I loved Francesca’s tattoo–and the reasons for it you give above–but I wouldn’t dream of getting one myself. I have no problems with people getting them, though my primary associations for them are sailors and Marines, rock stars, and those awful prison ones done with pins and ink. I like the Celtic designs, and might be tempted to get one of the books of temporary tattoos that Dover sells; but mainly I don’t want to call attention to myself because I don’t look the least bit like Francesca. Au very, VERY contraire! I don’t need people looking at me.
    Historically tattoos have been very important, with religious or cultural significance; and military personnel tend to get their unit’s insignia done. Merely recreational tattoos seem to me rather silly. And remember the trouble Roseanne had trying to get rid of the tattoo of Tom’s name she got when they married?
    The fluffy cat has arrived with her stick toy, and I wonder how long I can put her off?

    Reply
  83. Loretta, I loved Francesca’s tattoo–and the reasons for it you give above–but I wouldn’t dream of getting one myself. I have no problems with people getting them, though my primary associations for them are sailors and Marines, rock stars, and those awful prison ones done with pins and ink. I like the Celtic designs, and might be tempted to get one of the books of temporary tattoos that Dover sells; but mainly I don’t want to call attention to myself because I don’t look the least bit like Francesca. Au very, VERY contraire! I don’t need people looking at me.
    Historically tattoos have been very important, with religious or cultural significance; and military personnel tend to get their unit’s insignia done. Merely recreational tattoos seem to me rather silly. And remember the trouble Roseanne had trying to get rid of the tattoo of Tom’s name she got when they married?
    The fluffy cat has arrived with her stick toy, and I wonder how long I can put her off?

    Reply
  84. Loretta, I loved Francesca’s tattoo–and the reasons for it you give above–but I wouldn’t dream of getting one myself. I have no problems with people getting them, though my primary associations for them are sailors and Marines, rock stars, and those awful prison ones done with pins and ink. I like the Celtic designs, and might be tempted to get one of the books of temporary tattoos that Dover sells; but mainly I don’t want to call attention to myself because I don’t look the least bit like Francesca. Au very, VERY contraire! I don’t need people looking at me.
    Historically tattoos have been very important, with religious or cultural significance; and military personnel tend to get their unit’s insignia done. Merely recreational tattoos seem to me rather silly. And remember the trouble Roseanne had trying to get rid of the tattoo of Tom’s name she got when they married?
    The fluffy cat has arrived with her stick toy, and I wonder how long I can put her off?

    Reply
  85. Loretta, I loved Francesca’s tattoo–and the reasons for it you give above–but I wouldn’t dream of getting one myself. I have no problems with people getting them, though my primary associations for them are sailors and Marines, rock stars, and those awful prison ones done with pins and ink. I like the Celtic designs, and might be tempted to get one of the books of temporary tattoos that Dover sells; but mainly I don’t want to call attention to myself because I don’t look the least bit like Francesca. Au very, VERY contraire! I don’t need people looking at me.
    Historically tattoos have been very important, with religious or cultural significance; and military personnel tend to get their unit’s insignia done. Merely recreational tattoos seem to me rather silly. And remember the trouble Roseanne had trying to get rid of the tattoo of Tom’s name she got when they married?
    The fluffy cat has arrived with her stick toy, and I wonder how long I can put her off?

    Reply
  86. Re future blogs (or maybe past ones, if someone wants to point me there), I’d like to see some discussion of less traditional heroines. I happened upon another writer’s blog, where she mentioned a mini-furor over Francesca. I’ve been too buried in other stuff to notice any furors, but I absolutely adore Francesca – she’s brilliant and courageous. But there are a lot of people out there who want their heroines to be absolutely pure, regardless of whether they’ve had abusive husbands or been caught in other desperate circumstances. This makes no sense to me, so I’d love to see what people think, and why.

    Reply
  87. Re future blogs (or maybe past ones, if someone wants to point me there), I’d like to see some discussion of less traditional heroines. I happened upon another writer’s blog, where she mentioned a mini-furor over Francesca. I’ve been too buried in other stuff to notice any furors, but I absolutely adore Francesca – she’s brilliant and courageous. But there are a lot of people out there who want their heroines to be absolutely pure, regardless of whether they’ve had abusive husbands or been caught in other desperate circumstances. This makes no sense to me, so I’d love to see what people think, and why.

    Reply
  88. Re future blogs (or maybe past ones, if someone wants to point me there), I’d like to see some discussion of less traditional heroines. I happened upon another writer’s blog, where she mentioned a mini-furor over Francesca. I’ve been too buried in other stuff to notice any furors, but I absolutely adore Francesca – she’s brilliant and courageous. But there are a lot of people out there who want their heroines to be absolutely pure, regardless of whether they’ve had abusive husbands or been caught in other desperate circumstances. This makes no sense to me, so I’d love to see what people think, and why.

