More Scandalous: A Girl’s Best Friend

Barbie_fur_coat From Loretta:

As has been mentioned on a previous occasion, Francesca Bonnard, the heroine of my new book, Your Scandalous Ways, is a..um..bad girl.   You know.  The two-letter “h” word that used to have a few more letters fore and aft.  She’s a very expensive bad girl.

People ask where we get our ideas.  Part of her personality was sparked by an article I read in the New Yorker some time ago.  It dealt, among other things, with a set of emeralds discovered at the bottom of the sea that were believed to belong to the Queen of Portugal, sometime in the 16th century.  Or the 15th century.  I don’t remember the date and haven’t yet unpacked my brand-new New Yorker CD-Rom, so I can’t check.  But I vividly remember the picture of the gigantic emeralds.  Wow.  So I not only gave them to my heroine but made emeralds an important part of the plot.  And then it turned out that all her jewelry was important, to both the plot and the character development.

Cassattwoman_with_a_pearl_necklac_2
We authors do take time, at least now and then, to let our readers know about what the characters are wearing.  Clothes tell us something about character as well as help us picture the historical setting.  In this story, though, the jewelry really mattered.

Yswfrontsm200dpi
Here’s what James Cordier sees the first time he sees Francesca:
“A sapphire and diamond necklace adorned her long, velvety neck.  Matching drops hung at her shell-like ears."  I found the set of sapphires, along with most of Francesca’s jewelry in a wonderful volume, Jewellery:  The International Era 1789-1910, Volume I, 1789-1861.

 

Gentlemen_prefer_blondes_movie_trai As Marilyn Monroe informed us in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, “these rocks don’t lose their shape”–unlike we frail humans.  Today a beautiful divorcee has men at her feet.  Tomorrow, if she isn’t careful, she could be in the gutter.  And the gutter is exactly where Francesca’s ex-husband would like her to be.  But she’s a survivor, and jewels are her IRA– “saved against the rainy day that often came to harlots as age took its toll.''  They’re also advertising.  “Jewelry was a powerful form of financial security.  Better yet, unlike bank notes, it was security one might display to the world."

The jewels’ quality is a signal to men:  It symbolizes her exclusivity, i.e., if you have to ask how much, you can't afford her.

Josephine_de_beauharnaiswk We usually see Francesca’s jewelry through the eyes of the hero.  Being, among other things, a talented jewel thief, James has a keenly noticing eye, and there are times when I wondered which made him hotter:  her gems or her body.  The combination does make him cranky, as when he tells her: 
       “You have a high opinion of yourself. But the king’s ransom in pearls you’re wearing is not proof that you are irresistible, only that some men are weaker than others.”
       Some man had been weak, indeed.  He shifted his gaze from her haughty countenance to the top and drop pearl earrings, then down to the two pearl necklaces circling her throat.  From the upper, shorter one dangled pear-shaped drops of graduated size, the largest at the center.  It pointed to the space between her breasts, whose rapid rise and fall told him she was not so indifferent as she pretended.  The low-cut gown, of silk the color of sea foam, reminded one of the pearls’ watery origins.  The pearl and diamond bracelets at her slim wrists glimmered against the butter-soft gloves.
       The jewels alone constituted a cruelly arousing sight for a man who was a thief at heart.  It was maddening that he couldn’t simply steal them and have done with her.”

443pxtherese_von_sachsenhildburghauI stole the pearls from the Empress Josephine.  The picture in the aforementioned book wouldn’t reproduce well even if it weren’t under copyright, but this picture shows similar pearls, although the lady is wearing only one strand.

I include a few more pictures of fine jewels, mostly belonging to the women in Napoleon’s circle. 

Marie_louise_empress_2wk Caroline_muratvigeelebrunwk After all, it was in Paris that Francesca commenced her career as a Bad Girl.  Here are a pair of diamond earrings that belonged to Marie Antoinette, and which you can picture on Francesca's shell-shaped ears. 

Pauline_bonaparte_red_dresswk I’m also including a picture of Pauline Bonaparte, not because of the jewels, but because of the red dress.  Francesca is aware that a red dress stands out nicely against a black gondola, and readers might want to keep this dress in mind (though it’s from a few years earlier than the  time of my story) when they read the book. 

For more of Francesca and James, you can stop here, at Romance B(u)y the Book, and read an excerpt.

More glimpses are coming, but I hope this preview of Francesca’s "rocks" gives you a sense of who she is and who James is and what went into creating these characters.

Canaletto_veduta_del_palazzo_ducale What other kinds of things do you like to know about a story?  Shall I talk about their clothes?  The palazzi?  Gondolas?  Offer glimpses of Venice in 1820?  What Byron was up to during his years there? 

There are more Scandalous blogs coming between now and the 27 May appearance of Your Scandalous Ways.  One or more of your comments will tell me what to feature next time, so feel free to indulge your curiosity! 

130 thoughts on “More Scandalous: A Girl’s Best Friend”

  1. This was fascinating, Loretta. I can’t wait for the book’s release.
    A month or so back, I saw a show on the jewelry of the English Royals. I didn’t intend to watch as I didn’t think I’d be intersted. Wrong! They showed famous jewelry as worn by different queens & princeses thru the ages. From Diana on back to Queen Victoria. Experts would talk about each piece as it was shown on various women. It seems the pieces are re-worked now and again to make them more modern or to fit the current wearer. Most of it was state jewelry but they did show a few that belonged to the wearer. I’d love to see it again but can’t remember which network. A&E, Discovery, History, Biography? One of those, I think.
    Anyway, I look forward to more of your Scandalous blogs.

    Reply
  2. This was fascinating, Loretta. I can’t wait for the book’s release.
    A month or so back, I saw a show on the jewelry of the English Royals. I didn’t intend to watch as I didn’t think I’d be intersted. Wrong! They showed famous jewelry as worn by different queens & princeses thru the ages. From Diana on back to Queen Victoria. Experts would talk about each piece as it was shown on various women. It seems the pieces are re-worked now and again to make them more modern or to fit the current wearer. Most of it was state jewelry but they did show a few that belonged to the wearer. I’d love to see it again but can’t remember which network. A&E, Discovery, History, Biography? One of those, I think.
    Anyway, I look forward to more of your Scandalous blogs.

