Secrets and disguises

Sidney Jo here, musing from Australia. 🙂

So what makes a historical a historical?

(And where do you stand on "an historical" and "a historical"? Maybe it’s my English accent, but "an historical" sounds all wrong to me.)

Talking about this a few years ago, someone said, "Historicals always have masks and disguises."

That seemed too simple to be true, but there’s a lot to it, isn’t there? Not quite always, but a surprising amount of the time. So your mission, Wenchfans, should you choose to accept it, is to discuss this proposition* among yourselves, with examples, of course.Pietro_longhi_maschere_e_ta (On right, a picture of a Venetian masquerade, with the disguises very complete.)

*Historical romances nearly always involve masks and disguises.

Because the basis for a defining factor is that others are not, does it also hold that contemporary romance rarely uses masks and disguises? If so, why? There are masked balls today, and other ways of temporarily changing appearance.

If the idea has any basis, what lies beneath it? Is it perhaps that the distance to the past makes carrying off a false identity more believable? Not sure that works for me. I was often exasperated by plots in which a husband can tryst with his wife at night wearing only a mask and somehow she never twigs. I think that one’s gone with the dodo, but what makes a subterfuge plot work, and what makes it falter?

Of course The Scarlet Pimpernel immediately comes to mind, but he used a lot more than a mask.

Lbgoodsm I can look at my recent books and see the premise holding. Lady Beware starts with Thea not knowing who Darien is. He’s not in disguise, but he doesn’t introduce himself.

In A Lady’s Secret, Petra is disguised as a nun. Certainly she has some right to the name and habit, but it’s a disguise.

In The Secret Wedding, both characters are concealing the truth. Christian is merely going as Mr. Grandiston instead of Lord Grandiston, for his own good reasons. Caro, however — Dorcas Froggatt as was — goes through a series of switches as she tries to evade him.Tswnalsm

My story in Dragon Lovers (The Dragon and the Virgin Princess) isn’t exactly historical, but I’d say it’s more so that contemporary, being set in a fantasy medieval-style world, and in that, the hero hides his true role.

Dragonsm

Have you ever gone to a masquerade party in a costume that made you truly unrecognizable? How did it go?

So go at it, and as I may not even be able to chip in, talk to each other. Discuss and debate. Thrash this out.

When I get back, I’ll choose the three posters who I think contributed the most interesting content to this blog and give each a book.

Have fun,

Jo

150 thoughts on “Secrets and disguises”

  1. Sherrie, here:
    ***And where do you stand on “an historical” and “a historical”?Maybe it’s my English accent, but “an historical” sounds all wrong to me***
    Amen, sister! It’s one of my pet peeves, and a persistent misuse that refuses to die. Does one say “an hospital” or “an horse”? If you pronounce a hard “h” sound, The Chicago Manual of Style and The NY Public Library Guide to Style and Usage say you should use the indefinite article “a.” It’s the sound of the word, not the spelling, that determines if you use “a” or “an.” I once believed this misuse was more common in England than America, but it’s rampant here, too.
    It’s right up there with the pompous and archaic “Enclosed please find,” which all the style manuals abhor, but it still persists. It’s the stilted darling of bankers, politicians, and bureaucrats who seem incapable of simply writing, “Enclosed is.” *g*
    Outdated grammar habits die hard, especially when dusty old English teachers don’t stay updated and persist in preaching things like, “never end a sentence with a preposition.”
    Sherrie, donning flameproof suit and diving behind boulder

    Reply
  2. Sherrie, here:
    ***And where do you stand on “an historical” and “a historical”?Maybe it’s my English accent, but “an historical” sounds all wrong to me***
    Amen, sister! It’s one of my pet peeves, and a persistent misuse that refuses to die. Does one say “an hospital” or “an horse”? If you pronounce a hard “h” sound, The Chicago Manual of Style and The NY Public Library Guide to Style and Usage say you should use the indefinite article “a.” It’s the sound of the word, not the spelling, that determines if you use “a” or “an.” I once believed this misuse was more common in England than America, but it’s rampant here, too.
    It’s right up there with the pompous and archaic “Enclosed please find,” which all the style manuals abhor, but it still persists. It’s the stilted darling of bankers, politicians, and bureaucrats who seem incapable of simply writing, “Enclosed is.” *g*
    Outdated grammar habits die hard, especially when dusty old English teachers don’t stay updated and persist in preaching things like, “never end a sentence with a preposition.”
    Sherrie, donning flameproof suit and diving behind boulder

    Reply
  3. Sherrie, here:
    ***And where do you stand on “an historical” and “a historical”?Maybe it’s my English accent, but “an historical” sounds all wrong to me***
    Amen, sister! It’s one of my pet peeves, and a persistent misuse that refuses to die. Does one say “an hospital” or “an horse”? If you pronounce a hard “h” sound, The Chicago Manual of Style and The NY Public Library Guide to Style and Usage say you should use the indefinite article “a.” It’s the sound of the word, not the spelling, that determines if you use “a” or “an.” I once believed this misuse was more common in England than America, but it’s rampant here, too.
    It’s right up there with the pompous and archaic “Enclosed please find,” which all the style manuals abhor, but it still persists. It’s the stilted darling of bankers, politicians, and bureaucrats who seem incapable of simply writing, “Enclosed is.” *g*
    Outdated grammar habits die hard, especially when dusty old English teachers don’t stay updated and persist in preaching things like, “never end a sentence with a preposition.”
    Sherrie, donning flameproof suit and diving behind boulder

    Reply
  4. Sherrie, here:
    ***And where do you stand on “an historical” and “a historical”?Maybe it’s my English accent, but “an historical” sounds all wrong to me***
    Amen, sister! It’s one of my pet peeves, and a persistent misuse that refuses to die. Does one say “an hospital” or “an horse”? If you pronounce a hard “h” sound, The Chicago Manual of Style and The NY Public Library Guide to Style and Usage say you should use the indefinite article “a.” It’s the sound of the word, not the spelling, that determines if you use “a” or “an.” I once believed this misuse was more common in England than America, but it’s rampant here, too.
    It’s right up there with the pompous and archaic “Enclosed please find,” which all the style manuals abhor, but it still persists. It’s the stilted darling of bankers, politicians, and bureaucrats who seem incapable of simply writing, “Enclosed is.” *g*
    Outdated grammar habits die hard, especially when dusty old English teachers don’t stay updated and persist in preaching things like, “never end a sentence with a preposition.”
    Sherrie, donning flameproof suit and diving behind boulder

    Reply
  5. Sherrie, here:
    ***And where do you stand on “an historical” and “a historical”?Maybe it’s my English accent, but “an historical” sounds all wrong to me***
    Amen, sister! It’s one of my pet peeves, and a persistent misuse that refuses to die. Does one say “an hospital” or “an horse”? If you pronounce a hard “h” sound, The Chicago Manual of Style and The NY Public Library Guide to Style and Usage say you should use the indefinite article “a.” It’s the sound of the word, not the spelling, that determines if you use “a” or “an.” I once believed this misuse was more common in England than America, but it’s rampant here, too.
    It’s right up there with the pompous and archaic “Enclosed please find,” which all the style manuals abhor, but it still persists. It’s the stilted darling of bankers, politicians, and bureaucrats who seem incapable of simply writing, “Enclosed is.” *g*
    Outdated grammar habits die hard, especially when dusty old English teachers don’t stay updated and persist in preaching things like, “never end a sentence with a preposition.”
    Sherrie, donning flameproof suit and diving behind boulder

    Reply
  6. Hello there,
    wonders of wonders, I have good internet access right now! Therefore, I will be popping in now and then.
    I’m in Sydney in a slightly strange B&B but it does provide free wireless. It’s pouring with rain here, so I don’t know how much of Sydney I’ll see.
    Do chime in on masks and secret identities, and if you want to catch up on my travels, check out jobeverley.blogspot.com
    See Jo riding camel! (I’m just about to put that one up.)
    Cheers,
    Jo

    Reply
  7. Hello there,
    wonders of wonders, I have good internet access right now! Therefore, I will be popping in now and then.
    I’m in Sydney in a slightly strange B&B but it does provide free wireless. It’s pouring with rain here, so I don’t know how much of Sydney I’ll see.
    Do chime in on masks and secret identities, and if you want to catch up on my travels, check out jobeverley.blogspot.com
    See Jo riding camel! (I’m just about to put that one up.)
    Cheers,
    Jo

    Reply
  8. Hello there,
    wonders of wonders, I have good internet access right now! Therefore, I will be popping in now and then.
    I’m in Sydney in a slightly strange B&B but it does provide free wireless. It’s pouring with rain here, so I don’t know how much of Sydney I’ll see.
    Do chime in on masks and secret identities, and if you want to catch up on my travels, check out jobeverley.blogspot.com
    See Jo riding camel! (I’m just about to put that one up.)
    Cheers,
    Jo

    Reply
  9. Hello there,
    wonders of wonders, I have good internet access right now! Therefore, I will be popping in now and then.
    I’m in Sydney in a slightly strange B&B but it does provide free wireless. It’s pouring with rain here, so I don’t know how much of Sydney I’ll see.
    Do chime in on masks and secret identities, and if you want to catch up on my travels, check out jobeverley.blogspot.com
    See Jo riding camel! (I’m just about to put that one up.)
    Cheers,
    Jo

    Reply
  10. Hello there,
    wonders of wonders, I have good internet access right now! Therefore, I will be popping in now and then.
    I’m in Sydney in a slightly strange B&B but it does provide free wireless. It’s pouring with rain here, so I don’t know how much of Sydney I’ll see.
    Do chime in on masks and secret identities, and if you want to catch up on my travels, check out jobeverley.blogspot.com
    See Jo riding camel! (I’m just about to put that one up.)
    Cheers,
    Jo

    Reply
  11. I wonder if the masks and disguises school came about just because the clothes then are so different from what we wear now they seem to be disguises. But every time I’ve seen someone I knew in costume, I always knew who they were. People in times past could certainly do the same. True disguise takes a lot of effort.
    Then there are time travels. All time travels that bring someone into the present have to jump through hoops to make the displaced person fit in, i.e., have to disguise them somehow, mainly because we keep better track of people. The Regency rake hero in the contemporary “Maggie” mysteries by Kasey Michaels is a character from the author-heroine’s book come to life. The book gives a detailed account of the process, mostly illegal, of obtaining ID cards, birth certificate, etc., for the hero. If that’s not disguise, what is? And it has nothing to do with clothes.

    Reply
  12. I wonder if the masks and disguises school came about just because the clothes then are so different from what we wear now they seem to be disguises. But every time I’ve seen someone I knew in costume, I always knew who they were. People in times past could certainly do the same. True disguise takes a lot of effort.
    Then there are time travels. All time travels that bring someone into the present have to jump through hoops to make the displaced person fit in, i.e., have to disguise them somehow, mainly because we keep better track of people. The Regency rake hero in the contemporary “Maggie” mysteries by Kasey Michaels is a character from the author-heroine’s book come to life. The book gives a detailed account of the process, mostly illegal, of obtaining ID cards, birth certificate, etc., for the hero. If that’s not disguise, what is? And it has nothing to do with clothes.

    Reply
  13. I wonder if the masks and disguises school came about just because the clothes then are so different from what we wear now they seem to be disguises. But every time I’ve seen someone I knew in costume, I always knew who they were. People in times past could certainly do the same. True disguise takes a lot of effort.
    Then there are time travels. All time travels that bring someone into the present have to jump through hoops to make the displaced person fit in, i.e., have to disguise them somehow, mainly because we keep better track of people. The Regency rake hero in the contemporary “Maggie” mysteries by Kasey Michaels is a character from the author-heroine’s book come to life. The book gives a detailed account of the process, mostly illegal, of obtaining ID cards, birth certificate, etc., for the hero. If that’s not disguise, what is? And it has nothing to do with clothes.

    Reply
  14. I wonder if the masks and disguises school came about just because the clothes then are so different from what we wear now they seem to be disguises. But every time I’ve seen someone I knew in costume, I always knew who they were. People in times past could certainly do the same. True disguise takes a lot of effort.
    Then there are time travels. All time travels that bring someone into the present have to jump through hoops to make the displaced person fit in, i.e., have to disguise them somehow, mainly because we keep better track of people. The Regency rake hero in the contemporary “Maggie” mysteries by Kasey Michaels is a character from the author-heroine’s book come to life. The book gives a detailed account of the process, mostly illegal, of obtaining ID cards, birth certificate, etc., for the hero. If that’s not disguise, what is? And it has nothing to do with clothes.