    Reply
  89. Re future blogs (or maybe past ones, if someone wants to point me there), I’d like to see some discussion of less traditional heroines. I happened upon another writer’s blog, where she mentioned a mini-furor over Francesca. I’ve been too buried in other stuff to notice any furors, but I absolutely adore Francesca – she’s brilliant and courageous. But there are a lot of people out there who want their heroines to be absolutely pure, regardless of whether they’ve had abusive husbands or been caught in other desperate circumstances. This makes no sense to me, so I’d love to see what people think, and why.

    Reply
  90. Re future blogs (or maybe past ones, if someone wants to point me there), I’d like to see some discussion of less traditional heroines. I happened upon another writer’s blog, where she mentioned a mini-furor over Francesca. I’ve been too buried in other stuff to notice any furors, but I absolutely adore Francesca – she’s brilliant and courageous. But there are a lot of people out there who want their heroines to be absolutely pure, regardless of whether they’ve had abusive husbands or been caught in other desperate circumstances. This makes no sense to me, so I’d love to see what people think, and why.

    Reply
  91. I have a tattoo on my lift hip. I just wanted one, so I got one. When I was in my mid to late 20’s. I go the planet Saturn. Yes, I know. What, you ask. That’s right, the planet Saturn. No one else I know has it, so I am unique!!! I like being unique!!! I wouldn’t get anymore, and I don’t have any strong opinions about tattoos one way or the other really. I do not have any regretts though, and it makes me feel just a little bit special when I need to…*G*
    Amy

    Reply
  92. I have a tattoo on my lift hip. I just wanted one, so I got one. When I was in my mid to late 20’s. I go the planet Saturn. Yes, I know. What, you ask. That’s right, the planet Saturn. No one else I know has it, so I am unique!!! I like being unique!!! I wouldn’t get anymore, and I don’t have any strong opinions about tattoos one way or the other really. I do not have any regretts though, and it makes me feel just a little bit special when I need to…*G*
    Amy

    Reply
  93. I have a tattoo on my lift hip. I just wanted one, so I got one. When I was in my mid to late 20’s. I go the planet Saturn. Yes, I know. What, you ask. That’s right, the planet Saturn. No one else I know has it, so I am unique!!! I like being unique!!! I wouldn’t get anymore, and I don’t have any strong opinions about tattoos one way or the other really. I do not have any regretts though, and it makes me feel just a little bit special when I need to…*G*
    Amy

    Reply
  94. I have a tattoo on my lift hip. I just wanted one, so I got one. When I was in my mid to late 20’s. I go the planet Saturn. Yes, I know. What, you ask. That’s right, the planet Saturn. No one else I know has it, so I am unique!!! I like being unique!!! I wouldn’t get anymore, and I don’t have any strong opinions about tattoos one way or the other really. I do not have any regretts though, and it makes me feel just a little bit special when I need to…*G*
    Amy

    Reply
  95. I have a tattoo on my lift hip. I just wanted one, so I got one. When I was in my mid to late 20’s. I go the planet Saturn. Yes, I know. What, you ask. That’s right, the planet Saturn. No one else I know has it, so I am unique!!! I like being unique!!! I wouldn’t get anymore, and I don’t have any strong opinions about tattoos one way or the other really. I do not have any regretts though, and it makes me feel just a little bit special when I need to…*G*
    Amy

    Reply
  96. I think Francesca’s tattoo was entirely in character. I don’t have strong feelings one way or another about tats. In fact, I am wearing one right now! Actually, it is a temporary tattoo that they were handing out at the “Tall Ships Tacoma” event that I attended yesterday. It’s the Tall Ships logo with a stylized tall ship, and it’s very pretty. I feel daring and dangerous now.

    Reply
  97. I think Francesca’s tattoo was entirely in character. I don’t have strong feelings one way or another about tats. In fact, I am wearing one right now! Actually, it is a temporary tattoo that they were handing out at the “Tall Ships Tacoma” event that I attended yesterday. It’s the Tall Ships logo with a stylized tall ship, and it’s very pretty. I feel daring and dangerous now.

    Reply
  98. I think Francesca’s tattoo was entirely in character. I don’t have strong feelings one way or another about tats. In fact, I am wearing one right now! Actually, it is a temporary tattoo that they were handing out at the “Tall Ships Tacoma” event that I attended yesterday. It’s the Tall Ships logo with a stylized tall ship, and it’s very pretty. I feel daring and dangerous now.

    Reply
  99. I think Francesca’s tattoo was entirely in character. I don’t have strong feelings one way or another about tats. In fact, I am wearing one right now! Actually, it is a temporary tattoo that they were handing out at the “Tall Ships Tacoma” event that I attended yesterday. It’s the Tall Ships logo with a stylized tall ship, and it’s very pretty. I feel daring and dangerous now.