    Reply
  3. This was fascinating, Loretta. I can’t wait for the book’s release.
    A month or so back, I saw a show on the jewelry of the English Royals. I didn’t intend to watch as I didn’t think I’d be intersted. Wrong! They showed famous jewelry as worn by different queens & princeses thru the ages. From Diana on back to Queen Victoria. Experts would talk about each piece as it was shown on various women. It seems the pieces are re-worked now and again to make them more modern or to fit the current wearer. Most of it was state jewelry but they did show a few that belonged to the wearer. I’d love to see it again but can’t remember which network. A&E, Discovery, History, Biography? One of those, I think.
    Anyway, I look forward to more of your Scandalous blogs.

    Reply
  4. This was fascinating, Loretta. I can’t wait for the book’s release.
    A month or so back, I saw a show on the jewelry of the English Royals. I didn’t intend to watch as I didn’t think I’d be intersted. Wrong! They showed famous jewelry as worn by different queens & princeses thru the ages. From Diana on back to Queen Victoria. Experts would talk about each piece as it was shown on various women. It seems the pieces are re-worked now and again to make them more modern or to fit the current wearer. Most of it was state jewelry but they did show a few that belonged to the wearer. I’d love to see it again but can’t remember which network. A&E, Discovery, History, Biography? One of those, I think.
    Anyway, I look forward to more of your Scandalous blogs.

    Reply
  5. This was fascinating, Loretta. I can’t wait for the book’s release.
    A month or so back, I saw a show on the jewelry of the English Royals. I didn’t intend to watch as I didn’t think I’d be intersted. Wrong! They showed famous jewelry as worn by different queens & princeses thru the ages. From Diana on back to Queen Victoria. Experts would talk about each piece as it was shown on various women. It seems the pieces are re-worked now and again to make them more modern or to fit the current wearer. Most of it was state jewelry but they did show a few that belonged to the wearer. I’d love to see it again but can’t remember which network. A&E, Discovery, History, Biography? One of those, I think.
    Anyway, I look forward to more of your Scandalous blogs.

    Reply
  6. How come the bad girls get jewelry and the good girls get small appliances? I would rather be “diamond bracelet” gift than a “blender” gift in a man’s mind, but no, I always got the waffle iron or the toaster oven for Christmas or my birthday…oh, well, at least it wasn’t power tools…Loretta, maybe you could tell us what music they were listening to- since they’re in Venice, I assume Verdi and Italian love songs as crooned by the gondoliers- or is that just another cherished myth? Did the gondoliers of this time serenade the passengers?

    Reply
  7. How come the bad girls get jewelry and the good girls get small appliances? I would rather be “diamond bracelet” gift than a “blender” gift in a man’s mind, but no, I always got the waffle iron or the toaster oven for Christmas or my birthday…oh, well, at least it wasn’t power tools…Loretta, maybe you could tell us what music they were listening to- since they’re in Venice, I assume Verdi and Italian love songs as crooned by the gondoliers- or is that just another cherished myth? Did the gondoliers of this time serenade the passengers?

    Reply
  8. How come the bad girls get jewelry and the good girls get small appliances? I would rather be “diamond bracelet” gift than a “blender” gift in a man’s mind, but no, I always got the waffle iron or the toaster oven for Christmas or my birthday…oh, well, at least it wasn’t power tools…Loretta, maybe you could tell us what music they were listening to- since they’re in Venice, I assume Verdi and Italian love songs as crooned by the gondoliers- or is that just another cherished myth? Did the gondoliers of this time serenade the passengers?

    Reply
  9. How come the bad girls get jewelry and the good girls get small appliances? I would rather be “diamond bracelet” gift than a “blender” gift in a man’s mind, but no, I always got the waffle iron or the toaster oven for Christmas or my birthday…oh, well, at least it wasn’t power tools…Loretta, maybe you could tell us what music they were listening to- since they’re in Venice, I assume Verdi and Italian love songs as crooned by the gondoliers- or is that just another cherished myth? Did the gondoliers of this time serenade the passengers?

    Reply
  10. How come the bad girls get jewelry and the good girls get small appliances? I would rather be “diamond bracelet” gift than a “blender” gift in a man’s mind, but no, I always got the waffle iron or the toaster oven for Christmas or my birthday…oh, well, at least it wasn’t power tools…Loretta, maybe you could tell us what music they were listening to- since they’re in Venice, I assume Verdi and Italian love songs as crooned by the gondoliers- or is that just another cherished myth? Did the gondoliers of this time serenade the passengers?

    Reply
  11. Oh, Loretta, I can NOT wait for this book!!!
    As you and I have noted many times, bad girls are so much more entertaining to write and read about than virtuous good girls. And I agree with Gretchen: bad girls get much better “rewards”, too. *g*
    Susan/Miranda

    Reply
  12. Oh, Loretta, I can NOT wait for this book!!!
    As you and I have noted many times, bad girls are so much more entertaining to write and read about than virtuous good girls. And I agree with Gretchen: bad girls get much better “rewards”, too. *g*
    Susan/Miranda

    Reply
  13. Oh, Loretta, I can NOT wait for this book!!!
    As you and I have noted many times, bad girls are so much more entertaining to write and read about than virtuous good girls. And I agree with Gretchen: bad girls get much better “rewards”, too. *g*
    Susan/Miranda

    Reply
  14. Oh, Loretta, I can NOT wait for this book!!!
    As you and I have noted many times, bad girls are so much more entertaining to write and read about than virtuous good girls. And I agree with Gretchen: bad girls get much better “rewards”, too. *g*
    Susan/Miranda

