The Monthly

Blue2Way back 8 years ago — that seems way back to me. We're talking pre-Kindle. Pause to think. Anyway, way back then I answered a reader question, which led to a blog about menstruation in the past. I thought it worth repeating.

The original question was: "Why don't women in historicals get PMS and chew holes in everyone around them?" Here's what I wrote, somewhat updated.

My first response is that mine rarely do because I rarely did. I'm one of those annoying women who had very little problem with menstruation other than the general hassle of it. No particular mood changes, no cramps. We write what we know. 

It would be interesting to know how many women regularly have PMS today, and even more interesting to know how common it was in the past.


Some people suggest that modern diet and pollution make it more common by interfering with natural hormones. However, I found this in a Treatise of Midwifery. "The approach of the menses is commonly announced nounced by the following symptoms: Fulness, tension, or pain in the breasts; head-achs; sometimes a flight degree of nauseating sickness; pains in the belly and loins, striking down the thighs; debility; often giddiness of the head; heaviness, weakness of the eyes, and a faint bluish or livid circle under the eye-lids. In general, this evacuation is always preceded with one or more of the above symptoms; for the situation of the woman may often be readily learned from the particular appearance of her countenance: But in other cases, no such alteration can be observed, and the woman herself suffers no deviation from her usual state of health."

The treatments suggested for lack of menses are quite alarming, but then it's clear that some would end a pregnancy, which was probably the point.

Jancy in The Rogue's Return did get grouchy. I thought I'd include a bit of the scene because it illustrates a couple of points. Trrfront

In this case, it works with a significant theme of the book — the difference in their stations. Jancy comes from a simple background and is unused to servants. Simon, though living simply at the moment and not extravagnt by nature, is an aristocrat, used to money not being a consideration. Her idea of decent thrift is his idea of ridiculous penny-pinching. He complains later that she pinches a penny where a St. Bride would pinch a pound.

Jancy and Simon are on a small boat, traveling down the St. Lawrence River to Montreal. When she gets up after the first night, she finds a spot of blood on her nightdress.

At least her valise was here, so she had a fresh nightgown, but how was she to wash the other? She couldn't, absolutely couldn't, let Treadwell do it, even if a gentleman's valet was supposed to do such things.

Dressed but without her drawers, she emerged and unlocked her chest. She dug around until she found her cloths and the sling that kept them in place, and then stood to retreat behind the sheet again. Simon was looking at her. He knew.

"There's a blood spot on the sheet," he said. "I'm sorry if you'd rather not talk about it, but I think in this situation it would be rather difficult. No child, then."

A touch of sadness in his voice made her ask, "Do you mind?"

"No, of course not. As you said, you don’t want to be with child during an ocean voyage. But our children will be welcome when they come. Will you have a hard time of it?"

"No, but… Never mind."

"What is it?" he asked, so prosaically that she told him.

"I can't imagine how to discreetly wash my nightgown and cloths. And Treadwell will see the sheet."

"I can't do anything about that, but as for your nightgown and cloths, throw them away."

"That would be a sinful waste!"

"Throw them away. The cloths, at least. If necessary, buy more in Kingston or Montreal."

"But…."

"I can, I believe, afford rags for my wife. I'm not rich, but I'm not a pauper."

"You don't know the meaning of rich and poor. You have no idea!"

"Oh, don't I? Hal's laying out most of the money for this journey."

She opened her mouth to score a point, but he quickly added, "But I'm not so poor that my wife needs to launder her monthly rags."

"And your wife's not so foolish that she'll throw money away!"

They glared at each other, but then Simon asked, "What are we arguing about?"

She straightened. "I'm sorry. I get short-tempered at this time."

If a couple are living in close quarters and menstruation happens, he's probably going to know. If the book covers more than three and a bit weeks of such living, it's going to happen, and the reader needs to know. Why try to avoid it when it throws interesting light on the characters and their relationship? How do the man and the woman deal with this aspect of intimacy for the first time? Does she try to hide it? How does she convey to him that it's happening, and that sex isn't possible. That's assuming that she sees it that way, but she probably does. How does he react to it?

Pregnancy

TheShatteredRoseGetting a period or not getting one is a pointer to whether she's pregnant or not, which can be important. In The Shattered Rose we're told that Jehanne is thrown into a depression every month when her courses start. In Forbidden, Serena believes she's barren and due to the stress of the plot it takes her a little longer than necessary to realize she's missed her time. In fact, it's the woman she's living with who notices no cloths have been washed. Yes, they washed them. FOR800

About the practicalities.

Details about how women dealt with menstruation aren't in the letters and diaries, but we know that women with leisure did sometimes take to their beds for a few days. It might have been because they were suffering from cramps and PMS, but it might have simply been an excuse to keep to themselves and avoid hassle, because the ways of catching menstrual flow weren't efficient. It isn't until the last 40 years or so that they have been.

Some argue that many women simply bled into their clothes, but I've never seen primary sources to back this up, and as there's plenty of evidence of women in the past, often in primitive communities, making pads from whatever was available I have strong doubts.

Some women prefer to use cloth pads now. There's a page here with examples and ways to make them.