    Reply
  100. I think Francesca’s tattoo was entirely in character. I don’t have strong feelings one way or another about tats. In fact, I am wearing one right now! Actually, it is a temporary tattoo that they were handing out at the “Tall Ships Tacoma” event that I attended yesterday. It’s the Tall Ships logo with a stylized tall ship, and it’s very pretty. I feel daring and dangerous now.

    Reply
  101. I see your point about the jewellery, Loretta. Of course it goes entirely against my plebeian packrat nature, so I’m more with Marta in that respect.
    However, I’m not convinced that Francesca could have managed to insure her future in four short years. Would these rich lovers really part with so much money for what can only have been short liaisons? Being that careful about her finances doesn’t really agree with her not caring about her jewellery. And you do show her to be highly motivated to show that she’s doing very well for herself.
    The point about old tattoos is not that they fade. They get blurry. They lose their crisp outline because the ink runs a bit, and the skin gets less taut over the years, of course. The effect is that of blue blodges under a coating of hair. Not that I would personally ever expect to grow as much hair on my arms as my male relatives, but still.

    Reply
  102. I see your point about the jewellery, Loretta. Of course it goes entirely against my plebeian packrat nature, so I’m more with Marta in that respect.
    However, I’m not convinced that Francesca could have managed to insure her future in four short years. Would these rich lovers really part with so much money for what can only have been short liaisons? Being that careful about her finances doesn’t really agree with her not caring about her jewellery. And you do show her to be highly motivated to show that she’s doing very well for herself.
    The point about old tattoos is not that they fade. They get blurry. They lose their crisp outline because the ink runs a bit, and the skin gets less taut over the years, of course. The effect is that of blue blodges under a coating of hair. Not that I would personally ever expect to grow as much hair on my arms as my male relatives, but still.

    Reply
  103. I see your point about the jewellery, Loretta. Of course it goes entirely against my plebeian packrat nature, so I’m more with Marta in that respect.
    However, I’m not convinced that Francesca could have managed to insure her future in four short years. Would these rich lovers really part with so much money for what can only have been short liaisons? Being that careful about her finances doesn’t really agree with her not caring about her jewellery. And you do show her to be highly motivated to show that she’s doing very well for herself.
    The point about old tattoos is not that they fade. They get blurry. They lose their crisp outline because the ink runs a bit, and the skin gets less taut over the years, of course. The effect is that of blue blodges under a coating of hair. Not that I would personally ever expect to grow as much hair on my arms as my male relatives, but still.

    Reply
  104. I see your point about the jewellery, Loretta. Of course it goes entirely against my plebeian packrat nature, so I’m more with Marta in that respect.
    However, I’m not convinced that Francesca could have managed to insure her future in four short years. Would these rich lovers really part with so much money for what can only have been short liaisons? Being that careful about her finances doesn’t really agree with her not caring about her jewellery. And you do show her to be highly motivated to show that she’s doing very well for herself.
    The point about old tattoos is not that they fade. They get blurry. They lose their crisp outline because the ink runs a bit, and the skin gets less taut over the years, of course. The effect is that of blue blodges under a coating of hair. Not that I would personally ever expect to grow as much hair on my arms as my male relatives, but still.

    Reply
  105. I see your point about the jewellery, Loretta. Of course it goes entirely against my plebeian packrat nature, so I’m more with Marta in that respect.
    However, I’m not convinced that Francesca could have managed to insure her future in four short years. Would these rich lovers really part with so much money for what can only have been short liaisons? Being that careful about her finances doesn’t really agree with her not caring about her jewellery. And you do show her to be highly motivated to show that she’s doing very well for herself.
    The point about old tattoos is not that they fade. They get blurry. They lose their crisp outline because the ink runs a bit, and the skin gets less taut over the years, of course. The effect is that of blue blodges under a coating of hair. Not that I would personally ever expect to grow as much hair on my arms as my male relatives, but still.