    Reply
  15. Oh, Loretta, I can NOT wait for this book!!!
    As you and I have noted many times, bad girls are so much more entertaining to write and read about than virtuous good girls. And I agree with Gretchen: bad girls get much better “rewards”, too. *g*
    Susan/Miranda

    Reply
  16. The blog is on left coast time, Margaret, but I, like you, am not. LOL, Gretchen. Since the story is in 1820, it’s too early for Verdi. The popular name in opera is Rossini, and that’s what’s on at the opera house in the scene posted at RBTB. This was a rough time for Venice (Austrian occupation), and the various accounts I read indicate that the gondoliers weren’t doing a lot of singing. Once in a while, when the mood struck them, they might, but it wasn’t a regular thing. Lord Byron’s friend Hobhouse writes, “the thoroughfares of Venice, excepting always St. Mark’s Square, are peaceable during the day, and during the night a profound stillness reigns though the canals and streeets, interrupted only by the warning cry of the gondoliers, and the drop of their paddles, or by the tinkling of some solitary guitar.”

    Reply
  17. The blog is on left coast time, Margaret, but I, like you, am not. LOL, Gretchen. Since the story is in 1820, it’s too early for Verdi. The popular name in opera is Rossini, and that’s what’s on at the opera house in the scene posted at RBTB. This was a rough time for Venice (Austrian occupation), and the various accounts I read indicate that the gondoliers weren’t doing a lot of singing. Once in a while, when the mood struck them, they might, but it wasn’t a regular thing. Lord Byron’s friend Hobhouse writes, “the thoroughfares of Venice, excepting always St. Mark’s Square, are peaceable during the day, and during the night a profound stillness reigns though the canals and streeets, interrupted only by the warning cry of the gondoliers, and the drop of their paddles, or by the tinkling of some solitary guitar.”

    Reply
  18. The blog is on left coast time, Margaret, but I, like you, am not. LOL, Gretchen. Since the story is in 1820, it’s too early for Verdi. The popular name in opera is Rossini, and that’s what’s on at the opera house in the scene posted at RBTB. This was a rough time for Venice (Austrian occupation), and the various accounts I read indicate that the gondoliers weren’t doing a lot of singing. Once in a while, when the mood struck them, they might, but it wasn’t a regular thing. Lord Byron’s friend Hobhouse writes, “the thoroughfares of Venice, excepting always St. Mark’s Square, are peaceable during the day, and during the night a profound stillness reigns though the canals and streeets, interrupted only by the warning cry of the gondoliers, and the drop of their paddles, or by the tinkling of some solitary guitar.”

    Reply
  19. The blog is on left coast time, Margaret, but I, like you, am not. LOL, Gretchen. Since the story is in 1820, it’s too early for Verdi. The popular name in opera is Rossini, and that’s what’s on at the opera house in the scene posted at RBTB. This was a rough time for Venice (Austrian occupation), and the various accounts I read indicate that the gondoliers weren’t doing a lot of singing. Once in a while, when the mood struck them, they might, but it wasn’t a regular thing. Lord Byron’s friend Hobhouse writes, “the thoroughfares of Venice, excepting always St. Mark’s Square, are peaceable during the day, and during the night a profound stillness reigns though the canals and streeets, interrupted only by the warning cry of the gondoliers, and the drop of their paddles, or by the tinkling of some solitary guitar.”

    Reply
  20. The blog is on left coast time, Margaret, but I, like you, am not. LOL, Gretchen. Since the story is in 1820, it’s too early for Verdi. The popular name in opera is Rossini, and that’s what’s on at the opera house in the scene posted at RBTB. This was a rough time for Venice (Austrian occupation), and the various accounts I read indicate that the gondoliers weren’t doing a lot of singing. Once in a while, when the mood struck them, they might, but it wasn’t a regular thing. Lord Byron’s friend Hobhouse writes, “the thoroughfares of Venice, excepting always St. Mark’s Square, are peaceable during the day, and during the night a profound stillness reigns though the canals and streeets, interrupted only by the warning cry of the gondoliers, and the drop of their paddles, or by the tinkling of some solitary guitar.”

    Reply
  21. I appreciate all the paintings you’ve appended to the blog. One reason I think the Regency is so popular is the clothes and jewelry. They are deceptively simple and flattering. Not nearly as many frills and furbelows as during the mid-Victorian era, so you could actually see the beautiful jewelry on the heroine’s swan-like neck. I too want Pauline Bonaparte’s red dress, although I know I won’t look nearly as delicious in it as Francesca does. My middle name is Frances, the English version of Francesca, but I always wanted to be a Francesca — the Frances’ of the world get small appliances, while the Francescas get the small blue boxes from Tiffany’s.

    Reply
  22. I appreciate all the paintings you’ve appended to the blog. One reason I think the Regency is so popular is the clothes and jewelry. They are deceptively simple and flattering. Not nearly as many frills and furbelows as during the mid-Victorian era, so you could actually see the beautiful jewelry on the heroine’s swan-like neck. I too want Pauline Bonaparte’s red dress, although I know I won’t look nearly as delicious in it as Francesca does. My middle name is Frances, the English version of Francesca, but I always wanted to be a Francesca — the Frances’ of the world get small appliances, while the Francescas get the small blue boxes from Tiffany’s.

    Reply
  23. I appreciate all the paintings you’ve appended to the blog. One reason I think the Regency is so popular is the clothes and jewelry. They are deceptively simple and flattering. Not nearly as many frills and furbelows as during the mid-Victorian era, so you could actually see the beautiful jewelry on the heroine’s swan-like neck. I too want Pauline Bonaparte’s red dress, although I know I won’t look nearly as delicious in it as Francesca does. My middle name is Frances, the English version of Francesca, but I always wanted to be a Francesca — the Frances’ of the world get small appliances, while the Francescas get the small blue boxes from Tiffany’s.