As far as I'm concerned, women wore cloths that were folded into into pads. Sometimes they were actually sewn into permanent pads, but I suspect that's rare because it would make them harder to launder. Yes, they had to be washed and dried. They were generally called rags — the saying "on the rag" comes from that – but the pieces of cloth could well be neatly made and hemmed like a handkerchief.  Belt

They held the pads on with a wide strap back to front which was attached to a belt, or the pad itself was long enough to attach to the belt. The rig was not too disimilar in principal to the ones used until not long ago. In England we called them sanitary belts and sanitary napkins.  I suspect that even when women didn't normally wear underpants of any kind (ie up to the regency) they might have worn them during menstruation for greater security. People have generally been practical.

Do you have anything to add to my knowledge base on this? 

How do you feel about menstruation in novels? Just natural, or a bit icky? I have a feminist point of view that if we allow menstruation to be taboo we're undermining womanhood, but you may disagree.

On the radio recently women were talking about keeping menopause secret because it would make them seem old, and I caught bits of that in old documents. I and my friends celebrated freedom from the monthly, and in practical terms, freedom from the monthly iron loss. Which side would you be on — secrecy or celebration?

UB800BTW, not connected to this post, but at this moment you can get book one and two of my Company of Rogues for 99c each as an e-book. This is definitely at Amazon, and is being matched at some other retailers. Prices around the world are unpredictable, I'm afraid.

Cheers,

Jo

 

140 thoughts on “The Monthly”

  1. Funny that this should come up. My friends and I were discussing last night all the things that don’t happen to heroines or just rarely.
    Women never need to go to the bathroom. (The one exception seems to be road trip novels.) Men piss, usually in some kind of pissing contest or are in the bathroom for some secret conversation. When women piddle in pairs, why doesn’t this happen between the pages. The most interesting comment on this in a novel was one heroine discussing why women faint–because they don’t eat in public to appear delicate and they don’t drink much so that they don’t have to use the necessary with a fancy gown.
    Heroines don’t get sick. I’m sure they do, but I find it difficult to remember a heroine getting the flu, a cold, or even the latest plague. Once in a while a heroine gets shot. But where the heroine nurses the hero, she’s rarely laid up and he isn’t her nurse.
    Awkward sex which ends up in laughter. One friend swears she saw this in a contemporary.
    Thanks on the heads up on the ebook sale. I’m getting to the point where I want most things on the Kindle.

    Reply
  2. Funny that this should come up. My friends and I were discussing last night all the things that don’t happen to heroines or just rarely.
    Women never need to go to the bathroom. (The one exception seems to be road trip novels.) Men piss, usually in some kind of pissing contest or are in the bathroom for some secret conversation. When women piddle in pairs, why doesn’t this happen between the pages. The most interesting comment on this in a novel was one heroine discussing why women faint–because they don’t eat in public to appear delicate and they don’t drink much so that they don’t have to use the necessary with a fancy gown.
    Heroines don’t get sick. I’m sure they do, but I find it difficult to remember a heroine getting the flu, a cold, or even the latest plague. Once in a while a heroine gets shot. But where the heroine nurses the hero, she’s rarely laid up and he isn’t her nurse.
    Awkward sex which ends up in laughter. One friend swears she saw this in a contemporary.
    Thanks on the heads up on the ebook sale. I’m getting to the point where I want most things on the Kindle.

    Reply
  3. Funny that this should come up. My friends and I were discussing last night all the things that don’t happen to heroines or just rarely.
    Women never need to go to the bathroom. (The one exception seems to be road trip novels.) Men piss, usually in some kind of pissing contest or are in the bathroom for some secret conversation. When women piddle in pairs, why doesn’t this happen between the pages. The most interesting comment on this in a novel was one heroine discussing why women faint–because they don’t eat in public to appear delicate and they don’t drink much so that they don’t have to use the necessary with a fancy gown.
    Heroines don’t get sick. I’m sure they do, but I find it difficult to remember a heroine getting the flu, a cold, or even the latest plague. Once in a while a heroine gets shot. But where the heroine nurses the hero, she’s rarely laid up and he isn’t her nurse.
    Awkward sex which ends up in laughter. One friend swears she saw this in a contemporary.
    Thanks on the heads up on the ebook sale. I’m getting to the point where I want most things on the Kindle.

    Reply
  4. Funny that this should come up. My friends and I were discussing last night all the things that don’t happen to heroines or just rarely.
    Women never need to go to the bathroom. (The one exception seems to be road trip novels.) Men piss, usually in some kind of pissing contest or are in the bathroom for some secret conversation. When women piddle in pairs, why doesn’t this happen between the pages. The most interesting comment on this in a novel was one heroine discussing why women faint–because they don’t eat in public to appear delicate and they don’t drink much so that they don’t have to use the necessary with a fancy gown.
    Heroines don’t get sick. I’m sure they do, but I find it difficult to remember a heroine getting the flu, a cold, or even the latest plague. Once in a while a heroine gets shot. But where the heroine nurses the hero, she’s rarely laid up and he isn’t her nurse.
    Awkward sex which ends up in laughter. One friend swears she saw this in a contemporary.
    Thanks on the heads up on the ebook sale. I’m getting to the point where I want most things on the Kindle.