    Reply
  106. Tal, I love temporary tattoos and once applied a Born to Raise Hell one to my leg, which caused quite a furor.__And speaking of furors, Barbara M, I am vaguely aware of some controversy about Francesca. Did I break a rule? Hard for me to know, since I don’t know what the rules are and never really did. One thing I do know: There is no way that everyone is going to like every aspect of every book I write. But I’d love to know how my heroine could earn a living if she didn’t have a few lovers.__And on that point, Ingrid, I have to wonder whether you are equating a courtesan with a prostitute? IIRC, men paid 100 pounds merely to be introduced to Harriette Wilson, and other large sums simply to play cards with her or one of her sisters. Her sister Amy’s first lover settled 100 pounds a year on her for life. Though she forfeited this by running away with another lover, it’s a more than sufficient annual income for the time. In England in the 1820s, 500 pounds a year was enough to keep a lady, three women servants, one boy servant, and an occasional gardener, according to The Complete Servant. Living in Paris or Venice was much, much cheaper, as Byron found out. Another thing you may not be taking into account is that the entire story takes place in about a week. There certainly would be nothing odd in Francesca dawdling for a week or even a month while she’s deciding which man will next have the privilege of keeping her. These might be a courtesan’s version of a vacation. *g* She had a fairly long relationship with the marchese, which netted her a magnificent portrait, a great deal of expensive jewelry, and a monetary settlement of some kind. She’s bound to have had at least a couple of other similar relationships. And why would she be so terrified of losing one set of emeralds, when she has tons of other jewelry, and she’s still young and beautiful and very much in demand? All that said, though, what it boils down to is whether this element rang true for you or not. If it didn’t, that’s OK. As I said at the Lunatic Café discussion, I writes the book; I takes my chances.

    Reply
  107. Tal, I love temporary tattoos and once applied a Born to Raise Hell one to my leg, which caused quite a furor.__And speaking of furors, Barbara M, I am vaguely aware of some controversy about Francesca. Did I break a rule? Hard for me to know, since I don’t know what the rules are and never really did. One thing I do know: There is no way that everyone is going to like every aspect of every book I write. But I’d love to know how my heroine could earn a living if she didn’t have a few lovers.__And on that point, Ingrid, I have to wonder whether you are equating a courtesan with a prostitute? IIRC, men paid 100 pounds merely to be introduced to Harriette Wilson, and other large sums simply to play cards with her or one of her sisters. Her sister Amy’s first lover settled 100 pounds a year on her for life. Though she forfeited this by running away with another lover, it’s a more than sufficient annual income for the time. In England in the 1820s, 500 pounds a year was enough to keep a lady, three women servants, one boy servant, and an occasional gardener, according to The Complete Servant. Living in Paris or Venice was much, much cheaper, as Byron found out. Another thing you may not be taking into account is that the entire story takes place in about a week. There certainly would be nothing odd in Francesca dawdling for a week or even a month while she’s deciding which man will next have the privilege of keeping her. These might be a courtesan’s version of a vacation. *g* She had a fairly long relationship with the marchese, which netted her a magnificent portrait, a great deal of expensive jewelry, and a monetary settlement of some kind. She’s bound to have had at least a couple of other similar relationships. And why would she be so terrified of losing one set of emeralds, when she has tons of other jewelry, and she’s still young and beautiful and very much in demand? All that said, though, what it boils down to is whether this element rang true for you or not. If it didn’t, that’s OK. As I said at the Lunatic Café discussion, I writes the book; I takes my chances.

    Reply
  108. Tal, I love temporary tattoos and once applied a Born to Raise Hell one to my leg, which caused quite a furor.__And speaking of furors, Barbara M, I am vaguely aware of some controversy about Francesca. Did I break a rule? Hard for me to know, since I don’t know what the rules are and never really did. One thing I do know: There is no way that everyone is going to like every aspect of every book I write. But I’d love to know how my heroine could earn a living if she didn’t have a few lovers.__And on that point, Ingrid, I have to wonder whether you are equating a courtesan with a prostitute? IIRC, men paid 100 pounds merely to be introduced to Harriette Wilson, and other large sums simply to play cards with her or one of her sisters. Her sister Amy’s first lover settled 100 pounds a year on her for life. Though she forfeited this by running away with another lover, it’s a more than sufficient annual income for the time. In England in the 1820s, 500 pounds a year was enough to keep a lady, three women servants, one boy servant, and an occasional gardener, according to The Complete Servant. Living in Paris or Venice was much, much cheaper, as Byron found out. Another thing you may not be taking into account is that the entire story takes place in about a week. There certainly would be nothing odd in Francesca dawdling for a week or even a month while she’s deciding which man will next have the privilege of keeping her. These might be a courtesan’s version of a vacation. *g* She had a fairly long relationship with the marchese, which netted her a magnificent portrait, a great deal of expensive jewelry, and a monetary settlement of some kind. She’s bound to have had at least a couple of other similar relationships. And why would she be so terrified of losing one set of emeralds, when she has tons of other jewelry, and she’s still young and beautiful and very much in demand? All that said, though, what it boils down to is whether this element rang true for you or not. If it didn’t, that’s OK. As I said at the Lunatic Café discussion, I writes the book; I takes my chances.