    Reply
  24. I appreciate all the paintings you’ve appended to the blog. One reason I think the Regency is so popular is the clothes and jewelry. They are deceptively simple and flattering. Not nearly as many frills and furbelows as during the mid-Victorian era, so you could actually see the beautiful jewelry on the heroine’s swan-like neck. I too want Pauline Bonaparte’s red dress, although I know I won’t look nearly as delicious in it as Francesca does. My middle name is Frances, the English version of Francesca, but I always wanted to be a Francesca — the Frances’ of the world get small appliances, while the Francescas get the small blue boxes from Tiffany’s.

    Reply
  25. I appreciate all the paintings you’ve appended to the blog. One reason I think the Regency is so popular is the clothes and jewelry. They are deceptively simple and flattering. Not nearly as many frills and furbelows as during the mid-Victorian era, so you could actually see the beautiful jewelry on the heroine’s swan-like neck. I too want Pauline Bonaparte’s red dress, although I know I won’t look nearly as delicious in it as Francesca does. My middle name is Frances, the English version of Francesca, but I always wanted to be a Francesca — the Frances’ of the world get small appliances, while the Francescas get the small blue boxes from Tiffany’s.

    Reply
  26. Mmmm! Thanks for the link to the Smithsonian Gem & Mineral collection. I live only an hour from there, but have not been to look; now it’s on my list!
    I am curious about what the perfumes of the day might have smelled like. Possibly this is not even known, since any remnants would have degenerated by now.
    Looking forward to the book!

    Reply
  27. Mmmm! Thanks for the link to the Smithsonian Gem & Mineral collection. I live only an hour from there, but have not been to look; now it’s on my list!
    I am curious about what the perfumes of the day might have smelled like. Possibly this is not even known, since any remnants would have degenerated by now.
    Looking forward to the book!

    Reply
  28. Mmmm! Thanks for the link to the Smithsonian Gem & Mineral collection. I live only an hour from there, but have not been to look; now it’s on my list!
    I am curious about what the perfumes of the day might have smelled like. Possibly this is not even known, since any remnants would have degenerated by now.
    Looking forward to the book!

    Reply
  29. Mmmm! Thanks for the link to the Smithsonian Gem & Mineral collection. I live only an hour from there, but have not been to look; now it’s on my list!
    I am curious about what the perfumes of the day might have smelled like. Possibly this is not even known, since any remnants would have degenerated by now.
    Looking forward to the book!

    Reply
  30. Mmmm! Thanks for the link to the Smithsonian Gem & Mineral collection. I live only an hour from there, but have not been to look; now it’s on my list!
    I am curious about what the perfumes of the day might have smelled like. Possibly this is not even known, since any remnants would have degenerated by now.
    Looking forward to the book!

    Reply
  31. I enjoyed the pictures and am looking forward to the book. I would definitely enjoy looking at pictures of the places the characters will be visiting in the story.

    Reply
  32. I enjoyed the pictures and am looking forward to the book. I would definitely enjoy looking at pictures of the places the characters will be visiting in the story.

    Reply
  33. I enjoyed the pictures and am looking forward to the book. I would definitely enjoy looking at pictures of the places the characters will be visiting in the story.

    Reply
  34. I enjoyed the pictures and am looking forward to the book. I would definitely enjoy looking at pictures of the places the characters will be visiting in the story.

    Reply
  35. I enjoyed the pictures and am looking forward to the book. I would definitely enjoy looking at pictures of the places the characters will be visiting in the story.

    Reply
  36. Well, I take some comfort that even the bad girls these days would look as out of place in those jewels as I.
    Having said that, I would love to know what Byron was doing in Venice Other scandalous things I’d like to know? Is being a divorcee enough to make a woman scandalous (at least in that era?) I know it was in some…. Now I don’t think you can be scandalous – unless you have a sex video posted on the internet, or shave your head and abandon your kids.

    Reply
  37. Well, I take some comfort that even the bad girls these days would look as out of place in those jewels as I.
    Having said that, I would love to know what Byron was doing in Venice Other scandalous things I’d like to know? Is being a divorcee enough to make a woman scandalous (at least in that era?) I know it was in some…. Now I don’t think you can be scandalous – unless you have a sex video posted on the internet, or shave your head and abandon your kids.

    Reply
  38. Well, I take some comfort that even the bad girls these days would look as out of place in those jewels as I.
    Having said that, I would love to know what Byron was doing in Venice Other scandalous things I’d like to know? Is being a divorcee enough to make a woman scandalous (at least in that era?) I know it was in some…. Now I don’t think you can be scandalous – unless you have a sex video posted on the internet, or shave your head and abandon your kids.

    Reply
  39. Well, I take some comfort that even the bad girls these days would look as out of place in those jewels as I.
    Having said that, I would love to know what Byron was doing in Venice Other scandalous things I’d like to know? Is being a divorcee enough to make a woman scandalous (at least in that era?) I know it was in some…. Now I don’t think you can be scandalous – unless you have a sex video posted on the internet, or shave your head and abandon your kids.

    Reply
  40. Well, I take some comfort that even the bad girls these days would look as out of place in those jewels as I.
    Having said that, I would love to know what Byron was doing in Venice Other scandalous things I’d like to know? Is being a divorcee enough to make a woman scandalous (at least in that era?) I know it was in some…. Now I don’t think you can be scandalous – unless you have a sex video posted on the internet, or shave your head and abandon your kids.

    Reply
  41. I’m sensing some strong appreciation on this blog for bad girls. Yes! I had so much fun writing this book–Can you tell? Well, bad girls do have a lot of fun–and they do get those lovely little blue boxes.__Piper, you’re right. In that era, being a divorcee was scandalous. A divorcee with a sex life was a tramp. Men could have extramarital or post-marital affairs but women couldn’t. In England, that is. But the Continent was more tolerant in this regard–which is why Francesca is in Venice, not London. I shall make a note to talk about Byron–because he was doing quite a lot in Venice, in fact, and his adventures are very entertaining. __And, yes, Maureen, I shall happily provide pictures, of which I have accumulated many.__ Elaine, perfumes at present are outside my area of expertise. OTOH, that might make a good blog subject on its own, so I’ll mark it down, too. Or maybe the Wenches can look around for a historical perfume expert.