    Reply
  5. Funny that this should come up. My friends and I were discussing last night all the things that don’t happen to heroines or just rarely.
    Women never need to go to the bathroom. (The one exception seems to be road trip novels.) Men piss, usually in some kind of pissing contest or are in the bathroom for some secret conversation. When women piddle in pairs, why doesn’t this happen between the pages. The most interesting comment on this in a novel was one heroine discussing why women faint–because they don’t eat in public to appear delicate and they don’t drink much so that they don’t have to use the necessary with a fancy gown.
    Heroines don’t get sick. I’m sure they do, but I find it difficult to remember a heroine getting the flu, a cold, or even the latest plague. Once in a while a heroine gets shot. But where the heroine nurses the hero, she’s rarely laid up and he isn’t her nurse.
    Awkward sex which ends up in laughter. One friend swears she saw this in a contemporary.
    Thanks on the heads up on the ebook sale. I’m getting to the point where I want most things on the Kindle.

    Reply
  6. In one of Heyer’s books – I think A Lady of Quality – the heroine is laid out with the flu at an inconvenient time in the plot. ** I always wondered about how ladies handled the mess in those days before Kotex. I’m sure the underprivileged used rags or even newspaper, as they did in The Children of Sanchez, a sociological work about the poor in Mexico. ** And Jo, I never had cramps and bad temper, but I did feel heavy and fatigued. Menopause was not easy, but man, I think we are entitled to some kind of celebration when it’s all over and we have survived into crone-hood!

    Reply
  7. In one of Heyer’s books – I think A Lady of Quality – the heroine is laid out with the flu at an inconvenient time in the plot. ** I always wondered about how ladies handled the mess in those days before Kotex. I’m sure the underprivileged used rags or even newspaper, as they did in The Children of Sanchez, a sociological work about the poor in Mexico. ** And Jo, I never had cramps and bad temper, but I did feel heavy and fatigued. Menopause was not easy, but man, I think we are entitled to some kind of celebration when it’s all over and we have survived into crone-hood!

    Reply
  8. In one of Heyer’s books – I think A Lady of Quality – the heroine is laid out with the flu at an inconvenient time in the plot. ** I always wondered about how ladies handled the mess in those days before Kotex. I’m sure the underprivileged used rags or even newspaper, as they did in The Children of Sanchez, a sociological work about the poor in Mexico. ** And Jo, I never had cramps and bad temper, but I did feel heavy and fatigued. Menopause was not easy, but man, I think we are entitled to some kind of celebration when it’s all over and we have survived into crone-hood!

    Reply
  9. In one of Heyer’s books – I think A Lady of Quality – the heroine is laid out with the flu at an inconvenient time in the plot. ** I always wondered about how ladies handled the mess in those days before Kotex. I’m sure the underprivileged used rags or even newspaper, as they did in The Children of Sanchez, a sociological work about the poor in Mexico. ** And Jo, I never had cramps and bad temper, but I did feel heavy and fatigued. Menopause was not easy, but man, I think we are entitled to some kind of celebration when it’s all over and we have survived into crone-hood!

    Reply
  10. In one of Heyer’s books – I think A Lady of Quality – the heroine is laid out with the flu at an inconvenient time in the plot. ** I always wondered about how ladies handled the mess in those days before Kotex. I’m sure the underprivileged used rags or even newspaper, as they did in The Children of Sanchez, a sociological work about the poor in Mexico. ** And Jo, I never had cramps and bad temper, but I did feel heavy and fatigued. Menopause was not easy, but man, I think we are entitled to some kind of celebration when it’s all over and we have survived into crone-hood!

    Reply
  11. I recently included the heroine’s menstruation in my WIP. She informs the hero, her estranged husband, that she’s “unavailable.” When he realizes she’s suffering a headache due to her time of the month, it’s a chance for him to show some compassion and help ease her pain. Something she doesn’t usually see from him. As with most things in writing, I included it because it was a chance to show characterization and growth. If it doesn’t fit the story, I usually leave it out.

    Reply
  12. I recently included the heroine’s menstruation in my WIP. She informs the hero, her estranged husband, that she’s “unavailable.” When he realizes she’s suffering a headache due to her time of the month, it’s a chance for him to show some compassion and help ease her pain. Something she doesn’t usually see from him. As with most things in writing, I included it because it was a chance to show characterization and growth. If it doesn’t fit the story, I usually leave it out.

    Reply
  13. I recently included the heroine’s menstruation in my WIP. She informs the hero, her estranged husband, that she’s “unavailable.” When he realizes she’s suffering a headache due to her time of the month, it’s a chance for him to show some compassion and help ease her pain. Something she doesn’t usually see from him. As with most things in writing, I included it because it was a chance to show characterization and growth. If it doesn’t fit the story, I usually leave it out.