    Reply
  15. I wonder if the masks and disguises school came about just because the clothes then are so different from what we wear now they seem to be disguises. But every time I’ve seen someone I knew in costume, I always knew who they were. People in times past could certainly do the same. True disguise takes a lot of effort.
    Then there are time travels. All time travels that bring someone into the present have to jump through hoops to make the displaced person fit in, i.e., have to disguise them somehow, mainly because we keep better track of people. The Regency rake hero in the contemporary “Maggie” mysteries by Kasey Michaels is a character from the author-heroine’s book come to life. The book gives a detailed account of the process, mostly illegal, of obtaining ID cards, birth certificate, etc., for the hero. If that’s not disguise, what is? And it has nothing to do with clothes.

    Reply
  16. I don’t consider disquises and masquerades as necesary to a historical or even as the defining event of one.
    My definiton is more simple– a historical is a book set in the past.
    I have read several contemporary stories in which people are hiding their real identities.
    Of course it was easier to hide one’s identity when they didn’t even have birth certificates.
    In England the church and state did nt care what one called oneself, and people could change their surnames at will — unless for illegal purposes.. The church was less open to change in the name given one at baptism– though the bishop could change it at confirmation if he didn’t like it– Still, there was nothing illegal in naming yourself anything you wanted. They even said there was nothing illegal in a man saying he was a peer when he wasn’t, as long as he was not claiming any perks , privileges, or money by doing so.
    People have many different reasons for hiding their identity, and each reason can give us a different plot .
    It was just easier to hide if no one could trace you by your social security number, car tag, or fingerprints.

    Reply
  17. I don’t consider disquises and masquerades as necesary to a historical or even as the defining event of one.
    My definiton is more simple– a historical is a book set in the past.
    I have read several contemporary stories in which people are hiding their real identities.
    Of course it was easier to hide one’s identity when they didn’t even have birth certificates.
    In England the church and state did nt care what one called oneself, and people could change their surnames at will — unless for illegal purposes.. The church was less open to change in the name given one at baptism– though the bishop could change it at confirmation if he didn’t like it– Still, there was nothing illegal in naming yourself anything you wanted. They even said there was nothing illegal in a man saying he was a peer when he wasn’t, as long as he was not claiming any perks , privileges, or money by doing so.
    People have many different reasons for hiding their identity, and each reason can give us a different plot .
    It was just easier to hide if no one could trace you by your social security number, car tag, or fingerprints.

    Reply
  18. I don’t consider disquises and masquerades as necesary to a historical or even as the defining event of one.
    My definiton is more simple– a historical is a book set in the past.
    I have read several contemporary stories in which people are hiding their real identities.
    Of course it was easier to hide one’s identity when they didn’t even have birth certificates.
    In England the church and state did nt care what one called oneself, and people could change their surnames at will — unless for illegal purposes.. The church was less open to change in the name given one at baptism– though the bishop could change it at confirmation if he didn’t like it– Still, there was nothing illegal in naming yourself anything you wanted. They even said there was nothing illegal in a man saying he was a peer when he wasn’t, as long as he was not claiming any perks , privileges, or money by doing so.
    People have many different reasons for hiding their identity, and each reason can give us a different plot .
    It was just easier to hide if no one could trace you by your social security number, car tag, or fingerprints.

    Reply
  19. I don’t consider disquises and masquerades as necesary to a historical or even as the defining event of one.
    My definiton is more simple– a historical is a book set in the past.
    I have read several contemporary stories in which people are hiding their real identities.
    Of course it was easier to hide one’s identity when they didn’t even have birth certificates.
    In England the church and state did nt care what one called oneself, and people could change their surnames at will — unless for illegal purposes.. The church was less open to change in the name given one at baptism– though the bishop could change it at confirmation if he didn’t like it– Still, there was nothing illegal in naming yourself anything you wanted. They even said there was nothing illegal in a man saying he was a peer when he wasn’t, as long as he was not claiming any perks , privileges, or money by doing so.
    People have many different reasons for hiding their identity, and each reason can give us a different plot .
    It was just easier to hide if no one could trace you by your social security number, car tag, or fingerprints.

    Reply
  20. I don’t consider disquises and masquerades as necesary to a historical or even as the defining event of one.
    My definiton is more simple– a historical is a book set in the past.
    I have read several contemporary stories in which people are hiding their real identities.
    Of course it was easier to hide one’s identity when they didn’t even have birth certificates.
    In England the church and state did nt care what one called oneself, and people could change their surnames at will — unless for illegal purposes.. The church was less open to change in the name given one at baptism– though the bishop could change it at confirmation if he didn’t like it– Still, there was nothing illegal in naming yourself anything you wanted. They even said there was nothing illegal in a man saying he was a peer when he wasn’t, as long as he was not claiming any perks , privileges, or money by doing so.
    People have many different reasons for hiding their identity, and each reason can give us a different plot .
    It was just easier to hide if no one could trace you by your social security number, car tag, or fingerprints.

    Reply
  21. Oh, wow…let’s see…Those of you who have seen my posts for some time now know I’m a huge Phantom of the Opera fan. Understand, Leroux’s original was horror, definitely not romance. But ALW’s Phantom, that’s the romance to the story. For me. And it’s certainly all about disguise.
    Christine hears a voice, a male voice, that sings to her at night, coaches her vocally, is poignant, adoring, loving. She thinks this is the angel her deceased father has sent her and the Phantom does nothing to dispel this. This is his disguise in order to reach out to her without fear of her running screaming from the room due to his mask and disfigured face.
    Only when she’s become so enamored of him and he of her that he can no longer hide behind that disguise does he come to her. She in turn, realizes it was a disguise, that he is a man, and she wants to know everything about him. But he wears a mask. Yet another type of disguise because it hides much of his face from her. She can’t know him completely that way. He’s still hiding something. And so goes the story as she unmasks him, etc. etc.
    (though I have to admit, I still think she goes back to him but that’s another post completely)
    But that disguise is so very effective for so long and even though the audience knows, I think most still root for the Phantom to get the girl. That’s the romantic aspect to the story.
    In that instance, the disguise works beautifully as almost another character in the story. It’s not secondary to the plot but almost a third entity, becoming more the triangular relationship than even Raoul being there.
    Sometimes, disguises work that way in any romance, historical or contemporary. Could that have worked now? In contemporary times? No, I don’t think so. The world has become such a different place, a more open, accessible place than it ever was then. But regardless of time or place, the disguise in the story must work. I’ve read many historicals where the disguise sounds good but is just implausible and I’m yelling at the characters because surely they should see how silly it is.
    Whether it’s the guise of hiding behind a mask or holding back the truth, trying to pass oneself off as something they’re not, I think it has to be written in such as way that, were I the character the disguise was being presented to, would I buy it.
    And I got way off what the original question was here, I think, so I’ll just shut up now.
    *sigh*

    Reply
  22. Oh, wow…let’s see…Those of you who have seen my posts for some time now know I’m a huge Phantom of the Opera fan. Understand, Leroux’s original was horror, definitely not romance. But ALW’s Phantom, that’s the romance to the story. For me. And it’s certainly all about disguise.
    Christine hears a voice, a male voice, that sings to her at night, coaches her vocally, is poignant, adoring, loving. She thinks this is the angel her deceased father has sent her and the Phantom does nothing to dispel this. This is his disguise in order to reach out to her without fear of her running screaming from the room due to his mask and disfigured face.
    Only when she’s become so enamored of him and he of her that he can no longer hide behind that disguise does he come to her. She in turn, realizes it was a disguise, that he is a man, and she wants to know everything about him. But he wears a mask. Yet another type of disguise because it hides much of his face from her. She can’t know him completely that way. He’s still hiding something. And so goes the story as she unmasks him, etc. etc.
    (though I have to admit, I still think she goes back to him but that’s another post completely)
    But that disguise is so very effective for so long and even though the audience knows, I think most still root for the Phantom to get the girl. That’s the romantic aspect to the story.
    In that instance, the disguise works beautifully as almost another character in the story. It’s not secondary to the plot but almost a third entity, becoming more the triangular relationship than even Raoul being there.
    Sometimes, disguises work that way in any romance, historical or contemporary. Could that have worked now? In contemporary times? No, I don’t think so. The world has become such a different place, a more open, accessible place than it ever was then. But regardless of time or place, the disguise in the story must work. I’ve read many historicals where the disguise sounds good but is just implausible and I’m yelling at the characters because surely they should see how silly it is.
    Whether it’s the guise of hiding behind a mask or holding back the truth, trying to pass oneself off as something they’re not, I think it has to be written in such as way that, were I the character the disguise was being presented to, would I buy it.
    And I got way off what the original question was here, I think, so I’ll just shut up now.
    *sigh*

    Reply
  23. Oh, wow…let’s see…Those of you who have seen my posts for some time now know I’m a huge Phantom of the Opera fan. Understand, Leroux’s original was horror, definitely not romance. But ALW’s Phantom, that’s the romance to the story. For me. And it’s certainly all about disguise.
    Christine hears a voice, a male voice, that sings to her at night, coaches her vocally, is poignant, adoring, loving. She thinks this is the angel her deceased father has sent her and the Phantom does nothing to dispel this. This is his disguise in order to reach out to her without fear of her running screaming from the room due to his mask and disfigured face.
    Only when she’s become so enamored of him and he of her that he can no longer hide behind that disguise does he come to her. She in turn, realizes it was a disguise, that he is a man, and she wants to know everything about him. But he wears a mask. Yet another type of disguise because it hides much of his face from her. She can’t know him completely that way. He’s still hiding something. And so goes the story as she unmasks him, etc. etc.
    (though I have to admit, I still think she goes back to him but that’s another post completely)
    But that disguise is so very effective for so long and even though the audience knows, I think most still root for the Phantom to get the girl. That’s the romantic aspect to the story.
    In that instance, the disguise works beautifully as almost another character in the story. It’s not secondary to the plot but almost a third entity, becoming more the triangular relationship than even Raoul being there.
    Sometimes, disguises work that way in any romance, historical or contemporary. Could that have worked now? In contemporary times? No, I don’t think so. The world has become such a different place, a more open, accessible place than it ever was then. But regardless of time or place, the disguise in the story must work. I’ve read many historicals where the disguise sounds good but is just implausible and I’m yelling at the characters because surely they should see how silly it is.
    Whether it’s the guise of hiding behind a mask or holding back the truth, trying to pass oneself off as something they’re not, I think it has to be written in such as way that, were I the character the disguise was being presented to, would I buy it.
    And I got way off what the original question was here, I think, so I’ll just shut up now.
    *sigh*

    Reply
  24. Oh, wow…let’s see…Those of you who have seen my posts for some time now know I’m a huge Phantom of the Opera fan. Understand, Leroux’s original was horror, definitely not romance. But ALW’s Phantom, that’s the romance to the story. For me. And it’s certainly all about disguise.
    Christine hears a voice, a male voice, that sings to her at night, coaches her vocally, is poignant, adoring, loving. She thinks this is the angel her deceased father has sent her and the Phantom does nothing to dispel this. This is his disguise in order to reach out to her without fear of her running screaming from the room due to his mask and disfigured face.
    Only when she’s become so enamored of him and he of her that he can no longer hide behind that disguise does he come to her. She in turn, realizes it was a disguise, that he is a man, and she wants to know everything about him. But he wears a mask. Yet another type of disguise because it hides much of his face from her. She can’t know him completely that way. He’s still hiding something. And so goes the story as she unmasks him, etc. etc.
    (though I have to admit, I still think she goes back to him but that’s another post completely)
    But that disguise is so very effective for so long and even though the audience knows, I think most still root for the Phantom to get the girl. That’s the romantic aspect to the story.
    In that instance, the disguise works beautifully as almost another character in the story. It’s not secondary to the plot but almost a third entity, becoming more the triangular relationship than even Raoul being there.
    Sometimes, disguises work that way in any romance, historical or contemporary. Could that have worked now? In contemporary times? No, I don’t think so. The world has become such a different place, a more open, accessible place than it ever was then. But regardless of time or place, the disguise in the story must work. I’ve read many historicals where the disguise sounds good but is just implausible and I’m yelling at the characters because surely they should see how silly it is.
    Whether it’s the guise of hiding behind a mask or holding back the truth, trying to pass oneself off as something they’re not, I think it has to be written in such as way that, were I the character the disguise was being presented to, would I buy it.
    And I got way off what the original question was here, I think, so I’ll just shut up now.
    *sigh*

    Reply
  25. Oh, wow…let’s see…Those of you who have seen my posts for some time now know I’m a huge Phantom of the Opera fan. Understand, Leroux’s original was horror, definitely not romance. But ALW’s Phantom, that’s the romance to the story. For me. And it’s certainly all about disguise.
    Christine hears a voice, a male voice, that sings to her at night, coaches her vocally, is poignant, adoring, loving. She thinks this is the angel her deceased father has sent her and the Phantom does nothing to dispel this. This is his disguise in order to reach out to her without fear of her running screaming from the room due to his mask and disfigured face.
    Only when she’s become so enamored of him and he of her that he can no longer hide behind that disguise does he come to her. She in turn, realizes it was a disguise, that he is a man, and she wants to know everything about him. But he wears a mask. Yet another type of disguise because it hides much of his face from her. She can’t know him completely that way. He’s still hiding something. And so goes the story as she unmasks him, etc. etc.
    (though I have to admit, I still think she goes back to him but that’s another post completely)
    But that disguise is so very effective for so long and even though the audience knows, I think most still root for the Phantom to get the girl. That’s the romantic aspect to the story.
    In that instance, the disguise works beautifully as almost another character in the story. It’s not secondary to the plot but almost a third entity, becoming more the triangular relationship than even Raoul being there.
    Sometimes, disguises work that way in any romance, historical or contemporary. Could that have worked now? In contemporary times? No, I don’t think so. The world has become such a different place, a more open, accessible place than it ever was then. But regardless of time or place, the disguise in the story must work. I’ve read many historicals where the disguise sounds good but is just implausible and I’m yelling at the characters because surely they should see how silly it is.
    Whether it’s the guise of hiding behind a mask or holding back the truth, trying to pass oneself off as something they’re not, I think it has to be written in such as way that, were I the character the disguise was being presented to, would I buy it.
    And I got way off what the original question was here, I think, so I’ll just shut up now.
    *sigh*

    Reply
  26. My opinion is that masquerades were so elaborate back in the old days. Mainly because there was not as much other forms of entertainments to be had.I think they had too much time to occupy on there hands. So house parts were the rage Now we have quicker travel, Television and Film. I do not really like the books where the H/H are married and they deceive each other at the masked-balls, to me it is a bit like cheating on one’s partner.