    Reply
  42. I’m sensing some strong appreciation on this blog for bad girls. Yes! I had so much fun writing this book–Can you tell? Well, bad girls do have a lot of fun–and they do get those lovely little blue boxes.__Piper, you’re right. In that era, being a divorcee was scandalous. A divorcee with a sex life was a tramp. Men could have extramarital or post-marital affairs but women couldn’t. In England, that is. But the Continent was more tolerant in this regard–which is why Francesca is in Venice, not London. I shall make a note to talk about Byron–because he was doing quite a lot in Venice, in fact, and his adventures are very entertaining. __And, yes, Maureen, I shall happily provide pictures, of which I have accumulated many.__ Elaine, perfumes at present are outside my area of expertise. OTOH, that might make a good blog subject on its own, so I’ll mark it down, too. Or maybe the Wenches can look around for a historical perfume expert.

    Reply
  43. I’m sensing some strong appreciation on this blog for bad girls. Yes! I had so much fun writing this book–Can you tell? Well, bad girls do have a lot of fun–and they do get those lovely little blue boxes.__Piper, you’re right. In that era, being a divorcee was scandalous. A divorcee with a sex life was a tramp. Men could have extramarital or post-marital affairs but women couldn’t. In England, that is. But the Continent was more tolerant in this regard–which is why Francesca is in Venice, not London. I shall make a note to talk about Byron–because he was doing quite a lot in Venice, in fact, and his adventures are very entertaining. __And, yes, Maureen, I shall happily provide pictures, of which I have accumulated many.__ Elaine, perfumes at present are outside my area of expertise. OTOH, that might make a good blog subject on its own, so I’ll mark it down, too. Or maybe the Wenches can look around for a historical perfume expert.

    Reply
  44. I’m sensing some strong appreciation on this blog for bad girls. Yes! I had so much fun writing this book–Can you tell? Well, bad girls do have a lot of fun–and they do get those lovely little blue boxes.__Piper, you’re right. In that era, being a divorcee was scandalous. A divorcee with a sex life was a tramp. Men could have extramarital or post-marital affairs but women couldn’t. In England, that is. But the Continent was more tolerant in this regard–which is why Francesca is in Venice, not London. I shall make a note to talk about Byron–because he was doing quite a lot in Venice, in fact, and his adventures are very entertaining. __And, yes, Maureen, I shall happily provide pictures, of which I have accumulated many.__ Elaine, perfumes at present are outside my area of expertise. OTOH, that might make a good blog subject on its own, so I’ll mark it down, too. Or maybe the Wenches can look around for a historical perfume expert.

    Reply
  45. I’m sensing some strong appreciation on this blog for bad girls. Yes! I had so much fun writing this book–Can you tell? Well, bad girls do have a lot of fun–and they do get those lovely little blue boxes.__Piper, you’re right. In that era, being a divorcee was scandalous. A divorcee with a sex life was a tramp. Men could have extramarital or post-marital affairs but women couldn’t. In England, that is. But the Continent was more tolerant in this regard–which is why Francesca is in Venice, not London. I shall make a note to talk about Byron–because he was doing quite a lot in Venice, in fact, and his adventures are very entertaining. __And, yes, Maureen, I shall happily provide pictures, of which I have accumulated many.__ Elaine, perfumes at present are outside my area of expertise. OTOH, that might make a good blog subject on its own, so I’ll mark it down, too. Or maybe the Wenches can look around for a historical perfume expert.

    Reply
  46. Well I’m a good girl in reality but a very bad girl in my fantasies so this book sounds like its right up my alley, or canal in this case. I love that you’ve set this story in Venice, one of my very favorite cities. It’s an absolutely perfect setting for mystery and romance. Venice is one of the very few cities I’ve visited with areas where you can still feel as if you’re living in the 1800’s…or earlier. Hobhouse’s quote describes it perfectly.
    I’d love to see more glimpses of life in Venice in 1820.
    ~PJ

    Reply
  47. Well I’m a good girl in reality but a very bad girl in my fantasies so this book sounds like its right up my alley, or canal in this case. I love that you’ve set this story in Venice, one of my very favorite cities. It’s an absolutely perfect setting for mystery and romance. Venice is one of the very few cities I’ve visited with areas where you can still feel as if you’re living in the 1800’s…or earlier. Hobhouse’s quote describes it perfectly.
    I’d love to see more glimpses of life in Venice in 1820.
    ~PJ

    Reply
  48. Well I’m a good girl in reality but a very bad girl in my fantasies so this book sounds like its right up my alley, or canal in this case. I love that you’ve set this story in Venice, one of my very favorite cities. It’s an absolutely perfect setting for mystery and romance. Venice is one of the very few cities I’ve visited with areas where you can still feel as if you’re living in the 1800’s…or earlier. Hobhouse’s quote describes it perfectly.
    I’d love to see more glimpses of life in Venice in 1820.
    ~PJ

    Reply
  49. Well I’m a good girl in reality but a very bad girl in my fantasies so this book sounds like its right up my alley, or canal in this case. I love that you’ve set this story in Venice, one of my very favorite cities. It’s an absolutely perfect setting for mystery and romance. Venice is one of the very few cities I’ve visited with areas where you can still feel as if you’re living in the 1800’s…or earlier. Hobhouse’s quote describes it perfectly.
    I’d love to see more glimpses of life in Venice in 1820.
    ~PJ

    Reply
  50. Well I’m a good girl in reality but a very bad girl in my fantasies so this book sounds like its right up my alley, or canal in this case. I love that you’ve set this story in Venice, one of my very favorite cities. It’s an absolutely perfect setting for mystery and romance. Venice is one of the very few cities I’ve visited with areas where you can still feel as if you’re living in the 1800’s…or earlier. Hobhouse’s quote describes it perfectly.
    I’d love to see more glimpses of life in Venice in 1820.
    ~PJ

    Reply
  51. i’m so relieved. i’d been worried that this hero might not live up to semi-italian hero dain – but james sounds promising.
    in terms of other venetian topics – it’s italy. everything’s good! how about food? they’re not going to slavishly follow british food customs, are they?