    Reply
  14. I recently included the heroine’s menstruation in my WIP. She informs the hero, her estranged husband, that she’s “unavailable.” When he realizes she’s suffering a headache due to her time of the month, it’s a chance for him to show some compassion and help ease her pain. Something she doesn’t usually see from him. As with most things in writing, I included it because it was a chance to show characterization and growth. If it doesn’t fit the story, I usually leave it out.

    Reply
  15. I recently included the heroine’s menstruation in my WIP. She informs the hero, her estranged husband, that she’s “unavailable.” When he realizes she’s suffering a headache due to her time of the month, it’s a chance for him to show some compassion and help ease her pain. Something she doesn’t usually see from him. As with most things in writing, I included it because it was a chance to show characterization and growth. If it doesn’t fit the story, I usually leave it out.

    Reply
  16. I’ve done all those things in books, Shannon, including ladies going to the “ladies’ room” during a ball, where there would be close stools behind curtains for their ease. Also a good hiding place. Definitely sex with laughter. In The Shattered Rose they end up awash with milk, and then the bed breaks!
    I like elements like that in books. Heroes or heroines with colds make the world more real.

    Reply
  17. I’ve done all those things in books, Shannon, including ladies going to the “ladies’ room” during a ball, where there would be close stools behind curtains for their ease. Also a good hiding place. Definitely sex with laughter. In The Shattered Rose they end up awash with milk, and then the bed breaks!
    I like elements like that in books. Heroes or heroines with colds make the world more real.

    Reply
  18. I’ve done all those things in books, Shannon, including ladies going to the “ladies’ room” during a ball, where there would be close stools behind curtains for their ease. Also a good hiding place. Definitely sex with laughter. In The Shattered Rose they end up awash with milk, and then the bed breaks!
    I like elements like that in books. Heroes or heroines with colds make the world more real.

    Reply
  19. I’ve done all those things in books, Shannon, including ladies going to the “ladies’ room” during a ball, where there would be close stools behind curtains for their ease. Also a good hiding place. Definitely sex with laughter. In The Shattered Rose they end up awash with milk, and then the bed breaks!
    I like elements like that in books. Heroes or heroines with colds make the world more real.

    Reply
  20. I’ve done all those things in books, Shannon, including ladies going to the “ladies’ room” during a ball, where there would be close stools behind curtains for their ease. Also a good hiding place. Definitely sex with laughter. In The Shattered Rose they end up awash with milk, and then the bed breaks!
    I like elements like that in books. Heroes or heroines with colds make the world more real.

    Reply
  21. Perhaps in the past there was little mention of women chewing holes in everyone because of PMS because that would simply have been considered bad behavior—by everyone, not just by men. And most women would have had to just soldier on through cramps and headaches because they couldn’t afford to do anything else.

    Reply
  22. Perhaps in the past there was little mention of women chewing holes in everyone because of PMS because that would simply have been considered bad behavior—by everyone, not just by men. And most women would have had to just soldier on through cramps and headaches because they couldn’t afford to do anything else.

    Reply
  23. Perhaps in the past there was little mention of women chewing holes in everyone because of PMS because that would simply have been considered bad behavior—by everyone, not just by men. And most women would have had to just soldier on through cramps and headaches because they couldn’t afford to do anything else.

    Reply
  24. Perhaps in the past there was little mention of women chewing holes in everyone because of PMS because that would simply have been considered bad behavior—by everyone, not just by men. And most women would have had to just soldier on through cramps and headaches because they couldn’t afford to do anything else.

    Reply
  25. Perhaps in the past there was little mention of women chewing holes in everyone because of PMS because that would simply have been considered bad behavior—by everyone, not just by men. And most women would have had to just soldier on through cramps and headaches because they couldn’t afford to do anything else.

    Reply
  26. I’ve been going through menopause since I was 31. Surgery… It’s not just the irrational yelling at the kids when one day!they threw their school books on the floor when the day before I just picked them up. It was saying in my head AS I WAS YELLING why was I doing that.? Now at 64 (though my husband assures me mentally I’m still a teenager.) I have the challenge of making it to the bathroom in time when I watch Bill Maher or AFV. Explaining that to the 2 year olds I play with when their parents are out. Depends….

    Reply
  27. I’ve been going through menopause since I was 31. Surgery… It’s not just the irrational yelling at the kids when one day!they threw their school books on the floor when the day before I just picked them up. It was saying in my head AS I WAS YELLING why was I doing that.? Now at 64 (though my husband assures me mentally I’m still a teenager.) I have the challenge of making it to the bathroom in time when I watch Bill Maher or AFV. Explaining that to the 2 year olds I play with when their parents are out. Depends….

    Reply
  28. I’ve been going through menopause since I was 31. Surgery… It’s not just the irrational yelling at the kids when one day!they threw their school books on the floor when the day before I just picked them up. It was saying in my head AS I WAS YELLING why was I doing that.? Now at 64 (though my husband assures me mentally I’m still a teenager.) I have the challenge of making it to the bathroom in time when I watch Bill Maher or AFV. Explaining that to the 2 year olds I play with when their parents are out. Depends….