    Reply
  27. My opinion is that masquerades were so elaborate back in the old days. Mainly because there was not as much other forms of entertainments to be had.I think they had too much time to occupy on there hands. So house parts were the rage Now we have quicker travel, Television and Film. I do not really like the books where the H/H are married and they deceive each other at the masked-balls, to me it is a bit like cheating on one’s partner.

    Reply
  28. My opinion is that masquerades were so elaborate back in the old days. Mainly because there was not as much other forms of entertainments to be had.I think they had too much time to occupy on there hands. So house parts were the rage Now we have quicker travel, Television and Film. I do not really like the books where the H/H are married and they deceive each other at the masked-balls, to me it is a bit like cheating on one’s partner.

    Reply
  29. My opinion is that masquerades were so elaborate back in the old days. Mainly because there was not as much other forms of entertainments to be had.I think they had too much time to occupy on there hands. So house parts were the rage Now we have quicker travel, Television and Film. I do not really like the books where the H/H are married and they deceive each other at the masked-balls, to me it is a bit like cheating on one’s partner.

    Reply
  30. My opinion is that masquerades were so elaborate back in the old days. Mainly because there was not as much other forms of entertainments to be had.I think they had too much time to occupy on there hands. So house parts were the rage Now we have quicker travel, Television and Film. I do not really like the books where the H/H are married and they deceive each other at the masked-balls, to me it is a bit like cheating on one’s partner.

    Reply
  31. Totally agree with Sherrie about the use of “a” versus “an”: the aspirated H uses the former, the unaspirated the latter. At least that’s what I was taught in middle school grammar class.
    As for disguises, I actually read the disguises comment differently. Don’t know who said “the past is another country”, but I think that historicals involve disguises from us, the contemporary reader, just as foreign countries may, because there are differences we can’t fully encompass in terms of manners and mores. We can endeavor to understand them, but they aren’t bred into our bones as someone from that time/place would have them. Many aspects of human nature probably haven’t changed in millenia, but the motivation or world view of a medieval monk or a Georgian lady is not as fully available to us as that of our contemporary countrymen. Even the most modern sounding of historical persons may still have accepted unquestioningly social structures we’d find unacceptable. So we view the past through something of a mask.
    Don’t know if that makes sense to anyone else, but that’s how I thought of it.

    Reply
  32. Totally agree with Sherrie about the use of “a” versus “an”: the aspirated H uses the former, the unaspirated the latter. At least that’s what I was taught in middle school grammar class.
    As for disguises, I actually read the disguises comment differently. Don’t know who said “the past is another country”, but I think that historicals involve disguises from us, the contemporary reader, just as foreign countries may, because there are differences we can’t fully encompass in terms of manners and mores. We can endeavor to understand them, but they aren’t bred into our bones as someone from that time/place would have them. Many aspects of human nature probably haven’t changed in millenia, but the motivation or world view of a medieval monk or a Georgian lady is not as fully available to us as that of our contemporary countrymen. Even the most modern sounding of historical persons may still have accepted unquestioningly social structures we’d find unacceptable. So we view the past through something of a mask.
    Don’t know if that makes sense to anyone else, but that’s how I thought of it.

    Reply
  33. Totally agree with Sherrie about the use of “a” versus “an”: the aspirated H uses the former, the unaspirated the latter. At least that’s what I was taught in middle school grammar class.
    As for disguises, I actually read the disguises comment differently. Don’t know who said “the past is another country”, but I think that historicals involve disguises from us, the contemporary reader, just as foreign countries may, because there are differences we can’t fully encompass in terms of manners and mores. We can endeavor to understand them, but they aren’t bred into our bones as someone from that time/place would have them. Many aspects of human nature probably haven’t changed in millenia, but the motivation or world view of a medieval monk or a Georgian lady is not as fully available to us as that of our contemporary countrymen. Even the most modern sounding of historical persons may still have accepted unquestioningly social structures we’d find unacceptable. So we view the past through something of a mask.
    Don’t know if that makes sense to anyone else, but that’s how I thought of it.

    Reply
  34. Totally agree with Sherrie about the use of “a” versus “an”: the aspirated H uses the former, the unaspirated the latter. At least that’s what I was taught in middle school grammar class.
    As for disguises, I actually read the disguises comment differently. Don’t know who said “the past is another country”, but I think that historicals involve disguises from us, the contemporary reader, just as foreign countries may, because there are differences we can’t fully encompass in terms of manners and mores. We can endeavor to understand them, but they aren’t bred into our bones as someone from that time/place would have them. Many aspects of human nature probably haven’t changed in millenia, but the motivation or world view of a medieval monk or a Georgian lady is not as fully available to us as that of our contemporary countrymen. Even the most modern sounding of historical persons may still have accepted unquestioningly social structures we’d find unacceptable. So we view the past through something of a mask.
    Don’t know if that makes sense to anyone else, but that’s how I thought of it.

    Reply
  35. Totally agree with Sherrie about the use of “a” versus “an”: the aspirated H uses the former, the unaspirated the latter. At least that’s what I was taught in middle school grammar class.
    As for disguises, I actually read the disguises comment differently. Don’t know who said “the past is another country”, but I think that historicals involve disguises from us, the contemporary reader, just as foreign countries may, because there are differences we can’t fully encompass in terms of manners and mores. We can endeavor to understand them, but they aren’t bred into our bones as someone from that time/place would have them. Many aspects of human nature probably haven’t changed in millenia, but the motivation or world view of a medieval monk or a Georgian lady is not as fully available to us as that of our contemporary countrymen. Even the most modern sounding of historical persons may still have accepted unquestioningly social structures we’d find unacceptable. So we view the past through something of a mask.
    Don’t know if that makes sense to anyone else, but that’s how I thought of it.

    Reply
  36. I definitely prefer a historical. I enjoy the masquerades I read in historicals. They seem like a tremendous amount of fun and I can see where you wouldn’t know who everyone was at them. Leaves open so many possibilities.

    Reply
  37. I definitely prefer a historical. I enjoy the masquerades I read in historicals. They seem like a tremendous amount of fun and I can see where you wouldn’t know who everyone was at them. Leaves open so many possibilities.

    Reply
  38. I definitely prefer a historical. I enjoy the masquerades I read in historicals. They seem like a tremendous amount of fun and I can see where you wouldn’t know who everyone was at them. Leaves open so many possibilities.

    Reply
  39. I definitely prefer a historical. I enjoy the masquerades I read in historicals. They seem like a tremendous amount of fun and I can see where you wouldn’t know who everyone was at them. Leaves open so many possibilities.

    Reply
  40. I definitely prefer a historical. I enjoy the masquerades I read in historicals. They seem like a tremendous amount of fun and I can see where you wouldn’t know who everyone was at them. Leaves open so many possibilities.

    Reply
  41. I think masquerade balls was
    used to add something new to
    the balls.A little more entertaining.for there guest.and to add a little mystery .and some
    fun.And whoever throwing the ball
    was trying to out do the rest of
    ton for the season.I myself love
    reading about the masquerades balls in historicals.

    Reply
  42. I think masquerade balls was
    used to add something new to
    the balls.A little more entertaining.for there guest.and to add a little mystery .and some
    fun.And whoever throwing the ball
    was trying to out do the rest of
    ton for the season.I myself love
    reading about the masquerades balls in historicals.

    Reply
  43. I think masquerade balls was
    used to add something new to
    the balls.A little more entertaining.for there guest.and to add a little mystery .and some
    fun.And whoever throwing the ball
    was trying to out do the rest of
    ton for the season.I myself love
    reading about the masquerades balls in historicals.

    Reply
  44. I think masquerade balls was
    used to add something new to
    the balls.A little more entertaining.for there guest.and to add a little mystery .and some
    fun.And whoever throwing the ball
    was trying to out do the rest of
    ton for the season.I myself love
    reading about the masquerades balls in historicals.

    Reply
  45. I think masquerade balls was
    used to add something new to
    the balls.A little more entertaining.for there guest.and to add a little mystery .and some
    fun.And whoever throwing the ball
    was trying to out do the rest of
    ton for the season.I myself love
    reading about the masquerades balls in historicals.

    Reply
  46. When my husband and I were first married we went to a costume party that the requirement was we come dressd as a song. We dressed in large white boxes with dots on them that looked like dice. We had on black leotards and covered our faces with masks. We were
    “Strangers in Paradise” . We came in second in the contest.
    I like to read stories where the characters go to costume parties and meet someone there, like a pirate or a highwayman.

    Reply
  47. When my husband and I were first married we went to a costume party that the requirement was we come dressd as a song. We dressed in large white boxes with dots on them that looked like dice. We had on black leotards and covered our faces with masks. We were
    “Strangers in Paradise” . We came in second in the contest.
    I like to read stories where the characters go to costume parties and meet someone there, like a pirate or a highwayman.

    Reply
  48. When my husband and I were first married we went to a costume party that the requirement was we come dressd as a song. We dressed in large white boxes with dots on them that looked like dice. We had on black leotards and covered our faces with masks. We were
    “Strangers in Paradise” . We came in second in the contest.
    I like to read stories where the characters go to costume parties and meet someone there, like a pirate or a highwayman.

    Reply
  49. When my husband and I were first married we went to a costume party that the requirement was we come dressd as a song. We dressed in large white boxes with dots on them that looked like dice. We had on black leotards and covered our faces with masks. We were
    “Strangers in Paradise” . We came in second in the contest.
    I like to read stories where the characters go to costume parties and meet someone there, like a pirate or a highwayman.

    Reply
  50. When my husband and I were first married we went to a costume party that the requirement was we come dressd as a song. We dressed in large white boxes with dots on them that looked like dice. We had on black leotards and covered our faces with masks. We were
    “Strangers in Paradise” . We came in second in the contest.
    I like to read stories where the characters go to costume parties and meet someone there, like a pirate or a highwayman.

    Reply
  51. My definition of historicals is much like Nancy’s.
    To add to the masks/disguises argument, I attended a workshop given by Michael Hague (a scriptwriting expert) in which he talked about romantic comedy movies. He said all American romantic comedy movies are about deception/disguise/masks of some kind while British romantic comedies were based on the class system.
    I don’t like such creatively limiting definitions, but I haven’t come up with great examples that destroy those theories.

    Reply
  52. My definition of historicals is much like Nancy’s.
    To add to the masks/disguises argument, I attended a workshop given by Michael Hague (a scriptwriting expert) in which he talked about romantic comedy movies. He said all American romantic comedy movies are about deception/disguise/masks of some kind while British romantic comedies were based on the class system.
    I don’t like such creatively limiting definitions, but I haven’t come up with great examples that destroy those theories.

    Reply
  53. My definition of historicals is much like Nancy’s.
    To add to the masks/disguises argument, I attended a workshop given by Michael Hague (a scriptwriting expert) in which he talked about romantic comedy movies. He said all American romantic comedy movies are about deception/disguise/masks of some kind while British romantic comedies were based on the class system.
    I don’t like such creatively limiting definitions, but I haven’t come up with great examples that destroy those theories.