    Reply
  52. i’m so relieved. i’d been worried that this hero might not live up to semi-italian hero dain – but james sounds promising.
    in terms of other venetian topics – it’s italy. everything’s good! how about food? they’re not going to slavishly follow british food customs, are they?

    Reply
  53. i’m so relieved. i’d been worried that this hero might not live up to semi-italian hero dain – but james sounds promising.
    in terms of other venetian topics – it’s italy. everything’s good! how about food? they’re not going to slavishly follow british food customs, are they?

    Reply
  54. i’m so relieved. i’d been worried that this hero might not live up to semi-italian hero dain – but james sounds promising.
    in terms of other venetian topics – it’s italy. everything’s good! how about food? they’re not going to slavishly follow british food customs, are they?

    Reply
  55. i’m so relieved. i’d been worried that this hero might not live up to semi-italian hero dain – but james sounds promising.
    in terms of other venetian topics – it’s italy. everything’s good! how about food? they’re not going to slavishly follow british food customs, are they?

    Reply
  56. I’m not a perfume expert, but I do think we could know what some of the early 19th centuries perfumes were like because they are still made. A number of manufacturers from that era still exist (Caswell & Massey, for example, was founded in 1762 or something like that), and perhaps some of their classic scents are still in their inventory. If they have the formula, they could tell you exactly what it smelled like.

    Reply
  57. I’m not a perfume expert, but I do think we could know what some of the early 19th centuries perfumes were like because they are still made. A number of manufacturers from that era still exist (Caswell & Massey, for example, was founded in 1762 or something like that), and perhaps some of their classic scents are still in their inventory. If they have the formula, they could tell you exactly what it smelled like.

    Reply
  58. I’m not a perfume expert, but I do think we could know what some of the early 19th centuries perfumes were like because they are still made. A number of manufacturers from that era still exist (Caswell & Massey, for example, was founded in 1762 or something like that), and perhaps some of their classic scents are still in their inventory. If they have the formula, they could tell you exactly what it smelled like.

    Reply
  59. I’m not a perfume expert, but I do think we could know what some of the early 19th centuries perfumes were like because they are still made. A number of manufacturers from that era still exist (Caswell & Massey, for example, was founded in 1762 or something like that), and perhaps some of their classic scents are still in their inventory. If they have the formula, they could tell you exactly what it smelled like.

    Reply
  60. I’m not a perfume expert, but I do think we could know what some of the early 19th centuries perfumes were like because they are still made. A number of manufacturers from that era still exist (Caswell & Massey, for example, was founded in 1762 or something like that), and perhaps some of their classic scents are still in their inventory. If they have the formula, they could tell you exactly what it smelled like.

    Reply
  61. Can’t wait for the book, Loretta. Can’t decide if it is kind of you to give us previews or if you are just teasing us with small tastes when we have to wait to have the whole thing. Anyway, I’d love to hear about Venice during that time, as well as the palazzi.

    Reply
  62. Can’t wait for the book, Loretta. Can’t decide if it is kind of you to give us previews or if you are just teasing us with small tastes when we have to wait to have the whole thing. Anyway, I’d love to hear about Venice during that time, as well as the palazzi.

    Reply
  63. Can’t wait for the book, Loretta. Can’t decide if it is kind of you to give us previews or if you are just teasing us with small tastes when we have to wait to have the whole thing. Anyway, I’d love to hear about Venice during that time, as well as the palazzi.

    Reply
  64. Can’t wait for the book, Loretta. Can’t decide if it is kind of you to give us previews or if you are just teasing us with small tastes when we have to wait to have the whole thing. Anyway, I’d love to hear about Venice during that time, as well as the palazzi.

    Reply
  65. Can’t wait for the book, Loretta. Can’t decide if it is kind of you to give us previews or if you are just teasing us with small tastes when we have to wait to have the whole thing. Anyway, I’d love to hear about Venice during that time, as well as the palazzi.

    Reply
  66. I think more info on the perfumes/scents of the time would be fascinating. Also, the glass artisans of Venice and Murano were known during the 18th century for their exquisite perfume bottles.
    From Answers.com: The crafting of perfume bottles spread into Europe and reached its peak in Venice in the 18th century, when glass containers assumed the shape of small animals or had pastoral scenes painted on them.

    Reply
  67. I think more info on the perfumes/scents of the time would be fascinating. Also, the glass artisans of Venice and Murano were known during the 18th century for their exquisite perfume bottles.
    From Answers.com: The crafting of perfume bottles spread into Europe and reached its peak in Venice in the 18th century, when glass containers assumed the shape of small animals or had pastoral scenes painted on them.

    Reply
  68. I think more info on the perfumes/scents of the time would be fascinating. Also, the glass artisans of Venice and Murano were known during the 18th century for their exquisite perfume bottles.
    From Answers.com: The crafting of perfume bottles spread into Europe and reached its peak in Venice in the 18th century, when glass containers assumed the shape of small animals or had pastoral scenes painted on them.

    Reply
  69. I think more info on the perfumes/scents of the time would be fascinating. Also, the glass artisans of Venice and Murano were known during the 18th century for their exquisite perfume bottles.
    From Answers.com: The crafting of perfume bottles spread into Europe and reached its peak in Venice in the 18th century, when glass containers assumed the shape of small animals or had pastoral scenes painted on them.

    Reply
  70. I think more info on the perfumes/scents of the time would be fascinating. Also, the glass artisans of Venice and Murano were known during the 18th century for their exquisite perfume bottles.
    From Answers.com: The crafting of perfume bottles spread into Europe and reached its peak in Venice in the 18th century, when glass containers assumed the shape of small animals or had pastoral scenes painted on them.