    Reply
  109. Tal, I love temporary tattoos and once applied a Born to Raise Hell one to my leg, which caused quite a furor.__And speaking of furors, Barbara M, I am vaguely aware of some controversy about Francesca. Did I break a rule? Hard for me to know, since I don’t know what the rules are and never really did. One thing I do know: There is no way that everyone is going to like every aspect of every book I write. But I’d love to know how my heroine could earn a living if she didn’t have a few lovers.__And on that point, Ingrid, I have to wonder whether you are equating a courtesan with a prostitute? IIRC, men paid 100 pounds merely to be introduced to Harriette Wilson, and other large sums simply to play cards with her or one of her sisters. Her sister Amy’s first lover settled 100 pounds a year on her for life. Though she forfeited this by running away with another lover, it’s a more than sufficient annual income for the time. In England in the 1820s, 500 pounds a year was enough to keep a lady, three women servants, one boy servant, and an occasional gardener, according to The Complete Servant. Living in Paris or Venice was much, much cheaper, as Byron found out. Another thing you may not be taking into account is that the entire story takes place in about a week. There certainly would be nothing odd in Francesca dawdling for a week or even a month while she’s deciding which man will next have the privilege of keeping her. These might be a courtesan’s version of a vacation. *g* She had a fairly long relationship with the marchese, which netted her a magnificent portrait, a great deal of expensive jewelry, and a monetary settlement of some kind. She’s bound to have had at least a couple of other similar relationships. And why would she be so terrified of losing one set of emeralds, when she has tons of other jewelry, and she’s still young and beautiful and very much in demand? All that said, though, what it boils down to is whether this element rang true for you or not. If it didn’t, that’s OK. As I said at the Lunatic Café discussion, I writes the book; I takes my chances.

    Reply
  110. Tal, I love temporary tattoos and once applied a Born to Raise Hell one to my leg, which caused quite a furor.__And speaking of furors, Barbara M, I am vaguely aware of some controversy about Francesca. Did I break a rule? Hard for me to know, since I don’t know what the rules are and never really did. One thing I do know: There is no way that everyone is going to like every aspect of every book I write. But I’d love to know how my heroine could earn a living if she didn’t have a few lovers.__And on that point, Ingrid, I have to wonder whether you are equating a courtesan with a prostitute? IIRC, men paid 100 pounds merely to be introduced to Harriette Wilson, and other large sums simply to play cards with her or one of her sisters. Her sister Amy’s first lover settled 100 pounds a year on her for life. Though she forfeited this by running away with another lover, it’s a more than sufficient annual income for the time. In England in the 1820s, 500 pounds a year was enough to keep a lady, three women servants, one boy servant, and an occasional gardener, according to The Complete Servant. Living in Paris or Venice was much, much cheaper, as Byron found out. Another thing you may not be taking into account is that the entire story takes place in about a week. There certainly would be nothing odd in Francesca dawdling for a week or even a month while she’s deciding which man will next have the privilege of keeping her. These might be a courtesan’s version of a vacation. *g* She had a fairly long relationship with the marchese, which netted her a magnificent portrait, a great deal of expensive jewelry, and a monetary settlement of some kind. She’s bound to have had at least a couple of other similar relationships. And why would she be so terrified of losing one set of emeralds, when she has tons of other jewelry, and she’s still young and beautiful and very much in demand? All that said, though, what it boils down to is whether this element rang true for you or not. If it didn’t, that’s OK. As I said at the Lunatic Café discussion, I writes the book; I takes my chances.

    Reply
  111. When I as younger I wanted a tat & my spouse talked me out of it, which I’m now grateful for. I’m so far today from who I was 25 years ago, I’m glad to carry my marks on the inside instead of the out. My cancer tats made me angry – because it wasn’t a choice I was making, but a mark being added to me. It’s complicated, I suppose.
    The jewelry thing worked for me because she got these on her own, she can get more on her own – she’s not finished yet. She has confidence in her ability to see it through.

    Reply
  112. When I as younger I wanted a tat & my spouse talked me out of it, which I’m now grateful for. I’m so far today from who I was 25 years ago, I’m glad to carry my marks on the inside instead of the out. My cancer tats made me angry – because it wasn’t a choice I was making, but a mark being added to me. It’s complicated, I suppose.
    The jewelry thing worked for me because she got these on her own, she can get more on her own – she’s not finished yet. She has confidence in her ability to see it through.

    Reply
  113. When I as younger I wanted a tat & my spouse talked me out of it, which I’m now grateful for. I’m so far today from who I was 25 years ago, I’m glad to carry my marks on the inside instead of the out. My cancer tats made me angry – because it wasn’t a choice I was making, but a mark being added to me. It’s complicated, I suppose.
    The jewelry thing worked for me because she got these on her own, she can get more on her own – she’s not finished yet. She has confidence in her ability to see it through.