    Reply
  54. My definition of historicals is much like Nancy’s.
    To add to the masks/disguises argument, I attended a workshop given by Michael Hague (a scriptwriting expert) in which he talked about romantic comedy movies. He said all American romantic comedy movies are about deception/disguise/masks of some kind while British romantic comedies were based on the class system.
    I don’t like such creatively limiting definitions, but I haven’t come up with great examples that destroy those theories.

    Reply
  55. My definition of historicals is much like Nancy’s.
    To add to the masks/disguises argument, I attended a workshop given by Michael Hague (a scriptwriting expert) in which he talked about romantic comedy movies. He said all American romantic comedy movies are about deception/disguise/masks of some kind while British romantic comedies were based on the class system.
    I don’t like such creatively limiting definitions, but I haven’t come up with great examples that destroy those theories.

    Reply
  56. Well, my husband reminded me the other day that when we’d been married for several years, we went as The Smith Brothers (of cough-drop fame) to a Halloween party at his sister’s. Several of our close friends were there as well. He has a ZZTop looking beard (now mostly gray but at the time, a rich brown) and I bought one at a costume shop to match. We dressed alike in white shirts, black leather vests, and dark pants. It was almost an hour after our arrival before someone asked where I was, and several people were totally shocked when I pulled down the beard and said, “Surprise!” So yes, what one expects to see can influence the outcome!

    Reply
  57. Well, my husband reminded me the other day that when we’d been married for several years, we went as The Smith Brothers (of cough-drop fame) to a Halloween party at his sister’s. Several of our close friends were there as well. He has a ZZTop looking beard (now mostly gray but at the time, a rich brown) and I bought one at a costume shop to match. We dressed alike in white shirts, black leather vests, and dark pants. It was almost an hour after our arrival before someone asked where I was, and several people were totally shocked when I pulled down the beard and said, “Surprise!” So yes, what one expects to see can influence the outcome!

    Reply
  58. Well, my husband reminded me the other day that when we’d been married for several years, we went as The Smith Brothers (of cough-drop fame) to a Halloween party at his sister’s. Several of our close friends were there as well. He has a ZZTop looking beard (now mostly gray but at the time, a rich brown) and I bought one at a costume shop to match. We dressed alike in white shirts, black leather vests, and dark pants. It was almost an hour after our arrival before someone asked where I was, and several people were totally shocked when I pulled down the beard and said, “Surprise!” So yes, what one expects to see can influence the outcome!

    Reply
  59. Well, my husband reminded me the other day that when we’d been married for several years, we went as The Smith Brothers (of cough-drop fame) to a Halloween party at his sister’s. Several of our close friends were there as well. He has a ZZTop looking beard (now mostly gray but at the time, a rich brown) and I bought one at a costume shop to match. We dressed alike in white shirts, black leather vests, and dark pants. It was almost an hour after our arrival before someone asked where I was, and several people were totally shocked when I pulled down the beard and said, “Surprise!” So yes, what one expects to see can influence the outcome!

    Reply
  60. Well, my husband reminded me the other day that when we’d been married for several years, we went as The Smith Brothers (of cough-drop fame) to a Halloween party at his sister’s. Several of our close friends were there as well. He has a ZZTop looking beard (now mostly gray but at the time, a rich brown) and I bought one at a costume shop to match. We dressed alike in white shirts, black leather vests, and dark pants. It was almost an hour after our arrival before someone asked where I was, and several people were totally shocked when I pulled down the beard and said, “Surprise!” So yes, what one expects to see can influence the outcome!

    Reply
  61. I once went to a costume party in a black suit with a big black dot in the center of my forehead. I was one of the InkSpots.
    🙂
    I did theatrical makeup for a long time and did my mother-in-law for a halloween party at their club one year. She went as a witch, including the false chin, nose, hairy wart. She loved it because no one guessed for hours who she was and my father-in-law refused to say who he’d brought.

    Reply
  62. I once went to a costume party in a black suit with a big black dot in the center of my forehead. I was one of the InkSpots.
    🙂
    I did theatrical makeup for a long time and did my mother-in-law for a halloween party at their club one year. She went as a witch, including the false chin, nose, hairy wart. She loved it because no one guessed for hours who she was and my father-in-law refused to say who he’d brought.

    Reply
  63. I once went to a costume party in a black suit with a big black dot in the center of my forehead. I was one of the InkSpots.
    🙂
    I did theatrical makeup for a long time and did my mother-in-law for a halloween party at their club one year. She went as a witch, including the false chin, nose, hairy wart. She loved it because no one guessed for hours who she was and my father-in-law refused to say who he’d brought.

    Reply
  64. I once went to a costume party in a black suit with a big black dot in the center of my forehead. I was one of the InkSpots.
    🙂
    I did theatrical makeup for a long time and did my mother-in-law for a halloween party at their club one year. She went as a witch, including the false chin, nose, hairy wart. She loved it because no one guessed for hours who she was and my father-in-law refused to say who he’d brought.

    Reply
  65. I once went to a costume party in a black suit with a big black dot in the center of my forehead. I was one of the InkSpots.
    🙂
    I did theatrical makeup for a long time and did my mother-in-law for a halloween party at their club one year. She went as a witch, including the false chin, nose, hairy wart. She loved it because no one guessed for hours who she was and my father-in-law refused to say who he’d brought.

    Reply
  66. I wouldn’t say that historicals ALWAYS have masks and disguises, but I would say that there are conflicts based in social class or family identity that are more common in historicals than in other genres. And those conflicts are often enhanced one way or another by use of disguise. E.g. the highborn heroine is attracted to a lowly footman–conflict! Only it turns out he’s a duke in disguise, so they can have their HEA. Or the heroine meets a man who’s concealing his identity and falls in love with him…only to discover he’s her father’s greatest enemy–conflict!
    That said, I’m sure I’ve read plenty of historicals that didn’t involve any kind of mask or disguise.
    On a practical level, I think it was *easier* to adopt a disguise 200 years ago than it is now. In my alternative history WIP, my hero spends a lot of time running around under an assumed name for the very logical reason that powerful people want him dead. At one point I have one of the antagonists think ruefully about the difficulty of locating a man of typical English height and coloring who’s hiding…somewhere in England. He has a fairly memorable face, but it’s not like the antagonists can pull his driver’s license photo from a database and plaster it on CNN, which makes hiding in plain sight a lot easier.

    Reply
  67. I wouldn’t say that historicals ALWAYS have masks and disguises, but I would say that there are conflicts based in social class or family identity that are more common in historicals than in other genres. And those conflicts are often enhanced one way or another by use of disguise. E.g. the highborn heroine is attracted to a lowly footman–conflict! Only it turns out he’s a duke in disguise, so they can have their HEA. Or the heroine meets a man who’s concealing his identity and falls in love with him…only to discover he’s her father’s greatest enemy–conflict!
    That said, I’m sure I’ve read plenty of historicals that didn’t involve any kind of mask or disguise.
    On a practical level, I think it was *easier* to adopt a disguise 200 years ago than it is now. In my alternative history WIP, my hero spends a lot of time running around under an assumed name for the very logical reason that powerful people want him dead. At one point I have one of the antagonists think ruefully about the difficulty of locating a man of typical English height and coloring who’s hiding…somewhere in England. He has a fairly memorable face, but it’s not like the antagonists can pull his driver’s license photo from a database and plaster it on CNN, which makes hiding in plain sight a lot easier.

    Reply
  68. I wouldn’t say that historicals ALWAYS have masks and disguises, but I would say that there are conflicts based in social class or family identity that are more common in historicals than in other genres. And those conflicts are often enhanced one way or another by use of disguise. E.g. the highborn heroine is attracted to a lowly footman–conflict! Only it turns out he’s a duke in disguise, so they can have their HEA. Or the heroine meets a man who’s concealing his identity and falls in love with him…only to discover he’s her father’s greatest enemy–conflict!
    That said, I’m sure I’ve read plenty of historicals that didn’t involve any kind of mask or disguise.
    On a practical level, I think it was *easier* to adopt a disguise 200 years ago than it is now. In my alternative history WIP, my hero spends a lot of time running around under an assumed name for the very logical reason that powerful people want him dead. At one point I have one of the antagonists think ruefully about the difficulty of locating a man of typical English height and coloring who’s hiding…somewhere in England. He has a fairly memorable face, but it’s not like the antagonists can pull his driver’s license photo from a database and plaster it on CNN, which makes hiding in plain sight a lot easier.

    Reply
  69. I wouldn’t say that historicals ALWAYS have masks and disguises, but I would say that there are conflicts based in social class or family identity that are more common in historicals than in other genres. And those conflicts are often enhanced one way or another by use of disguise. E.g. the highborn heroine is attracted to a lowly footman–conflict! Only it turns out he’s a duke in disguise, so they can have their HEA. Or the heroine meets a man who’s concealing his identity and falls in love with him…only to discover he’s her father’s greatest enemy–conflict!
    That said, I’m sure I’ve read plenty of historicals that didn’t involve any kind of mask or disguise.
    On a practical level, I think it was *easier* to adopt a disguise 200 years ago than it is now. In my alternative history WIP, my hero spends a lot of time running around under an assumed name for the very logical reason that powerful people want him dead. At one point I have one of the antagonists think ruefully about the difficulty of locating a man of typical English height and coloring who’s hiding…somewhere in England. He has a fairly memorable face, but it’s not like the antagonists can pull his driver’s license photo from a database and plaster it on CNN, which makes hiding in plain sight a lot easier.

    Reply
  70. I wouldn’t say that historicals ALWAYS have masks and disguises, but I would say that there are conflicts based in social class or family identity that are more common in historicals than in other genres. And those conflicts are often enhanced one way or another by use of disguise. E.g. the highborn heroine is attracted to a lowly footman–conflict! Only it turns out he’s a duke in disguise, so they can have their HEA. Or the heroine meets a man who’s concealing his identity and falls in love with him…only to discover he’s her father’s greatest enemy–conflict!
    That said, I’m sure I’ve read plenty of historicals that didn’t involve any kind of mask or disguise.
    On a practical level, I think it was *easier* to adopt a disguise 200 years ago than it is now. In my alternative history WIP, my hero spends a lot of time running around under an assumed name for the very logical reason that powerful people want him dead. At one point I have one of the antagonists think ruefully about the difficulty of locating a man of typical English height and coloring who’s hiding…somewhere in England. He has a fairly memorable face, but it’s not like the antagonists can pull his driver’s license photo from a database and plaster it on CNN, which makes hiding in plain sight a lot easier.

    Reply
  71. Isn’t all of life a masquerade? While I’ve never dressed up enough not to be recognized, Hallowe’en allowed us (and still does) to hide behind a disguise and maybe act out of character. However, there are many more ways we can do this – and so much more effectively. The internet and chat rooms allow people to use other names, and create different personas for themselves that they wouldn’t necessarily use or be in a face to face situation.
    When I worked in the morgue, we had many instances where people had 3 or more names written on the board. It was really very odd.
    Do I equate historical novels with masquerades? No, although you don’t find many instances of people dressing up in costumes in a contemporary. However you will frequently find the contemporaries will have the main characters undergo a transformation/makeover in which others begin to see them in a new light.

    Reply
  72. Isn’t all of life a masquerade? While I’ve never dressed up enough not to be recognized, Hallowe’en allowed us (and still does) to hide behind a disguise and maybe act out of character. However, there are many more ways we can do this – and so much more effectively. The internet and chat rooms allow people to use other names, and create different personas for themselves that they wouldn’t necessarily use or be in a face to face situation.
    When I worked in the morgue, we had many instances where people had 3 or more names written on the board. It was really very odd.
    Do I equate historical novels with masquerades? No, although you don’t find many instances of people dressing up in costumes in a contemporary. However you will frequently find the contemporaries will have the main characters undergo a transformation/makeover in which others begin to see them in a new light.

    Reply
  73. Isn’t all of life a masquerade? While I’ve never dressed up enough not to be recognized, Hallowe’en allowed us (and still does) to hide behind a disguise and maybe act out of character. However, there are many more ways we can do this – and so much more effectively. The internet and chat rooms allow people to use other names, and create different personas for themselves that they wouldn’t necessarily use or be in a face to face situation.
    When I worked in the morgue, we had many instances where people had 3 or more names written on the board. It was really very odd.
    Do I equate historical novels with masquerades? No, although you don’t find many instances of people dressing up in costumes in a contemporary. However you will frequently find the contemporaries will have the main characters undergo a transformation/makeover in which others begin to see them in a new light.