    Reply
  29. I’ve been going through menopause since I was 31. Surgery… It’s not just the irrational yelling at the kids when one day!they threw their school books on the floor when the day before I just picked them up. It was saying in my head AS I WAS YELLING why was I doing that.? Now at 64 (though my husband assures me mentally I’m still a teenager.) I have the challenge of making it to the bathroom in time when I watch Bill Maher or AFV. Explaining that to the 2 year olds I play with when their parents are out. Depends….

    Reply
  30. I’ve been going through menopause since I was 31. Surgery… It’s not just the irrational yelling at the kids when one day!they threw their school books on the floor when the day before I just picked them up. It was saying in my head AS I WAS YELLING why was I doing that.? Now at 64 (though my husband assures me mentally I’m still a teenager.) I have the challenge of making it to the bathroom in time when I watch Bill Maher or AFV. Explaining that to the 2 year olds I play with when their parents are out. Depends….

    Reply
  31. The best was the tempura paint when helping at school. I have a shelf, I am not svelt, and things sometimes end up on that shelf. The white tempura paint my “helpers” used damp towels to remove with no success off the shelf wasn’t too bad, but the yellow they dropped on. My lap was difficult, but when I backed into the drying green and brown tree picture. Well I gave up laughed and went home. I walked in the door and said DON’T ASK. You know there must have been quite a look on my face. He never did ask…

    Reply
  32. The best was the tempura paint when helping at school. I have a shelf, I am not svelt, and things sometimes end up on that shelf. The white tempura paint my “helpers” used damp towels to remove with no success off the shelf wasn’t too bad, but the yellow they dropped on. My lap was difficult, but when I backed into the drying green and brown tree picture. Well I gave up laughed and went home. I walked in the door and said DON’T ASK. You know there must have been quite a look on my face. He never did ask…

    Reply
  33. The best was the tempura paint when helping at school. I have a shelf, I am not svelt, and things sometimes end up on that shelf. The white tempura paint my “helpers” used damp towels to remove with no success off the shelf wasn’t too bad, but the yellow they dropped on. My lap was difficult, but when I backed into the drying green and brown tree picture. Well I gave up laughed and went home. I walked in the door and said DON’T ASK. You know there must have been quite a look on my face. He never did ask…

    Reply
  34. The best was the tempura paint when helping at school. I have a shelf, I am not svelt, and things sometimes end up on that shelf. The white tempura paint my “helpers” used damp towels to remove with no success off the shelf wasn’t too bad, but the yellow they dropped on. My lap was difficult, but when I backed into the drying green and brown tree picture. Well I gave up laughed and went home. I walked in the door and said DON’T ASK. You know there must have been quite a look on my face. He never did ask…

    Reply
  35. The best was the tempura paint when helping at school. I have a shelf, I am not svelt, and things sometimes end up on that shelf. The white tempura paint my “helpers” used damp towels to remove with no success off the shelf wasn’t too bad, but the yellow they dropped on. My lap was difficult, but when I backed into the drying green and brown tree picture. Well I gave up laughed and went home. I walked in the door and said DON’T ASK. You know there must have been quite a look on my face. He never did ask…

    Reply
  36. Interesting post Jo. It sent me out to look up an old book I have called ‘The Family Physician or Advice with respect to Health etc. etc.’ by Dr Tissot and printed (6th edition) in 1797. There is a whole chapter on womens’ health, and too long to repeat, but I found the first chapter interesting where he states that “This discharge commences generally … between the age of sixteen and eighteen”, which makes it much later that today. AS far as mentioning it in novels I have no objection and it makes the story more believable. It happens, its life, it exists. Personally I had little problem, and I breezed through pregnancy, and breezed through menopause and my friends say lucky me.
    And thanks for the heads up of the e-books. Now to download.

    Reply
  37. Interesting post Jo. It sent me out to look up an old book I have called ‘The Family Physician or Advice with respect to Health etc. etc.’ by Dr Tissot and printed (6th edition) in 1797. There is a whole chapter on womens’ health, and too long to repeat, but I found the first chapter interesting where he states that “This discharge commences generally … between the age of sixteen and eighteen”, which makes it much later that today. AS far as mentioning it in novels I have no objection and it makes the story more believable. It happens, its life, it exists. Personally I had little problem, and I breezed through pregnancy, and breezed through menopause and my friends say lucky me.
    And thanks for the heads up of the e-books. Now to download.

    Reply
  38. Interesting post Jo. It sent me out to look up an old book I have called ‘The Family Physician or Advice with respect to Health etc. etc.’ by Dr Tissot and printed (6th edition) in 1797. There is a whole chapter on womens’ health, and too long to repeat, but I found the first chapter interesting where he states that “This discharge commences generally … between the age of sixteen and eighteen”, which makes it much later that today. AS far as mentioning it in novels I have no objection and it makes the story more believable. It happens, its life, it exists. Personally I had little problem, and I breezed through pregnancy, and breezed through menopause and my friends say lucky me.
    And thanks for the heads up of the e-books. Now to download.