    Reply
  114. When I as younger I wanted a tat & my spouse talked me out of it, which I’m now grateful for. I’m so far today from who I was 25 years ago, I’m glad to carry my marks on the inside instead of the out. My cancer tats made me angry – because it wasn’t a choice I was making, but a mark being added to me. It’s complicated, I suppose.
    The jewelry thing worked for me because she got these on her own, she can get more on her own – she’s not finished yet. She has confidence in her ability to see it through.

    Reply
  115. When I as younger I wanted a tat & my spouse talked me out of it, which I’m now grateful for. I’m so far today from who I was 25 years ago, I’m glad to carry my marks on the inside instead of the out. My cancer tats made me angry – because it wasn’t a choice I was making, but a mark being added to me. It’s complicated, I suppose.
    The jewelry thing worked for me because she got these on her own, she can get more on her own – she’s not finished yet. She has confidence in her ability to see it through.

    Reply
  116. Actually, I was thinking of Harriette Wilson. She wrote her biography because she needed the money – from blackmailing her former patrons. She’d leave them out if they’d pay. She would not have needed to do that if she had ended up financially secure.
    I do realise that common streetwalkers would charge tuppence a go, and that Francesca was at the other end of the spectrum. But to be really exclusive she could not take on all comers, she’d have to give her lovers some exclusivity. And that would limit the money coming in. Zola’s Nana for instance squandered fortunes, but she’d take on anyone and would no doubt have died in poverty if she hadn’t died of smallpox.
    Presents of good jewellery do represent serious money. You can always sell it when hard times come. Annuities can be taken away, as you yourself observed.
    Of course Francesca deserves a holiday, but on p. 10 you say: “Now they [men] begged for her notice. Several were coming today for precisely that purpose.” I was looking forward to that scene, and it never materialised.
    But I gather I’m complaining of too little while others think there’s too much. Can’t win, can you?
    Final analysis: it’s a fun book, and I hope it makes you serious money!

    Reply
  117. Actually, I was thinking of Harriette Wilson. She wrote her biography because she needed the money – from blackmailing her former patrons. She’d leave them out if they’d pay. She would not have needed to do that if she had ended up financially secure.
    I do realise that common streetwalkers would charge tuppence a go, and that Francesca was at the other end of the spectrum. But to be really exclusive she could not take on all comers, she’d have to give her lovers some exclusivity. And that would limit the money coming in. Zola’s Nana for instance squandered fortunes, but she’d take on anyone and would no doubt have died in poverty if she hadn’t died of smallpox.
    Presents of good jewellery do represent serious money. You can always sell it when hard times come. Annuities can be taken away, as you yourself observed.
    Of course Francesca deserves a holiday, but on p. 10 you say: “Now they [men] begged for her notice. Several were coming today for precisely that purpose.” I was looking forward to that scene, and it never materialised.
    But I gather I’m complaining of too little while others think there’s too much. Can’t win, can you?
    Final analysis: it’s a fun book, and I hope it makes you serious money!

    Reply
  118. Actually, I was thinking of Harriette Wilson. She wrote her biography because she needed the money – from blackmailing her former patrons. She’d leave them out if they’d pay. She would not have needed to do that if she had ended up financially secure.
    I do realise that common streetwalkers would charge tuppence a go, and that Francesca was at the other end of the spectrum. But to be really exclusive she could not take on all comers, she’d have to give her lovers some exclusivity. And that would limit the money coming in. Zola’s Nana for instance squandered fortunes, but she’d take on anyone and would no doubt have died in poverty if she hadn’t died of smallpox.
    Presents of good jewellery do represent serious money. You can always sell it when hard times come. Annuities can be taken away, as you yourself observed.
    Of course Francesca deserves a holiday, but on p. 10 you say: “Now they [men] begged for her notice. Several were coming today for precisely that purpose.” I was looking forward to that scene, and it never materialised.
    But I gather I’m complaining of too little while others think there’s too much. Can’t win, can you?
    Final analysis: it’s a fun book, and I hope it makes you serious money!

    Reply
  119. Actually, I was thinking of Harriette Wilson. She wrote her biography because she needed the money – from blackmailing her former patrons. She’d leave them out if they’d pay. She would not have needed to do that if she had ended up financially secure.
    I do realise that common streetwalkers would charge tuppence a go, and that Francesca was at the other end of the spectrum. But to be really exclusive she could not take on all comers, she’d have to give her lovers some exclusivity. And that would limit the money coming in. Zola’s Nana for instance squandered fortunes, but she’d take on anyone and would no doubt have died in poverty if she hadn’t died of smallpox.
    Presents of good jewellery do represent serious money. You can always sell it when hard times come. Annuities can be taken away, as you yourself observed.
    Of course Francesca deserves a holiday, but on p. 10 you say: “Now they [men] begged for her notice. Several were coming today for precisely that purpose.” I was looking forward to that scene, and it never materialised.
    But I gather I’m complaining of too little while others think there’s too much. Can’t win, can you?
    Final analysis: it’s a fun book, and I hope it makes you serious money!