    Reply
  74. Isn’t all of life a masquerade? While I’ve never dressed up enough not to be recognized, Hallowe’en allowed us (and still does) to hide behind a disguise and maybe act out of character. However, there are many more ways we can do this – and so much more effectively. The internet and chat rooms allow people to use other names, and create different personas for themselves that they wouldn’t necessarily use or be in a face to face situation.
    When I worked in the morgue, we had many instances where people had 3 or more names written on the board. It was really very odd.
    Do I equate historical novels with masquerades? No, although you don’t find many instances of people dressing up in costumes in a contemporary. However you will frequently find the contemporaries will have the main characters undergo a transformation/makeover in which others begin to see them in a new light.

    Reply
  75. Isn’t all of life a masquerade? While I’ve never dressed up enough not to be recognized, Hallowe’en allowed us (and still does) to hide behind a disguise and maybe act out of character. However, there are many more ways we can do this – and so much more effectively. The internet and chat rooms allow people to use other names, and create different personas for themselves that they wouldn’t necessarily use or be in a face to face situation.
    When I worked in the morgue, we had many instances where people had 3 or more names written on the board. It was really very odd.
    Do I equate historical novels with masquerades? No, although you don’t find many instances of people dressing up in costumes in a contemporary. However you will frequently find the contemporaries will have the main characters undergo a transformation/makeover in which others begin to see them in a new light.

    Reply
  76. I cringe when I read “an historical”. It’s just not right.
    Come to think of it…most historicals that I have read do have a “Masked” ball for the H/H to meet andcome to mischief.

    Reply
  77. I cringe when I read “an historical”. It’s just not right.
    Come to think of it…most historicals that I have read do have a “Masked” ball for the H/H to meet andcome to mischief.

    Reply
  78. I cringe when I read “an historical”. It’s just not right.
    Come to think of it…most historicals that I have read do have a “Masked” ball for the H/H to meet andcome to mischief.

    Reply
  79. I cringe when I read “an historical”. It’s just not right.
    Come to think of it…most historicals that I have read do have a “Masked” ball for the H/H to meet andcome to mischief.

    Reply
  80. I cringe when I read “an historical”. It’s just not right.
    Come to think of it…most historicals that I have read do have a “Masked” ball for the H/H to meet andcome to mischief.

    Reply
  81. If we are defining “masks” in a larger, metaphoric sense, I think every love story is, on some level, the story of discarding masks. Whether we are considering Lizzie Bennet and Mr. Darcy, Jessica Trent and Sebastian Ballister, Min Dobbs and Cal Morrissey, or any one of hundreds of other pairs, the journey from first meet to HEA shows the process of replacing imposed masks with knowledge and understanding of the beloved’s true self. (I should be able to get a paper out of that idea. LOL!)
    Just an added comment to Sherrie: Speaking as one of those “dusty old English teachers,” I too prefer “a historical,” I do my best to stay up-to-date, and I have never in decades of teaching told a student not to end a sentence with a preposition. I think there are many, many other “dusties” who would say the same thing. 🙂

    Reply
  82. If we are defining “masks” in a larger, metaphoric sense, I think every love story is, on some level, the story of discarding masks. Whether we are considering Lizzie Bennet and Mr. Darcy, Jessica Trent and Sebastian Ballister, Min Dobbs and Cal Morrissey, or any one of hundreds of other pairs, the journey from first meet to HEA shows the process of replacing imposed masks with knowledge and understanding of the beloved’s true self. (I should be able to get a paper out of that idea. LOL!)
    Just an added comment to Sherrie: Speaking as one of those “dusty old English teachers,” I too prefer “a historical,” I do my best to stay up-to-date, and I have never in decades of teaching told a student not to end a sentence with a preposition. I think there are many, many other “dusties” who would say the same thing. 🙂

    Reply
  83. If we are defining “masks” in a larger, metaphoric sense, I think every love story is, on some level, the story of discarding masks. Whether we are considering Lizzie Bennet and Mr. Darcy, Jessica Trent and Sebastian Ballister, Min Dobbs and Cal Morrissey, or any one of hundreds of other pairs, the journey from first meet to HEA shows the process of replacing imposed masks with knowledge and understanding of the beloved’s true self. (I should be able to get a paper out of that idea. LOL!)
    Just an added comment to Sherrie: Speaking as one of those “dusty old English teachers,” I too prefer “a historical,” I do my best to stay up-to-date, and I have never in decades of teaching told a student not to end a sentence with a preposition. I think there are many, many other “dusties” who would say the same thing. 🙂

    Reply
  84. If we are defining “masks” in a larger, metaphoric sense, I think every love story is, on some level, the story of discarding masks. Whether we are considering Lizzie Bennet and Mr. Darcy, Jessica Trent and Sebastian Ballister, Min Dobbs and Cal Morrissey, or any one of hundreds of other pairs, the journey from first meet to HEA shows the process of replacing imposed masks with knowledge and understanding of the beloved’s true self. (I should be able to get a paper out of that idea. LOL!)
    Just an added comment to Sherrie: Speaking as one of those “dusty old English teachers,” I too prefer “a historical,” I do my best to stay up-to-date, and I have never in decades of teaching told a student not to end a sentence with a preposition. I think there are many, many other “dusties” who would say the same thing. 🙂

    Reply
  85. If we are defining “masks” in a larger, metaphoric sense, I think every love story is, on some level, the story of discarding masks. Whether we are considering Lizzie Bennet and Mr. Darcy, Jessica Trent and Sebastian Ballister, Min Dobbs and Cal Morrissey, or any one of hundreds of other pairs, the journey from first meet to HEA shows the process of replacing imposed masks with knowledge and understanding of the beloved’s true self. (I should be able to get a paper out of that idea. LOL!)
    Just an added comment to Sherrie: Speaking as one of those “dusty old English teachers,” I too prefer “a historical,” I do my best to stay up-to-date, and I have never in decades of teaching told a student not to end a sentence with a preposition. I think there are many, many other “dusties” who would say the same thing. 🙂

    Reply
  86. Here is a useful distinction:
    Re: An historic event or a historic event?
    “I believe it depends on how you pronounce “historic”…. If you use the “silent h”, then “an historic event.” If you pronounce the “h”, then you would say “a historic event.” I use both pronunciations indiscriminately…just depends on what comes out (or maybe who the audience is ?)”
    Another comment I found pointed out that H is the softest consonant, especially in Cockney English, which is why “an historic” is considered British and “a historic” American. Most of the references I found said both are acceptable.
    And then there’s the problem of the word “ahistoric”: “without concern for history or historical development; indifferent to tradition.” (A term which I believe is engraved on the Tigress’s heart, right next to “Calais”–or “callous,” as the case may be.) If you are going to use both in a sentence or paragraph, you may want to opt for “an historic” even if it’s not your normal usage.
    One thing about Regency historicals, at least, is that very often the characters are “masked” in the sense of having to appear to live up to their expected social roles, even when they are really more individualistic, like the proper young debutante who is secretly a bluestocking or a horse whisperer, or the Pink of the Ton who is really a serious scholar or interested in agricultural or social reform. In the course of the story, the hero and heroine learn the truth about each other and fall in love with the real person they find behind the mask. So rigid social expectations provide a form of mask for everyone.
    Of course there are our favorite superheroes, with their secret identities–Superman, Batman, Straight Arrow, and suchlike that I, at least, grew up with. And of course, the Lone Ranger, who was never UNmasked!
    I was fond of the Scarlet Pimpernel and Zorro, too–anything with a meek or quiet hero with a dashing alternate persona. Karen Harbaugh has a paranormal Regency in which the quiet and shy hero, who manages his brother’s estates, has long been in love with the Girl Next Door, who is now the Toast of the Town and being courted by a duke; but he’s always been too shy to speak–until he becomes possessed by the ghost of his dashing Cavalier/highwayman ancestor. A very good story.
    In addition to the “pretending to be someone you’re not so you won’t be married for your title/money/estates” plot, there’s also the spy theme in Regencies. If set in England, there’s usually a Scarlet Pimpernel type hero pretending to be a frivolous fool so he can catch the French spy.
    The most elaborate ones I can think of are Heyer’s THE MASQUERADERS, in which the heroine is disguised as a man and her brother, the secondary hero, as a woman, because they are wanted Jacobites and this way they don’t match the “Wanted” posters; and Andre Norton and Rosemary Edgehill’s alternate-world Regency SHADOW OF ALBION, in which the ducal hero is the ace spycatcher disguised as a fribble, and the heroine is desperately trying to pass herself off as a noblewoman when she is actually a pioneer girl from the same era from OUR world, who has been abducted to replace her counterpart, who died unexpectedly. She’s also supposed to be a frivolous and selfish person (the real one was); the hero’s disdain for her undergoes a rapid change when he sees how handy she is with a rifle.

    Reply
  87. Here is a useful distinction:
    Re: An historic event or a historic event?
    “I believe it depends on how you pronounce “historic”…. If you use the “silent h”, then “an historic event.” If you pronounce the “h”, then you would say “a historic event.” I use both pronunciations indiscriminately…just depends on what comes out (or maybe who the audience is ?)”
    Another comment I found pointed out that H is the softest consonant, especially in Cockney English, which is why “an historic” is considered British and “a historic” American. Most of the references I found said both are acceptable.
    And then there’s the problem of the word “ahistoric”: “without concern for history or historical development; indifferent to tradition.” (A term which I believe is engraved on the Tigress’s heart, right next to “Calais”–or “callous,” as the case may be.) If you are going to use both in a sentence or paragraph, you may want to opt for “an historic” even if it’s not your normal usage.
    One thing about Regency historicals, at least, is that very often the characters are “masked” in the sense of having to appear to live up to their expected social roles, even when they are really more individualistic, like the proper young debutante who is secretly a bluestocking or a horse whisperer, or the Pink of the Ton who is really a serious scholar or interested in agricultural or social reform. In the course of the story, the hero and heroine learn the truth about each other and fall in love with the real person they find behind the mask. So rigid social expectations provide a form of mask for everyone.
    Of course there are our favorite superheroes, with their secret identities–Superman, Batman, Straight Arrow, and suchlike that I, at least, grew up with. And of course, the Lone Ranger, who was never UNmasked!
    I was fond of the Scarlet Pimpernel and Zorro, too–anything with a meek or quiet hero with a dashing alternate persona. Karen Harbaugh has a paranormal Regency in which the quiet and shy hero, who manages his brother’s estates, has long been in love with the Girl Next Door, who is now the Toast of the Town and being courted by a duke; but he’s always been too shy to speak–until he becomes possessed by the ghost of his dashing Cavalier/highwayman ancestor. A very good story.
    In addition to the “pretending to be someone you’re not so you won’t be married for your title/money/estates” plot, there’s also the spy theme in Regencies. If set in England, there’s usually a Scarlet Pimpernel type hero pretending to be a frivolous fool so he can catch the French spy.
    The most elaborate ones I can think of are Heyer’s THE MASQUERADERS, in which the heroine is disguised as a man and her brother, the secondary hero, as a woman, because they are wanted Jacobites and this way they don’t match the “Wanted” posters; and Andre Norton and Rosemary Edgehill’s alternate-world Regency SHADOW OF ALBION, in which the ducal hero is the ace spycatcher disguised as a fribble, and the heroine is desperately trying to pass herself off as a noblewoman when she is actually a pioneer girl from the same era from OUR world, who has been abducted to replace her counterpart, who died unexpectedly. She’s also supposed to be a frivolous and selfish person (the real one was); the hero’s disdain for her undergoes a rapid change when he sees how handy she is with a rifle.