    Reply
  39. Interesting post Jo. It sent me out to look up an old book I have called ‘The Family Physician or Advice with respect to Health etc. etc.’ by Dr Tissot and printed (6th edition) in 1797. There is a whole chapter on womens’ health, and too long to repeat, but I found the first chapter interesting where he states that “This discharge commences generally … between the age of sixteen and eighteen”, which makes it much later that today. AS far as mentioning it in novels I have no objection and it makes the story more believable. It happens, its life, it exists. Personally I had little problem, and I breezed through pregnancy, and breezed through menopause and my friends say lucky me.
    And thanks for the heads up of the e-books. Now to download.

    Reply
  40. Interesting post Jo. It sent me out to look up an old book I have called ‘The Family Physician or Advice with respect to Health etc. etc.’ by Dr Tissot and printed (6th edition) in 1797. There is a whole chapter on womens’ health, and too long to repeat, but I found the first chapter interesting where he states that “This discharge commences generally … between the age of sixteen and eighteen”, which makes it much later that today. AS far as mentioning it in novels I have no objection and it makes the story more believable. It happens, its life, it exists. Personally I had little problem, and I breezed through pregnancy, and breezed through menopause and my friends say lucky me.
    And thanks for the heads up of the e-books. Now to download.

    Reply
  41. It seems to be very true that even in ‘serious’ literature, there is rarely discussion of menstruation, although it is something which plays a fairly large part in a good percentage of a woman’s life. I was of an age when my period started that I was given pads and a belt, which were EXTREMELY uncomfortable, and was so very grateful to my friends for cluing me in to tampons, although they were not considered appropriate for young girls by some people. I am the kind of reader who appreciates the kind of details that you mention above; close stools, a wife telling her husband she isn’t available, etc. One of the things that I’ve never seen spoken of is the smell of blood that comes from using sanitary napkins or tampons. My husband has spoken of visiting girls’ dorms at college (before coed), when he could tell by the odor that most of the girls were having their periods! Another reason for the heavy use of perfumes in earlier times. I am one of those who had bad PMS, and unfortunately my daughter has inherited it. It is really rare to see a heroine who is plagued with it; bad cramps, back cramps, incredible mood swings; bouts of temper and crying and then, after things settle, a return to sanity and perspective. Out of all the silly misunderstandings that some authors create to keep the hero and heroine apart, that is one I’ve never seen. Maybe just too gritty for romance readers, although we do come in many varieties. I personally like a lot of grit in my favorite stories. Thanks for lots of hours of pleasure, by the way. Hope

    Reply
  42. It seems to be very true that even in ‘serious’ literature, there is rarely discussion of menstruation, although it is something which plays a fairly large part in a good percentage of a woman’s life. I was of an age when my period started that I was given pads and a belt, which were EXTREMELY uncomfortable, and was so very grateful to my friends for cluing me in to tampons, although they were not considered appropriate for young girls by some people. I am the kind of reader who appreciates the kind of details that you mention above; close stools, a wife telling her husband she isn’t available, etc. One of the things that I’ve never seen spoken of is the smell of blood that comes from using sanitary napkins or tampons. My husband has spoken of visiting girls’ dorms at college (before coed), when he could tell by the odor that most of the girls were having their periods! Another reason for the heavy use of perfumes in earlier times. I am one of those who had bad PMS, and unfortunately my daughter has inherited it. It is really rare to see a heroine who is plagued with it; bad cramps, back cramps, incredible mood swings; bouts of temper and crying and then, after things settle, a return to sanity and perspective. Out of all the silly misunderstandings that some authors create to keep the hero and heroine apart, that is one I’ve never seen. Maybe just too gritty for romance readers, although we do come in many varieties. I personally like a lot of grit in my favorite stories. Thanks for lots of hours of pleasure, by the way. Hope

    Reply
  43. It seems to be very true that even in ‘serious’ literature, there is rarely discussion of menstruation, although it is something which plays a fairly large part in a good percentage of a woman’s life. I was of an age when my period started that I was given pads and a belt, which were EXTREMELY uncomfortable, and was so very grateful to my friends for cluing me in to tampons, although they were not considered appropriate for young girls by some people. I am the kind of reader who appreciates the kind of details that you mention above; close stools, a wife telling her husband she isn’t available, etc. One of the things that I’ve never seen spoken of is the smell of blood that comes from using sanitary napkins or tampons. My husband has spoken of visiting girls’ dorms at college (before coed), when he could tell by the odor that most of the girls were having their periods! Another reason for the heavy use of perfumes in earlier times. I am one of those who had bad PMS, and unfortunately my daughter has inherited it. It is really rare to see a heroine who is plagued with it; bad cramps, back cramps, incredible mood swings; bouts of temper and crying and then, after things settle, a return to sanity and perspective. Out of all the silly misunderstandings that some authors create to keep the hero and heroine apart, that is one I’ve never seen. Maybe just too gritty for romance readers, although we do come in many varieties. I personally like a lot of grit in my favorite stories. Thanks for lots of hours of pleasure, by the way. Hope