    Reply
  120. Actually, I was thinking of Harriette Wilson. She wrote her biography because she needed the money – from blackmailing her former patrons. She’d leave them out if they’d pay. She would not have needed to do that if she had ended up financially secure.
    I do realise that common streetwalkers would charge tuppence a go, and that Francesca was at the other end of the spectrum. But to be really exclusive she could not take on all comers, she’d have to give her lovers some exclusivity. And that would limit the money coming in. Zola’s Nana for instance squandered fortunes, but she’d take on anyone and would no doubt have died in poverty if she hadn’t died of smallpox.
    Presents of good jewellery do represent serious money. You can always sell it when hard times come. Annuities can be taken away, as you yourself observed.
    Of course Francesca deserves a holiday, but on p. 10 you say: “Now they [men] begged for her notice. Several were coming today for precisely that purpose.” I was looking forward to that scene, and it never materialised.
    But I gather I’m complaining of too little while others think there’s too much. Can’t win, can you?
    Final analysis: it’s a fun book, and I hope it makes you serious money!

    Reply
  121. As always, I’m a day late (and a dollar shy) but I wanted to comment on tattoos. I thought Francesca’s was so appropriate to who she was: her beauty, seductiveness, and willingness to thumb her nose at the society that had tossed her out.
    In RL, however, I’m not quite so fond of tattoos for reasons mentioned above — by regulation no tattoos should be allowed on a body part that will sag as one ages. Above my desk at work, however, I have a photo of a Japanese rickshaw driver whose whole torso is covered with the most beautiful painting of fish and waves in shades of salmon and blue. He’s holding his baby, and the contrast between the artwork and colors against the baby’s pure skin is stunning (it’s from an exhibit at the American Museum of Natural History in NYC several years ago). My oldest son has several, the prettiest of which is a scene from a Chagall painting. He used to have a small one with Hebrew letters spelling out the word “emet”, which means truth. When he was posted to Iraq he had that one written over, figuring that Hebrew letters, even though non-religious, would make a dangerous situation even worse should he be captured.

    Reply
  122. As always, I’m a day late (and a dollar shy) but I wanted to comment on tattoos. I thought Francesca’s was so appropriate to who she was: her beauty, seductiveness, and willingness to thumb her nose at the society that had tossed her out.
    In RL, however, I’m not quite so fond of tattoos for reasons mentioned above — by regulation no tattoos should be allowed on a body part that will sag as one ages. Above my desk at work, however, I have a photo of a Japanese rickshaw driver whose whole torso is covered with the most beautiful painting of fish and waves in shades of salmon and blue. He’s holding his baby, and the contrast between the artwork and colors against the baby’s pure skin is stunning (it’s from an exhibit at the American Museum of Natural History in NYC several years ago). My oldest son has several, the prettiest of which is a scene from a Chagall painting. He used to have a small one with Hebrew letters spelling out the word “emet”, which means truth. When he was posted to Iraq he had that one written over, figuring that Hebrew letters, even though non-religious, would make a dangerous situation even worse should he be captured.

    Reply
  123. As always, I’m a day late (and a dollar shy) but I wanted to comment on tattoos. I thought Francesca’s was so appropriate to who she was: her beauty, seductiveness, and willingness to thumb her nose at the society that had tossed her out.
    In RL, however, I’m not quite so fond of tattoos for reasons mentioned above — by regulation no tattoos should be allowed on a body part that will sag as one ages. Above my desk at work, however, I have a photo of a Japanese rickshaw driver whose whole torso is covered with the most beautiful painting of fish and waves in shades of salmon and blue. He’s holding his baby, and the contrast between the artwork and colors against the baby’s pure skin is stunning (it’s from an exhibit at the American Museum of Natural History in NYC several years ago). My oldest son has several, the prettiest of which is a scene from a Chagall painting. He used to have a small one with Hebrew letters spelling out the word “emet”, which means truth. When he was posted to Iraq he had that one written over, figuring that Hebrew letters, even though non-religious, would make a dangerous situation even worse should he be captured.