    Reply
  88. Here is a useful distinction:
    Re: An historic event or a historic event?
    “I believe it depends on how you pronounce “historic”…. If you use the “silent h”, then “an historic event.” If you pronounce the “h”, then you would say “a historic event.” I use both pronunciations indiscriminately…just depends on what comes out (or maybe who the audience is ?)”
    Another comment I found pointed out that H is the softest consonant, especially in Cockney English, which is why “an historic” is considered British and “a historic” American. Most of the references I found said both are acceptable.
    And then there’s the problem of the word “ahistoric”: “without concern for history or historical development; indifferent to tradition.” (A term which I believe is engraved on the Tigress’s heart, right next to “Calais”–or “callous,” as the case may be.) If you are going to use both in a sentence or paragraph, you may want to opt for “an historic” even if it’s not your normal usage.
    One thing about Regency historicals, at least, is that very often the characters are “masked” in the sense of having to appear to live up to their expected social roles, even when they are really more individualistic, like the proper young debutante who is secretly a bluestocking or a horse whisperer, or the Pink of the Ton who is really a serious scholar or interested in agricultural or social reform. In the course of the story, the hero and heroine learn the truth about each other and fall in love with the real person they find behind the mask. So rigid social expectations provide a form of mask for everyone.
    Of course there are our favorite superheroes, with their secret identities–Superman, Batman, Straight Arrow, and suchlike that I, at least, grew up with. And of course, the Lone Ranger, who was never UNmasked!
    I was fond of the Scarlet Pimpernel and Zorro, too–anything with a meek or quiet hero with a dashing alternate persona. Karen Harbaugh has a paranormal Regency in which the quiet and shy hero, who manages his brother’s estates, has long been in love with the Girl Next Door, who is now the Toast of the Town and being courted by a duke; but he’s always been too shy to speak–until he becomes possessed by the ghost of his dashing Cavalier/highwayman ancestor. A very good story.
    In addition to the “pretending to be someone you’re not so you won’t be married for your title/money/estates” plot, there’s also the spy theme in Regencies. If set in England, there’s usually a Scarlet Pimpernel type hero pretending to be a frivolous fool so he can catch the French spy.
    The most elaborate ones I can think of are Heyer’s THE MASQUERADERS, in which the heroine is disguised as a man and her brother, the secondary hero, as a woman, because they are wanted Jacobites and this way they don’t match the “Wanted” posters; and Andre Norton and Rosemary Edgehill’s alternate-world Regency SHADOW OF ALBION, in which the ducal hero is the ace spycatcher disguised as a fribble, and the heroine is desperately trying to pass herself off as a noblewoman when she is actually a pioneer girl from the same era from OUR world, who has been abducted to replace her counterpart, who died unexpectedly. She’s also supposed to be a frivolous and selfish person (the real one was); the hero’s disdain for her undergoes a rapid change when he sees how handy she is with a rifle.

    Reply
  89. Here is a useful distinction:
    Re: An historic event or a historic event?
    “I believe it depends on how you pronounce “historic”…. If you use the “silent h”, then “an historic event.” If you pronounce the “h”, then you would say “a historic event.” I use both pronunciations indiscriminately…just depends on what comes out (or maybe who the audience is ?)”
    Another comment I found pointed out that H is the softest consonant, especially in Cockney English, which is why “an historic” is considered British and “a historic” American. Most of the references I found said both are acceptable.
    And then there’s the problem of the word “ahistoric”: “without concern for history or historical development; indifferent to tradition.” (A term which I believe is engraved on the Tigress’s heart, right next to “Calais”–or “callous,” as the case may be.) If you are going to use both in a sentence or paragraph, you may want to opt for “an historic” even if it’s not your normal usage.
    One thing about Regency historicals, at least, is that very often the characters are “masked” in the sense of having to appear to live up to their expected social roles, even when they are really more individualistic, like the proper young debutante who is secretly a bluestocking or a horse whisperer, or the Pink of the Ton who is really a serious scholar or interested in agricultural or social reform. In the course of the story, the hero and heroine learn the truth about each other and fall in love with the real person they find behind the mask. So rigid social expectations provide a form of mask for everyone.
    Of course there are our favorite superheroes, with their secret identities–Superman, Batman, Straight Arrow, and suchlike that I, at least, grew up with. And of course, the Lone Ranger, who was never UNmasked!
    I was fond of the Scarlet Pimpernel and Zorro, too–anything with a meek or quiet hero with a dashing alternate persona. Karen Harbaugh has a paranormal Regency in which the quiet and shy hero, who manages his brother’s estates, has long been in love with the Girl Next Door, who is now the Toast of the Town and being courted by a duke; but he’s always been too shy to speak–until he becomes possessed by the ghost of his dashing Cavalier/highwayman ancestor. A very good story.
    In addition to the “pretending to be someone you’re not so you won’t be married for your title/money/estates” plot, there’s also the spy theme in Regencies. If set in England, there’s usually a Scarlet Pimpernel type hero pretending to be a frivolous fool so he can catch the French spy.
    The most elaborate ones I can think of are Heyer’s THE MASQUERADERS, in which the heroine is disguised as a man and her brother, the secondary hero, as a woman, because they are wanted Jacobites and this way they don’t match the “Wanted” posters; and Andre Norton and Rosemary Edgehill’s alternate-world Regency SHADOW OF ALBION, in which the ducal hero is the ace spycatcher disguised as a fribble, and the heroine is desperately trying to pass herself off as a noblewoman when she is actually a pioneer girl from the same era from OUR world, who has been abducted to replace her counterpart, who died unexpectedly. She’s also supposed to be a frivolous and selfish person (the real one was); the hero’s disdain for her undergoes a rapid change when he sees how handy she is with a rifle.

    Reply
  90. Here is a useful distinction:
    Re: An historic event or a historic event?
    “I believe it depends on how you pronounce “historic”…. If you use the “silent h”, then “an historic event.” If you pronounce the “h”, then you would say “a historic event.” I use both pronunciations indiscriminately…just depends on what comes out (or maybe who the audience is ?)”
    Another comment I found pointed out that H is the softest consonant, especially in Cockney English, which is why “an historic” is considered British and “a historic” American. Most of the references I found said both are acceptable.
    And then there’s the problem of the word “ahistoric”: “without concern for history or historical development; indifferent to tradition.” (A term which I believe is engraved on the Tigress’s heart, right next to “Calais”–or “callous,” as the case may be.) If you are going to use both in a sentence or paragraph, you may want to opt for “an historic” even if it’s not your normal usage.
    One thing about Regency historicals, at least, is that very often the characters are “masked” in the sense of having to appear to live up to their expected social roles, even when they are really more individualistic, like the proper young debutante who is secretly a bluestocking or a horse whisperer, or the Pink of the Ton who is really a serious scholar or interested in agricultural or social reform. In the course of the story, the hero and heroine learn the truth about each other and fall in love with the real person they find behind the mask. So rigid social expectations provide a form of mask for everyone.
    Of course there are our favorite superheroes, with their secret identities–Superman, Batman, Straight Arrow, and suchlike that I, at least, grew up with. And of course, the Lone Ranger, who was never UNmasked!
    I was fond of the Scarlet Pimpernel and Zorro, too–anything with a meek or quiet hero with a dashing alternate persona. Karen Harbaugh has a paranormal Regency in which the quiet and shy hero, who manages his brother’s estates, has long been in love with the Girl Next Door, who is now the Toast of the Town and being courted by a duke; but he’s always been too shy to speak–until he becomes possessed by the ghost of his dashing Cavalier/highwayman ancestor. A very good story.
    In addition to the “pretending to be someone you’re not so you won’t be married for your title/money/estates” plot, there’s also the spy theme in Regencies. If set in England, there’s usually a Scarlet Pimpernel type hero pretending to be a frivolous fool so he can catch the French spy.
    The most elaborate ones I can think of are Heyer’s THE MASQUERADERS, in which the heroine is disguised as a man and her brother, the secondary hero, as a woman, because they are wanted Jacobites and this way they don’t match the “Wanted” posters; and Andre Norton and Rosemary Edgehill’s alternate-world Regency SHADOW OF ALBION, in which the ducal hero is the ace spycatcher disguised as a fribble, and the heroine is desperately trying to pass herself off as a noblewoman when she is actually a pioneer girl from the same era from OUR world, who has been abducted to replace her counterpart, who died unexpectedly. She’s also supposed to be a frivolous and selfish person (the real one was); the hero’s disdain for her undergoes a rapid change when he sees how handy she is with a rifle.

    Reply
  91. I forgot my best costume: I once went to a New Year’s Eve masquerade with a Forty-Niners theme as Joaquin Murietta, the bandit of the goldfields.
    And I also forgot to mention that SHADOW OF ALBION has a dashing Polish Hussar and an absolutely brilliant horse.

    Reply
  92. I forgot my best costume: I once went to a New Year’s Eve masquerade with a Forty-Niners theme as Joaquin Murietta, the bandit of the goldfields.
    And I also forgot to mention that SHADOW OF ALBION has a dashing Polish Hussar and an absolutely brilliant horse.

    Reply
  93. I forgot my best costume: I once went to a New Year’s Eve masquerade with a Forty-Niners theme as Joaquin Murietta, the bandit of the goldfields.
    And I also forgot to mention that SHADOW OF ALBION has a dashing Polish Hussar and an absolutely brilliant horse.

    Reply
  94. I forgot my best costume: I once went to a New Year’s Eve masquerade with a Forty-Niners theme as Joaquin Murietta, the bandit of the goldfields.
    And I also forgot to mention that SHADOW OF ALBION has a dashing Polish Hussar and an absolutely brilliant horse.

    Reply
  95. I forgot my best costume: I once went to a New Year’s Eve masquerade with a Forty-Niners theme as Joaquin Murietta, the bandit of the goldfields.
    And I also forgot to mention that SHADOW OF ALBION has a dashing Polish Hussar and an absolutely brilliant horse.

    Reply
  96. The preferred form per the American Historical Association as “a historical.”
    The word derives from “istoria” (sadly lacking in diacritical markings here, but that approximates it) way back among the ancient Greeks, and meant, in essence, “inquiries.” The vowel in the original may be one reason that some people think it should be “an historical.”

    Reply
  97. The preferred form per the American Historical Association as “a historical.”
    The word derives from “istoria” (sadly lacking in diacritical markings here, but that approximates it) way back among the ancient Greeks, and meant, in essence, “inquiries.” The vowel in the original may be one reason that some people think it should be “an historical.”

    Reply
  98. The preferred form per the American Historical Association as “a historical.”
    The word derives from “istoria” (sadly lacking in diacritical markings here, but that approximates it) way back among the ancient Greeks, and meant, in essence, “inquiries.” The vowel in the original may be one reason that some people think it should be “an historical.”

    Reply
  99. The preferred form per the American Historical Association as “a historical.”
    The word derives from “istoria” (sadly lacking in diacritical markings here, but that approximates it) way back among the ancient Greeks, and meant, in essence, “inquiries.” The vowel in the original may be one reason that some people think it should be “an historical.”

    Reply
  100. The preferred form per the American Historical Association as “a historical.”
    The word derives from “istoria” (sadly lacking in diacritical markings here, but that approximates it) way back among the ancient Greeks, and meant, in essence, “inquiries.” The vowel in the original may be one reason that some people think it should be “an historical.”

    Reply
  101. Nah! Historicals are stories in which the action occurs, for me, prior to 1900. Whether disguises and masks are part of that action has little to do with it. In fact, were one to do a survey, I think he’d find the majority of historicals have neither masks nor masquerades.
    As to the “a”/”an” controversy: There is no doubt that most people soften the aspirate to almost nothing when they say “historical” preceded by the indefinite article. For most people, it takes deliberate effort to pronounce the aspirate when the “a” is used. Thus, “an historical” is not surprising. It’s similar to the development of “an apron” from “a napron.”

    Reply
  102. Nah! Historicals are stories in which the action occurs, for me, prior to 1900. Whether disguises and masks are part of that action has little to do with it. In fact, were one to do a survey, I think he’d find the majority of historicals have neither masks nor masquerades.
    As to the “a”/”an” controversy: There is no doubt that most people soften the aspirate to almost nothing when they say “historical” preceded by the indefinite article. For most people, it takes deliberate effort to pronounce the aspirate when the “a” is used. Thus, “an historical” is not surprising. It’s similar to the development of “an apron” from “a napron.”

    Reply
  103. Nah! Historicals are stories in which the action occurs, for me, prior to 1900. Whether disguises and masks are part of that action has little to do with it. In fact, were one to do a survey, I think he’d find the majority of historicals have neither masks nor masquerades.
    As to the “a”/”an” controversy: There is no doubt that most people soften the aspirate to almost nothing when they say “historical” preceded by the indefinite article. For most people, it takes deliberate effort to pronounce the aspirate when the “a” is used. Thus, “an historical” is not surprising. It’s similar to the development of “an apron” from “a napron.”

    Reply
  104. Nah! Historicals are stories in which the action occurs, for me, prior to 1900. Whether disguises and masks are part of that action has little to do with it. In fact, were one to do a survey, I think he’d find the majority of historicals have neither masks nor masquerades.
    As to the “a”/”an” controversy: There is no doubt that most people soften the aspirate to almost nothing when they say “historical” preceded by the indefinite article. For most people, it takes deliberate effort to pronounce the aspirate when the “a” is used. Thus, “an historical” is not surprising. It’s similar to the development of “an apron” from “a napron.”

    Reply
  105. Nah! Historicals are stories in which the action occurs, for me, prior to 1900. Whether disguises and masks are part of that action has little to do with it. In fact, were one to do a survey, I think he’d find the majority of historicals have neither masks nor masquerades.
    As to the “a”/”an” controversy: There is no doubt that most people soften the aspirate to almost nothing when they say “historical” preceded by the indefinite article. For most people, it takes deliberate effort to pronounce the aspirate when the “a” is used. Thus, “an historical” is not surprising. It’s similar to the development of “an apron” from “a napron.”