    Reply
  44. It seems to be very true that even in ‘serious’ literature, there is rarely discussion of menstruation, although it is something which plays a fairly large part in a good percentage of a woman’s life. I was of an age when my period started that I was given pads and a belt, which were EXTREMELY uncomfortable, and was so very grateful to my friends for cluing me in to tampons, although they were not considered appropriate for young girls by some people. I am the kind of reader who appreciates the kind of details that you mention above; close stools, a wife telling her husband she isn’t available, etc. One of the things that I’ve never seen spoken of is the smell of blood that comes from using sanitary napkins or tampons. My husband has spoken of visiting girls’ dorms at college (before coed), when he could tell by the odor that most of the girls were having their periods! Another reason for the heavy use of perfumes in earlier times. I am one of those who had bad PMS, and unfortunately my daughter has inherited it. It is really rare to see a heroine who is plagued with it; bad cramps, back cramps, incredible mood swings; bouts of temper and crying and then, after things settle, a return to sanity and perspective. Out of all the silly misunderstandings that some authors create to keep the hero and heroine apart, that is one I’ve never seen. Maybe just too gritty for romance readers, although we do come in many varieties. I personally like a lot of grit in my favorite stories. Thanks for lots of hours of pleasure, by the way. Hope

    Reply
  45. It seems to be very true that even in ‘serious’ literature, there is rarely discussion of menstruation, although it is something which plays a fairly large part in a good percentage of a woman’s life. I was of an age when my period started that I was given pads and a belt, which were EXTREMELY uncomfortable, and was so very grateful to my friends for cluing me in to tampons, although they were not considered appropriate for young girls by some people. I am the kind of reader who appreciates the kind of details that you mention above; close stools, a wife telling her husband she isn’t available, etc. One of the things that I’ve never seen spoken of is the smell of blood that comes from using sanitary napkins or tampons. My husband has spoken of visiting girls’ dorms at college (before coed), when he could tell by the odor that most of the girls were having their periods! Another reason for the heavy use of perfumes in earlier times. I am one of those who had bad PMS, and unfortunately my daughter has inherited it. It is really rare to see a heroine who is plagued with it; bad cramps, back cramps, incredible mood swings; bouts of temper and crying and then, after things settle, a return to sanity and perspective. Out of all the silly misunderstandings that some authors create to keep the hero and heroine apart, that is one I’ve never seen. Maybe just too gritty for romance readers, although we do come in many varieties. I personally like a lot of grit in my favorite stories. Thanks for lots of hours of pleasure, by the way. Hope

    Reply
  46. So many thoughts come to mind on this subject! For one, I’d completely forgotten sanitary belts, the bane of my teenage years when we wore pencil-slim skirts and every ridge and ripple showed. Even buying boxes of pads at the pharmacy was embarrassing. They came in brown wrappers, but you had to _ask_ for them, as they were not on the shelves.
    I remember a Chinese author, in the early ’90s as I recall, interviewing women all over China. She found an isolated community in the countryside who lived primitively in caves. What stuck in my mind was, these women were bowlegged because for menstrual “pads” they used hunks of bushes that I gather were like tumbleweed. Ouch! But I also remember, they were the only group of Chinese women she interviewed who were happy and satisfied with their lives. No TV = no seeing how the other 99 percent lived, I guess.
    Lastly, Marian Chesney once depicted a formal Regency dinner in which a corner of the dining room had been screened off for ladies’ use _during dinner_. Her details were usually spot on, but I’ve always wondered about that one.

    Reply
  47. So many thoughts come to mind on this subject! For one, I’d completely forgotten sanitary belts, the bane of my teenage years when we wore pencil-slim skirts and every ridge and ripple showed. Even buying boxes of pads at the pharmacy was embarrassing. They came in brown wrappers, but you had to _ask_ for them, as they were not on the shelves.
    I remember a Chinese author, in the early ’90s as I recall, interviewing women all over China. She found an isolated community in the countryside who lived primitively in caves. What stuck in my mind was, these women were bowlegged because for menstrual “pads” they used hunks of bushes that I gather were like tumbleweed. Ouch! But I also remember, they were the only group of Chinese women she interviewed who were happy and satisfied with their lives. No TV = no seeing how the other 99 percent lived, I guess.
    Lastly, Marian Chesney once depicted a formal Regency dinner in which a corner of the dining room had been screened off for ladies’ use _during dinner_. Her details were usually spot on, but I’ve always wondered about that one.

    Reply
  48. So many thoughts come to mind on this subject! For one, I’d completely forgotten sanitary belts, the bane of my teenage years when we wore pencil-slim skirts and every ridge and ripple showed. Even buying boxes of pads at the pharmacy was embarrassing. They came in brown wrappers, but you had to _ask_ for them, as they were not on the shelves.
    I remember a Chinese author, in the early ’90s as I recall, interviewing women all over China. She found an isolated community in the countryside who lived primitively in caves. What stuck in my mind was, these women were bowlegged because for menstrual “pads” they used hunks of bushes that I gather were like tumbleweed. Ouch! But I also remember, they were the only group of Chinese women she interviewed who were happy and satisfied with their lives. No TV = no seeing how the other 99 percent lived, I guess.
    Lastly, Marian Chesney once depicted a formal Regency dinner in which a corner of the dining room had been screened off for ladies’ use _during dinner_. Her details were usually spot on, but I’ve always wondered about that one.