    Reply
  71. Well, you know, Sharon, I’ve got to keep that book on your mind. *g* And then there’s all that research I did, only a fraction of which appears in the book. I am longing to yammer about Venice, about Byron. I can probably even say something intelligent about that incredible Murano glas. But what I didn’t learn about was perfume! And I didn’t spend much time on food, though it was clear from the accounts that people loved what Italy offered. My sense was that they came _because_ it was a different world. I have been amazed at how adventurous English travelers of this time were–and that includes their willingness to eat the local food. But my sense is that they’ve always been this way, very willing to adopt the foods of other nations. A book just came out on this very subject, about the bad rap English food has received:
    Taste, by Kate Colquhoun.

    Reply
  72. Well, you know, Sharon, I’ve got to keep that book on your mind. *g* And then there’s all that research I did, only a fraction of which appears in the book. I am longing to yammer about Venice, about Byron. I can probably even say something intelligent about that incredible Murano glas. But what I didn’t learn about was perfume! And I didn’t spend much time on food, though it was clear from the accounts that people loved what Italy offered. My sense was that they came _because_ it was a different world. I have been amazed at how adventurous English travelers of this time were–and that includes their willingness to eat the local food. But my sense is that they’ve always been this way, very willing to adopt the foods of other nations. A book just came out on this very subject, about the bad rap English food has received:
    Taste, by Kate Colquhoun.

    Reply
  73. Well, you know, Sharon, I’ve got to keep that book on your mind. *g* And then there’s all that research I did, only a fraction of which appears in the book. I am longing to yammer about Venice, about Byron. I can probably even say something intelligent about that incredible Murano glas. But what I didn’t learn about was perfume! And I didn’t spend much time on food, though it was clear from the accounts that people loved what Italy offered. My sense was that they came _because_ it was a different world. I have been amazed at how adventurous English travelers of this time were–and that includes their willingness to eat the local food. But my sense is that they’ve always been this way, very willing to adopt the foods of other nations. A book just came out on this very subject, about the bad rap English food has received:
    Taste, by Kate Colquhoun.

    Reply
  74. Well, you know, Sharon, I’ve got to keep that book on your mind. *g* And then there’s all that research I did, only a fraction of which appears in the book. I am longing to yammer about Venice, about Byron. I can probably even say something intelligent about that incredible Murano glas. But what I didn’t learn about was perfume! And I didn’t spend much time on food, though it was clear from the accounts that people loved what Italy offered. My sense was that they came _because_ it was a different world. I have been amazed at how adventurous English travelers of this time were–and that includes their willingness to eat the local food. But my sense is that they’ve always been this way, very willing to adopt the foods of other nations. A book just came out on this very subject, about the bad rap English food has received:
    Taste, by Kate Colquhoun.

    Reply
  75. Well, you know, Sharon, I’ve got to keep that book on your mind. *g* And then there’s all that research I did, only a fraction of which appears in the book. I am longing to yammer about Venice, about Byron. I can probably even say something intelligent about that incredible Murano glas. But what I didn’t learn about was perfume! And I didn’t spend much time on food, though it was clear from the accounts that people loved what Italy offered. My sense was that they came _because_ it was a different world. I have been amazed at how adventurous English travelers of this time were–and that includes their willingness to eat the local food. But my sense is that they’ve always been this way, very willing to adopt the foods of other nations. A book just came out on this very subject, about the bad rap English food has received:
    Taste, by Kate Colquhoun.

    Reply
  76. Elaine McCarthy, as you have opened a can of…um…perfume, I’m going to ask Sherrie to add your question to the big Topics list she keeps for the Wenches. That way, if one of the Wenches blogs on your topic, you can win a book! I definitely don’t have the expertise but it would be great to hear from someone who’s explored the topic.

    Reply
  77. Elaine McCarthy, as you have opened a can of…um…perfume, I’m going to ask Sherrie to add your question to the big Topics list she keeps for the Wenches. That way, if one of the Wenches blogs on your topic, you can win a book! I definitely don’t have the expertise but it would be great to hear from someone who’s explored the topic.

    Reply
  78. Elaine McCarthy, as you have opened a can of…um…perfume, I’m going to ask Sherrie to add your question to the big Topics list she keeps for the Wenches. That way, if one of the Wenches blogs on your topic, you can win a book! I definitely don’t have the expertise but it would be great to hear from someone who’s explored the topic.

    Reply
  79. Elaine McCarthy, as you have opened a can of…um…perfume, I’m going to ask Sherrie to add your question to the big Topics list she keeps for the Wenches. That way, if one of the Wenches blogs on your topic, you can win a book! I definitely don’t have the expertise but it would be great to hear from someone who’s explored the topic.

    Reply
  80. Elaine McCarthy, as you have opened a can of…um…perfume, I’m going to ask Sherrie to add your question to the big Topics list she keeps for the Wenches. That way, if one of the Wenches blogs on your topic, you can win a book! I definitely don’t have the expertise but it would be great to hear from someone who’s explored the topic.

    Reply
  81. Loretta, I just received a fabulous gift that I’m sure you’d like: Georgian Jewelry by Ginny Reddington. The text is not that great, but the pictures are fabulous. Shall I bring it when next we meet?

    Reply
  82. Loretta, I just received a fabulous gift that I’m sure you’d like: Georgian Jewelry by Ginny Reddington. The text is not that great, but the pictures are fabulous. Shall I bring it when next we meet?

    Reply
  83. Loretta, I just received a fabulous gift that I’m sure you’d like: Georgian Jewelry by Ginny Reddington. The text is not that great, but the pictures are fabulous. Shall I bring it when next we meet?

    Reply
  84. Loretta, I just received a fabulous gift that I’m sure you’d like: Georgian Jewelry by Ginny Reddington. The text is not that great, but the pictures are fabulous. Shall I bring it when next we meet?