    Reply
  106. I have never gone to a masquerade party in a costume that made me truly unrecognizable. I remember there were a couple of Zorros, but I could recognize them right away. But then there were also a couple of Moomin and you couldn’t recognize them. As long as they kept their mouths shut, anyway.

    Reply
  107. I have never gone to a masquerade party in a costume that made me truly unrecognizable. I remember there were a couple of Zorros, but I could recognize them right away. But then there were also a couple of Moomin and you couldn’t recognize them. As long as they kept their mouths shut, anyway.

    Reply
  108. I have never gone to a masquerade party in a costume that made me truly unrecognizable. I remember there were a couple of Zorros, but I could recognize them right away. But then there were also a couple of Moomin and you couldn’t recognize them. As long as they kept their mouths shut, anyway.

    Reply
  109. I have never gone to a masquerade party in a costume that made me truly unrecognizable. I remember there were a couple of Zorros, but I could recognize them right away. But then there were also a couple of Moomin and you couldn’t recognize them. As long as they kept their mouths shut, anyway.

    Reply
  110. I have never gone to a masquerade party in a costume that made me truly unrecognizable. I remember there were a couple of Zorros, but I could recognize them right away. But then there were also a couple of Moomin and you couldn’t recognize them. As long as they kept their mouths shut, anyway.

    Reply
  111. The masquerade–whether it’s a woman pretending to be a man (or vice versa), a virgin pretending to be a courtesan (or vice versa), a Duke pretending to be a highwayman (or vice versa), or whatever– is my favorite romance novel plot. It gets me vibrating like the Tacoma Narrows Bridge. Maybe it’s because my very first romance novel was Heyer’s “Masqueraders.”
    I think Piper is definitely on the right track when she asks “Isn’t all of life a masquerade?” And I completely agree with Janga’s assessment that “If we are defining “masks” in a larger, metaphoric sense. . . every love story is the story of discarding masks.”
    The masquerade theme explores what is, for me, one of the central psychological and spiritual tasks of adulthood– the task of knowing oneself, of coming to terms with that self, and of allowing oneself to be seen, and known, and loved, by others.
    Revealing one’s true self to others can be risky and frightening– we all have vulnerabilities, we all have inadequacies.
    As much as we all hunger to love and be loved, I think that we all, at some level, fear the intimate knowledge of self and other– the unmasking– that makes love possible. We wonder if our true authentic self, being seen, will be lovable. We wonder if we are worthy of being loved.
    Behind a mask (whether literal or metaphorical), a hero or heroine keeps his or her deepest self hidden from view. When the mask is removed, and their beloved sees their true self and loves that true self– that’s powerful. (“He sees me for who I am– plain, beautiful, rich, poor, bookish, wounded, silly, hurting, drug-addicted, a courtesan, insert- problem- here– and he loves me anyway.”)
    A couple of days after I first met my husband, he told me that I reminded him of “this girl I saw a movie about, Anne of Green Gables.” Of course, I’d always felt a real kinship with Anne. So when he said that to me I was SCARED, because I felt like (despite my best efforts, LOL) he SAW who I was inside, the real me. He saw me without my mask, and he loved me anyway. (Reader, I married him.)
    I also see this work of knowing and loving as a spiritual task. In my faith tradition I believe that God sees me, and all of us, in all our giftedness and brokenness, and loves us anyway.
    “Now I know only in part; then I will know fully, even as I have been fully known. And now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; and the greatest of these is love.” (from I Corinthians 13)

    Reply
  112. The masquerade–whether it’s a woman pretending to be a man (or vice versa), a virgin pretending to be a courtesan (or vice versa), a Duke pretending to be a highwayman (or vice versa), or whatever– is my favorite romance novel plot. It gets me vibrating like the Tacoma Narrows Bridge. Maybe it’s because my very first romance novel was Heyer’s “Masqueraders.”
    I think Piper is definitely on the right track when she asks “Isn’t all of life a masquerade?” And I completely agree with Janga’s assessment that “If we are defining “masks” in a larger, metaphoric sense. . . every love story is the story of discarding masks.”
    The masquerade theme explores what is, for me, one of the central psychological and spiritual tasks of adulthood– the task of knowing oneself, of coming to terms with that self, and of allowing oneself to be seen, and known, and loved, by others.
    Revealing one’s true self to others can be risky and frightening– we all have vulnerabilities, we all have inadequacies.
    As much as we all hunger to love and be loved, I think that we all, at some level, fear the intimate knowledge of self and other– the unmasking– that makes love possible. We wonder if our true authentic self, being seen, will be lovable. We wonder if we are worthy of being loved.
    Behind a mask (whether literal or metaphorical), a hero or heroine keeps his or her deepest self hidden from view. When the mask is removed, and their beloved sees their true self and loves that true self– that’s powerful. (“He sees me for who I am– plain, beautiful, rich, poor, bookish, wounded, silly, hurting, drug-addicted, a courtesan, insert- problem- here– and he loves me anyway.”)
    A couple of days after I first met my husband, he told me that I reminded him of “this girl I saw a movie about, Anne of Green Gables.” Of course, I’d always felt a real kinship with Anne. So when he said that to me I was SCARED, because I felt like (despite my best efforts, LOL) he SAW who I was inside, the real me. He saw me without my mask, and he loved me anyway. (Reader, I married him.)
    I also see this work of knowing and loving as a spiritual task. In my faith tradition I believe that God sees me, and all of us, in all our giftedness and brokenness, and loves us anyway.
    “Now I know only in part; then I will know fully, even as I have been fully known. And now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; and the greatest of these is love.” (from I Corinthians 13)

    Reply
  113. The masquerade–whether it’s a woman pretending to be a man (or vice versa), a virgin pretending to be a courtesan (or vice versa), a Duke pretending to be a highwayman (or vice versa), or whatever– is my favorite romance novel plot. It gets me vibrating like the Tacoma Narrows Bridge. Maybe it’s because my very first romance novel was Heyer’s “Masqueraders.”
    I think Piper is definitely on the right track when she asks “Isn’t all of life a masquerade?” And I completely agree with Janga’s assessment that “If we are defining “masks” in a larger, metaphoric sense. . . every love story is the story of discarding masks.”
    The masquerade theme explores what is, for me, one of the central psychological and spiritual tasks of adulthood– the task of knowing oneself, of coming to terms with that self, and of allowing oneself to be seen, and known, and loved, by others.
    Revealing one’s true self to others can be risky and frightening– we all have vulnerabilities, we all have inadequacies.
    As much as we all hunger to love and be loved, I think that we all, at some level, fear the intimate knowledge of self and other– the unmasking– that makes love possible. We wonder if our true authentic self, being seen, will be lovable. We wonder if we are worthy of being loved.
    Behind a mask (whether literal or metaphorical), a hero or heroine keeps his or her deepest self hidden from view. When the mask is removed, and their beloved sees their true self and loves that true self– that’s powerful. (“He sees me for who I am– plain, beautiful, rich, poor, bookish, wounded, silly, hurting, drug-addicted, a courtesan, insert- problem- here– and he loves me anyway.”)
    A couple of days after I first met my husband, he told me that I reminded him of “this girl I saw a movie about, Anne of Green Gables.” Of course, I’d always felt a real kinship with Anne. So when he said that to me I was SCARED, because I felt like (despite my best efforts, LOL) he SAW who I was inside, the real me. He saw me without my mask, and he loved me anyway. (Reader, I married him.)
    I also see this work of knowing and loving as a spiritual task. In my faith tradition I believe that God sees me, and all of us, in all our giftedness and brokenness, and loves us anyway.
    “Now I know only in part; then I will know fully, even as I have been fully known. And now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; and the greatest of these is love.” (from I Corinthians 13)

    Reply
  114. The masquerade–whether it’s a woman pretending to be a man (or vice versa), a virgin pretending to be a courtesan (or vice versa), a Duke pretending to be a highwayman (or vice versa), or whatever– is my favorite romance novel plot. It gets me vibrating like the Tacoma Narrows Bridge. Maybe it’s because my very first romance novel was Heyer’s “Masqueraders.”
    I think Piper is definitely on the right track when she asks “Isn’t all of life a masquerade?” And I completely agree with Janga’s assessment that “If we are defining “masks” in a larger, metaphoric sense. . . every love story is the story of discarding masks.”
    The masquerade theme explores what is, for me, one of the central psychological and spiritual tasks of adulthood– the task of knowing oneself, of coming to terms with that self, and of allowing oneself to be seen, and known, and loved, by others.
    Revealing one’s true self to others can be risky and frightening– we all have vulnerabilities, we all have inadequacies.
    As much as we all hunger to love and be loved, I think that we all, at some level, fear the intimate knowledge of self and other– the unmasking– that makes love possible. We wonder if our true authentic self, being seen, will be lovable. We wonder if we are worthy of being loved.
    Behind a mask (whether literal or metaphorical), a hero or heroine keeps his or her deepest self hidden from view. When the mask is removed, and their beloved sees their true self and loves that true self– that’s powerful. (“He sees me for who I am– plain, beautiful, rich, poor, bookish, wounded, silly, hurting, drug-addicted, a courtesan, insert- problem- here– and he loves me anyway.”)
    A couple of days after I first met my husband, he told me that I reminded him of “this girl I saw a movie about, Anne of Green Gables.” Of course, I’d always felt a real kinship with Anne. So when he said that to me I was SCARED, because I felt like (despite my best efforts, LOL) he SAW who I was inside, the real me. He saw me without my mask, and he loved me anyway. (Reader, I married him.)
    I also see this work of knowing and loving as a spiritual task. In my faith tradition I believe that God sees me, and all of us, in all our giftedness and brokenness, and loves us anyway.
    “Now I know only in part; then I will know fully, even as I have been fully known. And now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; and the greatest of these is love.” (from I Corinthians 13)

    Reply
  115. The masquerade–whether it’s a woman pretending to be a man (or vice versa), a virgin pretending to be a courtesan (or vice versa), a Duke pretending to be a highwayman (or vice versa), or whatever– is my favorite romance novel plot. It gets me vibrating like the Tacoma Narrows Bridge. Maybe it’s because my very first romance novel was Heyer’s “Masqueraders.”
    I think Piper is definitely on the right track when she asks “Isn’t all of life a masquerade?” And I completely agree with Janga’s assessment that “If we are defining “masks” in a larger, metaphoric sense. . . every love story is the story of discarding masks.”
    The masquerade theme explores what is, for me, one of the central psychological and spiritual tasks of adulthood– the task of knowing oneself, of coming to terms with that self, and of allowing oneself to be seen, and known, and loved, by others.
    Revealing one’s true self to others can be risky and frightening– we all have vulnerabilities, we all have inadequacies.
    As much as we all hunger to love and be loved, I think that we all, at some level, fear the intimate knowledge of self and other– the unmasking– that makes love possible. We wonder if our true authentic self, being seen, will be lovable. We wonder if we are worthy of being loved.
    Behind a mask (whether literal or metaphorical), a hero or heroine keeps his or her deepest self hidden from view. When the mask is removed, and their beloved sees their true self and loves that true self– that’s powerful. (“He sees me for who I am– plain, beautiful, rich, poor, bookish, wounded, silly, hurting, drug-addicted, a courtesan, insert- problem- here– and he loves me anyway.”)
    A couple of days after I first met my husband, he told me that I reminded him of “this girl I saw a movie about, Anne of Green Gables.” Of course, I’d always felt a real kinship with Anne. So when he said that to me I was SCARED, because I felt like (despite my best efforts, LOL) he SAW who I was inside, the real me. He saw me without my mask, and he loved me anyway. (Reader, I married him.)
    I also see this work of knowing and loving as a spiritual task. In my faith tradition I believe that God sees me, and all of us, in all our giftedness and brokenness, and loves us anyway.
    “Now I know only in part; then I will know fully, even as I have been fully known. And now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; and the greatest of these is love.” (from I Corinthians 13)

    Reply
  116. RevMELINDA: That’s BRILLIANT! It’s going in my commonplace book (when I find it).
    I’m reminded of the comment Min makes to Cal in Crusie’s BET ME, after he sings “Love Me Tender” to her in Emilio’s:
    “I could tell myself that David was an idiot who didn’t know me, but you know ME…. Nobody in my life has ever known me the way you do. Nobody in my life has ever made me feel as good as you do. You know me, you know everything about me, and when you leave me, you’re going to be leaving the real me, the me that nobody else has ever seen, that’s who you’re going to be rejecting.”
    PIPER wrote: Isn’t all of life a masquerade?
    No, no, no! Life is a cabaret, my friend; life is a cabaret.