    Reply
  124. As always, I’m a day late (and a dollar shy) but I wanted to comment on tattoos. I thought Francesca’s was so appropriate to who she was: her beauty, seductiveness, and willingness to thumb her nose at the society that had tossed her out.
    In RL, however, I’m not quite so fond of tattoos for reasons mentioned above — by regulation no tattoos should be allowed on a body part that will sag as one ages. Above my desk at work, however, I have a photo of a Japanese rickshaw driver whose whole torso is covered with the most beautiful painting of fish and waves in shades of salmon and blue. He’s holding his baby, and the contrast between the artwork and colors against the baby’s pure skin is stunning (it’s from an exhibit at the American Museum of Natural History in NYC several years ago). My oldest son has several, the prettiest of which is a scene from a Chagall painting. He used to have a small one with Hebrew letters spelling out the word “emet”, which means truth. When he was posted to Iraq he had that one written over, figuring that Hebrew letters, even though non-religious, would make a dangerous situation even worse should he be captured.

    Reply
  125. As always, I’m a day late (and a dollar shy) but I wanted to comment on tattoos. I thought Francesca’s was so appropriate to who she was: her beauty, seductiveness, and willingness to thumb her nose at the society that had tossed her out.
    In RL, however, I’m not quite so fond of tattoos for reasons mentioned above — by regulation no tattoos should be allowed on a body part that will sag as one ages. Above my desk at work, however, I have a photo of a Japanese rickshaw driver whose whole torso is covered with the most beautiful painting of fish and waves in shades of salmon and blue. He’s holding his baby, and the contrast between the artwork and colors against the baby’s pure skin is stunning (it’s from an exhibit at the American Museum of Natural History in NYC several years ago). My oldest son has several, the prettiest of which is a scene from a Chagall painting. He used to have a small one with Hebrew letters spelling out the word “emet”, which means truth. When he was posted to Iraq he had that one written over, figuring that Hebrew letters, even though non-religious, would make a dangerous situation even worse should he be captured.

    Reply
  126. I’m quite surprised to read about these cancer tattoos. When my mother had radiation therapy, they used an indelible marker on her skin. She had to be a bit careful washing during the therapy, but after it was finished the marks soon wore off.
    Are you Americans such inveterate scrubbers that hospitals don’t trust you with slightly more impermanent marks?
    Talking about dots: I must admit to one self-inflicted tattoo. At age thirteen my left thumb got caught on a pen while putting a similar pen back in a jar full of them after a drawing class in school. We had been drawing in ink. It was the real stuff, where you dip the pen in an ink bottle. That’s 38 years ago and I still carry the mark. Tattoos are forever.

    Reply
  127. I’m quite surprised to read about these cancer tattoos. When my mother had radiation therapy, they used an indelible marker on her skin. She had to be a bit careful washing during the therapy, but after it was finished the marks soon wore off.
    Are you Americans such inveterate scrubbers that hospitals don’t trust you with slightly more impermanent marks?
    Talking about dots: I must admit to one self-inflicted tattoo. At age thirteen my left thumb got caught on a pen while putting a similar pen back in a jar full of them after a drawing class in school. We had been drawing in ink. It was the real stuff, where you dip the pen in an ink bottle. That’s 38 years ago and I still carry the mark. Tattoos are forever.

    Reply
  128. I’m quite surprised to read about these cancer tattoos. When my mother had radiation therapy, they used an indelible marker on her skin. She had to be a bit careful washing during the therapy, but after it was finished the marks soon wore off.
    Are you Americans such inveterate scrubbers that hospitals don’t trust you with slightly more impermanent marks?
    Talking about dots: I must admit to one self-inflicted tattoo. At age thirteen my left thumb got caught on a pen while putting a similar pen back in a jar full of them after a drawing class in school. We had been drawing in ink. It was the real stuff, where you dip the pen in an ink bottle. That’s 38 years ago and I still carry the mark. Tattoos are forever.

    Reply
  129. I’m quite surprised to read about these cancer tattoos. When my mother had radiation therapy, they used an indelible marker on her skin. She had to be a bit careful washing during the therapy, but after it was finished the marks soon wore off.
    Are you Americans such inveterate scrubbers that hospitals don’t trust you with slightly more impermanent marks?
    Talking about dots: I must admit to one self-inflicted tattoo. At age thirteen my left thumb got caught on a pen while putting a similar pen back in a jar full of them after a drawing class in school. We had been drawing in ink. It was the real stuff, where you dip the pen in an ink bottle. That’s 38 years ago and I still carry the mark. Tattoos are forever.

    Reply
  130. I’m quite surprised to read about these cancer tattoos. When my mother had radiation therapy, they used an indelible marker on her skin. She had to be a bit careful washing during the therapy, but after it was finished the marks soon wore off.
    Are you Americans such inveterate scrubbers that hospitals don’t trust you with slightly more impermanent marks?
    Talking about dots: I must admit to one self-inflicted tattoo. At age thirteen my left thumb got caught on a pen while putting a similar pen back in a jar full of them after a drawing class in school. We had been drawing in ink. It was the real stuff, where you dip the pen in an ink bottle. That’s 38 years ago and I still carry the mark. Tattoos are forever.

    Reply

Leave a Comment