    Reply
  85. Loretta, I just received a fabulous gift that I’m sure you’d like: Georgian Jewelry by Ginny Reddington. The text is not that great, but the pictures are fabulous. Shall I bring it when next we meet?

    Reply
  86. You are whetting our appetites Loretta!
    I would like to hear some more about Venice and the palazzos.
    But I loved the jewellery talk. As it so happens I visited a wonderful jewellery exhibition in Brussels last Sunday. It had everything from medieval crowns to 20th-century tiaras. You can see some pictures if you click on the link below.
    http://www.ing.be/art
    There were portraits too. One was of Louis Philippe’s Queen in the 1830’s wearing a white satin dress and enormous sapphires every place you could think of, and a few extra. I found a picture of it on the internet, but only to the waist. The real thing is full-length and she has huge sapphires as clasps all the way down the skirt of her dress as well. The queen is fiftyish here (as am I), and she was a devoted wife and mother, but that’s what I’d be aiming for as a bad girl in the 19th century.
    http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Image:Marie-Am%C3%A9lie_de_Bourbon_1.JPG

    Reply
  87. You are whetting our appetites Loretta!
    I would like to hear some more about Venice and the palazzos.
    But I loved the jewellery talk. As it so happens I visited a wonderful jewellery exhibition in Brussels last Sunday. It had everything from medieval crowns to 20th-century tiaras. You can see some pictures if you click on the link below.
    http://www.ing.be/art
    There were portraits too. One was of Louis Philippe’s Queen in the 1830’s wearing a white satin dress and enormous sapphires every place you could think of, and a few extra. I found a picture of it on the internet, but only to the waist. The real thing is full-length and she has huge sapphires as clasps all the way down the skirt of her dress as well. The queen is fiftyish here (as am I), and she was a devoted wife and mother, but that’s what I’d be aiming for as a bad girl in the 19th century.
    http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Image:Marie-Am%C3%A9lie_de_Bourbon_1.JPG

    Reply
  88. You are whetting our appetites Loretta!
    I would like to hear some more about Venice and the palazzos.
    But I loved the jewellery talk. As it so happens I visited a wonderful jewellery exhibition in Brussels last Sunday. It had everything from medieval crowns to 20th-century tiaras. You can see some pictures if you click on the link below.
    http://www.ing.be/art
    There were portraits too. One was of Louis Philippe’s Queen in the 1830’s wearing a white satin dress and enormous sapphires every place you could think of, and a few extra. I found a picture of it on the internet, but only to the waist. The real thing is full-length and she has huge sapphires as clasps all the way down the skirt of her dress as well. The queen is fiftyish here (as am I), and she was a devoted wife and mother, but that’s what I’d be aiming for as a bad girl in the 19th century.
    http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Image:Marie-Am%C3%A9lie_de_Bourbon_1.JPG

    Reply
  89. You are whetting our appetites Loretta!
    I would like to hear some more about Venice and the palazzos.
    But I loved the jewellery talk. As it so happens I visited a wonderful jewellery exhibition in Brussels last Sunday. It had everything from medieval crowns to 20th-century tiaras. You can see some pictures if you click on the link below.
    http://www.ing.be/art
    There were portraits too. One was of Louis Philippe’s Queen in the 1830’s wearing a white satin dress and enormous sapphires every place you could think of, and a few extra. I found a picture of it on the internet, but only to the waist. The real thing is full-length and she has huge sapphires as clasps all the way down the skirt of her dress as well. The queen is fiftyish here (as am I), and she was a devoted wife and mother, but that’s what I’d be aiming for as a bad girl in the 19th century.
    http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Image:Marie-Am%C3%A9lie_de_Bourbon_1.JPG

    Reply
  90. You are whetting our appetites Loretta!
    I would like to hear some more about Venice and the palazzos.
    But I loved the jewellery talk. As it so happens I visited a wonderful jewellery exhibition in Brussels last Sunday. It had everything from medieval crowns to 20th-century tiaras. You can see some pictures if you click on the link below.
    http://www.ing.be/art
    There were portraits too. One was of Louis Philippe’s Queen in the 1830’s wearing a white satin dress and enormous sapphires every place you could think of, and a few extra. I found a picture of it on the internet, but only to the waist. The real thing is full-length and she has huge sapphires as clasps all the way down the skirt of her dress as well. The queen is fiftyish here (as am I), and she was a devoted wife and mother, but that’s what I’d be aiming for as a bad girl in the 19th century.
    http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Image:Marie-Am%C3%A9lie_de_Bourbon_1.JPG

    Reply
  91. Loretta, thank you for a wonderful look into Francesca’s life. I’d be interested to know if Francesca was into museums and admiring ruins and architecture. How does the city feature into the story: the ancient one and/or the modern (current to the Georgian) day one? And I agree with PJ, that’s an amazing cover and stepback!

    Reply
  92. Loretta, thank you for a wonderful look into Francesca’s life. I’d be interested to know if Francesca was into museums and admiring ruins and architecture. How does the city feature into the story: the ancient one and/or the modern (current to the Georgian) day one? And I agree with PJ, that’s an amazing cover and stepback!

    Reply
  93. Loretta, thank you for a wonderful look into Francesca’s life. I’d be interested to know if Francesca was into museums and admiring ruins and architecture. How does the city feature into the story: the ancient one and/or the modern (current to the Georgian) day one? And I agree with PJ, that’s an amazing cover and stepback!

    Reply
  94. Loretta, thank you for a wonderful look into Francesca’s life. I’d be interested to know if Francesca was into museums and admiring ruins and architecture. How does the city feature into the story: the ancient one and/or the modern (current to the Georgian) day one? And I agree with PJ, that’s an amazing cover and stepback!

    Reply
  95. Loretta, thank you for a wonderful look into Francesca’s life. I’d be interested to know if Francesca was into museums and admiring ruins and architecture. How does the city feature into the story: the ancient one and/or the modern (current to the Georgian) day one? And I agree with PJ, that’s an amazing cover and stepback!

    Reply

Leave a Comment