    Reply
  117. RevMELINDA: That’s BRILLIANT! It’s going in my commonplace book (when I find it).
    I’m reminded of the comment Min makes to Cal in Crusie’s BET ME, after he sings “Love Me Tender” to her in Emilio’s:
    “I could tell myself that David was an idiot who didn’t know me, but you know ME…. Nobody in my life has ever known me the way you do. Nobody in my life has ever made me feel as good as you do. You know me, you know everything about me, and when you leave me, you’re going to be leaving the real me, the me that nobody else has ever seen, that’s who you’re going to be rejecting.”
    PIPER wrote: Isn’t all of life a masquerade?
    No, no, no! Life is a cabaret, my friend; life is a cabaret.

    Reply
  118. RevMELINDA: That’s BRILLIANT! It’s going in my commonplace book (when I find it).
    I’m reminded of the comment Min makes to Cal in Crusie’s BET ME, after he sings “Love Me Tender” to her in Emilio’s:
    “I could tell myself that David was an idiot who didn’t know me, but you know ME…. Nobody in my life has ever known me the way you do. Nobody in my life has ever made me feel as good as you do. You know me, you know everything about me, and when you leave me, you’re going to be leaving the real me, the me that nobody else has ever seen, that’s who you’re going to be rejecting.”
    PIPER wrote: Isn’t all of life a masquerade?
    No, no, no! Life is a cabaret, my friend; life is a cabaret.

    Reply
  119. RevMELINDA: That’s BRILLIANT! It’s going in my commonplace book (when I find it).
    I’m reminded of the comment Min makes to Cal in Crusie’s BET ME, after he sings “Love Me Tender” to her in Emilio’s:
    “I could tell myself that David was an idiot who didn’t know me, but you know ME…. Nobody in my life has ever known me the way you do. Nobody in my life has ever made me feel as good as you do. You know me, you know everything about me, and when you leave me, you’re going to be leaving the real me, the me that nobody else has ever seen, that’s who you’re going to be rejecting.”
    PIPER wrote: Isn’t all of life a masquerade?
    No, no, no! Life is a cabaret, my friend; life is a cabaret.

    Reply
  120. RevMELINDA: That’s BRILLIANT! It’s going in my commonplace book (when I find it).
    I’m reminded of the comment Min makes to Cal in Crusie’s BET ME, after he sings “Love Me Tender” to her in Emilio’s:
    “I could tell myself that David was an idiot who didn’t know me, but you know ME…. Nobody in my life has ever known me the way you do. Nobody in my life has ever made me feel as good as you do. You know me, you know everything about me, and when you leave me, you’re going to be leaving the real me, the me that nobody else has ever seen, that’s who you’re going to be rejecting.”
    PIPER wrote: Isn’t all of life a masquerade?
    No, no, no! Life is a cabaret, my friend; life is a cabaret.

    Reply
  121. Great comments here.
    I’m stuck with an internet kiosk using qwerty rather than Dvorak so it’s akward.
    There haven’t been many examples from books, though.

    Reply
  122. Great comments here.
    I’m stuck with an internet kiosk using qwerty rather than Dvorak so it’s akward.
    There haven’t been many examples from books, though.

    Reply
  123. Great comments here.
    I’m stuck with an internet kiosk using qwerty rather than Dvorak so it’s akward.
    There haven’t been many examples from books, though.

    Reply
  124. Great comments here.
    I’m stuck with an internet kiosk using qwerty rather than Dvorak so it’s akward.
    There haven’t been many examples from books, though.

    Reply
  125. Great comments here.
    I’m stuck with an internet kiosk using qwerty rather than Dvorak so it’s akward.
    There haven’t been many examples from books, though.

    Reply
  126. Examples from books? Eloisa James’ latest series (Desperate Duchesses) has had at least one masquerade party, and one incidence of a woman dressing as a man.
    Elizabeth Boyle’s “Mistress by Morning” involved a magical ring granting wishes that had a spinster wake up as a mistress.
    Heyer’s “Devil’s Cub” had Mary don a mask and domino to hide her identity from Dominic.
    Gosh, there are so many more and those are just a few that I can remember off the top of my head.

    Reply
  127. Examples from books? Eloisa James’ latest series (Desperate Duchesses) has had at least one masquerade party, and one incidence of a woman dressing as a man.
    Elizabeth Boyle’s “Mistress by Morning” involved a magical ring granting wishes that had a spinster wake up as a mistress.
    Heyer’s “Devil’s Cub” had Mary don a mask and domino to hide her identity from Dominic.
    Gosh, there are so many more and those are just a few that I can remember off the top of my head.

    Reply
  128. Examples from books? Eloisa James’ latest series (Desperate Duchesses) has had at least one masquerade party, and one incidence of a woman dressing as a man.
    Elizabeth Boyle’s “Mistress by Morning” involved a magical ring granting wishes that had a spinster wake up as a mistress.
    Heyer’s “Devil’s Cub” had Mary don a mask and domino to hide her identity from Dominic.
    Gosh, there are so many more and those are just a few that I can remember off the top of my head.

    Reply
  129. Examples from books? Eloisa James’ latest series (Desperate Duchesses) has had at least one masquerade party, and one incidence of a woman dressing as a man.
    Elizabeth Boyle’s “Mistress by Morning” involved a magical ring granting wishes that had a spinster wake up as a mistress.
    Heyer’s “Devil’s Cub” had Mary don a mask and domino to hide her identity from Dominic.
    Gosh, there are so many more and those are just a few that I can remember off the top of my head.

    Reply
  130. Examples from books? Eloisa James’ latest series (Desperate Duchesses) has had at least one masquerade party, and one incidence of a woman dressing as a man.
    Elizabeth Boyle’s “Mistress by Morning” involved a magical ring granting wishes that had a spinster wake up as a mistress.
    Heyer’s “Devil’s Cub” had Mary don a mask and domino to hide her identity from Dominic.
    Gosh, there are so many more and those are just a few that I can remember off the top of my head.

    Reply
  131. Recommended:
    John Burrow, A History of Histories: Epics, Chronicles, Romances and Inquiries from Herodotus and Thucydides to the Twentieth Century (Knopf, 2008).

    Reply
  132. Recommended:
    John Burrow, A History of Histories: Epics, Chronicles, Romances and Inquiries from Herodotus and Thucydides to the Twentieth Century (Knopf, 2008).

    Reply
  133. Recommended:
    John Burrow, A History of Histories: Epics, Chronicles, Romances and Inquiries from Herodotus and Thucydides to the Twentieth Century (Knopf, 2008).

    Reply
  134. Recommended:
    John Burrow, A History of Histories: Epics, Chronicles, Romances and Inquiries from Herodotus and Thucydides to the Twentieth Century (Knopf, 2008).

    Reply
  135. Recommended:
    John Burrow, A History of Histories: Epics, Chronicles, Romances and Inquiries from Herodotus and Thucydides to the Twentieth Century (Knopf, 2008).

    Reply
  136. Jo, your Malloren books fit this theme beautifully. In My Lady Notorious, Chastity masquerades as a boy; in Something Wicked, Elf goes to a masked ball, gets in big trouble, and ends up making love with Fort in the anonymous dark (a kind of mask); in Secrets of the Night, Rosa uses a mask to deceive (and to conceive); and the denouement of Devilish is set at a masquerade ball.
    I also think of Stephanie Laurens’ early Cynster books. In Devil’s Bride, the hero hides his identity from the heroine; in Scandal’s Bride, the heroine drugs the hero and then comes secretly to him in the night; in A Secret Love (my favorite of hers), the heroine masquerades as a mysterious countess and attracts the hero more intimately than she bargains for. . .
    And this is just on the concrete “plot element” level. If one looked deeper into the metaphoric levels of just these books, there would be plenty of material for a doctoral dissertation.
    For example, a common element in Laurens’ heroes is their inability to “drop their mask” and reveal their vulnerability / emotional life (many times this is reflected in their struggle to get the words “I love you” out of their mouths–Laurens can get hundreds of pages out of this struggle!).
    OK, I’ll quit now. But I COULD go on and on!

    Reply
  137. Jo, your Malloren books fit this theme beautifully. In My Lady Notorious, Chastity masquerades as a boy; in Something Wicked, Elf goes to a masked ball, gets in big trouble, and ends up making love with Fort in the anonymous dark (a kind of mask); in Secrets of the Night, Rosa uses a mask to deceive (and to conceive); and the denouement of Devilish is set at a masquerade ball.
    I also think of Stephanie Laurens’ early Cynster books. In Devil’s Bride, the hero hides his identity from the heroine; in Scandal’s Bride, the heroine drugs the hero and then comes secretly to him in the night; in A Secret Love (my favorite of hers), the heroine masquerades as a mysterious countess and attracts the hero more intimately than she bargains for. . .
    And this is just on the concrete “plot element” level. If one looked deeper into the metaphoric levels of just these books, there would be plenty of material for a doctoral dissertation.
    For example, a common element in Laurens’ heroes is their inability to “drop their mask” and reveal their vulnerability / emotional life (many times this is reflected in their struggle to get the words “I love you” out of their mouths–Laurens can get hundreds of pages out of this struggle!).
    OK, I’ll quit now. But I COULD go on and on!

    Reply
  138. Jo, your Malloren books fit this theme beautifully. In My Lady Notorious, Chastity masquerades as a boy; in Something Wicked, Elf goes to a masked ball, gets in big trouble, and ends up making love with Fort in the anonymous dark (a kind of mask); in Secrets of the Night, Rosa uses a mask to deceive (and to conceive); and the denouement of Devilish is set at a masquerade ball.
    I also think of Stephanie Laurens’ early Cynster books. In Devil’s Bride, the hero hides his identity from the heroine; in Scandal’s Bride, the heroine drugs the hero and then comes secretly to him in the night; in A Secret Love (my favorite of hers), the heroine masquerades as a mysterious countess and attracts the hero more intimately than she bargains for. . .
    And this is just on the concrete “plot element” level. If one looked deeper into the metaphoric levels of just these books, there would be plenty of material for a doctoral dissertation.
    For example, a common element in Laurens’ heroes is their inability to “drop their mask” and reveal their vulnerability / emotional life (many times this is reflected in their struggle to get the words “I love you” out of their mouths–Laurens can get hundreds of pages out of this struggle!).
    OK, I’ll quit now. But I COULD go on and on!

    Reply
  139. Jo, your Malloren books fit this theme beautifully. In My Lady Notorious, Chastity masquerades as a boy; in Something Wicked, Elf goes to a masked ball, gets in big trouble, and ends up making love with Fort in the anonymous dark (a kind of mask); in Secrets of the Night, Rosa uses a mask to deceive (and to conceive); and the denouement of Devilish is set at a masquerade ball.
    I also think of Stephanie Laurens’ early Cynster books. In Devil’s Bride, the hero hides his identity from the heroine; in Scandal’s Bride, the heroine drugs the hero and then comes secretly to him in the night; in A Secret Love (my favorite of hers), the heroine masquerades as a mysterious countess and attracts the hero more intimately than she bargains for. . .
    And this is just on the concrete “plot element” level. If one looked deeper into the metaphoric levels of just these books, there would be plenty of material for a doctoral dissertation.
    For example, a common element in Laurens’ heroes is their inability to “drop their mask” and reveal their vulnerability / emotional life (many times this is reflected in their struggle to get the words “I love you” out of their mouths–Laurens can get hundreds of pages out of this struggle!).
    OK, I’ll quit now. But I COULD go on and on!

    Reply
  140. Jo, your Malloren books fit this theme beautifully. In My Lady Notorious, Chastity masquerades as a boy; in Something Wicked, Elf goes to a masked ball, gets in big trouble, and ends up making love with Fort in the anonymous dark (a kind of mask); in Secrets of the Night, Rosa uses a mask to deceive (and to conceive); and the denouement of Devilish is set at a masquerade ball.
    I also think of Stephanie Laurens’ early Cynster books. In Devil’s Bride, the hero hides his identity from the heroine; in Scandal’s Bride, the heroine drugs the hero and then comes secretly to him in the night; in A Secret Love (my favorite of hers), the heroine masquerades as a mysterious countess and attracts the hero more intimately than she bargains for. . .
    And this is just on the concrete “plot element” level. If one looked deeper into the metaphoric levels of just these books, there would be plenty of material for a doctoral dissertation.
    For example, a common element in Laurens’ heroes is their inability to “drop their mask” and reveal their vulnerability / emotional life (many times this is reflected in their struggle to get the words “I love you” out of their mouths–Laurens can get hundreds of pages out of this struggle!).
    OK, I’ll quit now. But I COULD go on and on!

    Reply

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