    Reply
  49. So many thoughts come to mind on this subject! For one, I’d completely forgotten sanitary belts, the bane of my teenage years when we wore pencil-slim skirts and every ridge and ripple showed. Even buying boxes of pads at the pharmacy was embarrassing. They came in brown wrappers, but you had to _ask_ for them, as they were not on the shelves.
    I remember a Chinese author, in the early ’90s as I recall, interviewing women all over China. She found an isolated community in the countryside who lived primitively in caves. What stuck in my mind was, these women were bowlegged because for menstrual “pads” they used hunks of bushes that I gather were like tumbleweed. Ouch! But I also remember, they were the only group of Chinese women she interviewed who were happy and satisfied with their lives. No TV = no seeing how the other 99 percent lived, I guess.
    Lastly, Marian Chesney once depicted a formal Regency dinner in which a corner of the dining room had been screened off for ladies’ use _during dinner_. Her details were usually spot on, but I’ve always wondered about that one.

    Reply
  50. So many thoughts come to mind on this subject! For one, I’d completely forgotten sanitary belts, the bane of my teenage years when we wore pencil-slim skirts and every ridge and ripple showed. Even buying boxes of pads at the pharmacy was embarrassing. They came in brown wrappers, but you had to _ask_ for them, as they were not on the shelves.
    I remember a Chinese author, in the early ’90s as I recall, interviewing women all over China. She found an isolated community in the countryside who lived primitively in caves. What stuck in my mind was, these women were bowlegged because for menstrual “pads” they used hunks of bushes that I gather were like tumbleweed. Ouch! But I also remember, they were the only group of Chinese women she interviewed who were happy and satisfied with their lives. No TV = no seeing how the other 99 percent lived, I guess.
    Lastly, Marian Chesney once depicted a formal Regency dinner in which a corner of the dining room had been screened off for ladies’ use _during dinner_. Her details were usually spot on, but I’ve always wondered about that one.

    Reply
  51. Before Kotex my mother said they wore rags which they had to wash out and hang on a clothes line. Talk about being embarrassed. I think the moodiness that some women have now was probably always around. My mother used to talk about her grandmother who used to “go off her rocker” when she gave birth. That must have been an interesting household considering she had 12 children and that includes two sets of twins.

    Reply
  52. Before Kotex my mother said they wore rags which they had to wash out and hang on a clothes line. Talk about being embarrassed. I think the moodiness that some women have now was probably always around. My mother used to talk about her grandmother who used to “go off her rocker” when she gave birth. That must have been an interesting household considering she had 12 children and that includes two sets of twins.

    Reply
  53. Before Kotex my mother said they wore rags which they had to wash out and hang on a clothes line. Talk about being embarrassed. I think the moodiness that some women have now was probably always around. My mother used to talk about her grandmother who used to “go off her rocker” when she gave birth. That must have been an interesting household considering she had 12 children and that includes two sets of twins.

    Reply
  54. Before Kotex my mother said they wore rags which they had to wash out and hang on a clothes line. Talk about being embarrassed. I think the moodiness that some women have now was probably always around. My mother used to talk about her grandmother who used to “go off her rocker” when she gave birth. That must have been an interesting household considering she had 12 children and that includes two sets of twins.

    Reply
  55. Before Kotex my mother said they wore rags which they had to wash out and hang on a clothes line. Talk about being embarrassed. I think the moodiness that some women have now was probably always around. My mother used to talk about her grandmother who used to “go off her rocker” when she gave birth. That must have been an interesting household considering she had 12 children and that includes two sets of twins.

    Reply
  56. Lil, you’re right that most women wouldn’t have been able to take to their beds, Of course a lot of women didn’t have many periods in their lives. They started late and then had a lot of children. Breastfeeding could pause their periods for a year or more and then they got pregnant again.

    Reply
  57. Lil, you’re right that most women wouldn’t have been able to take to their beds, Of course a lot of women didn’t have many periods in their lives. They started late and then had a lot of children. Breastfeeding could pause their periods for a year or more and then they got pregnant again.

    Reply
  58. Lil, you’re right that most women wouldn’t have been able to take to their beds, Of course a lot of women didn’t have many periods in their lives. They started late and then had a lot of children. Breastfeeding could pause their periods for a year or more and then they got pregnant again.

    Reply
  59. Lil, you’re right that most women wouldn’t have been able to take to their beds, Of course a lot of women didn’t have many periods in their lives. They started late and then had a lot of children. Breastfeeding could pause their periods for a year or more and then they got pregnant again.

    Reply
  60. Lil, you’re right that most women wouldn’t have been able to take to their beds, Of course a lot of women didn’t have many periods in their lives. They started late and then had a lot of children. Breastfeeding could pause their periods for a year or more and then they got pregnant again.

    Reply
  61. Yes, Jenny, it does seem that menstruation started later in the past. Some of it might have been down to nutrition. It would be interesting to know if rich girls menstruated earlierp

    Reply
  62. Yes, Jenny, it does seem that menstruation started later in the past. Some of it might have been down to nutrition. It would be interesting to know if rich girls menstruated earlierp

    Reply
  63. Yes, Jenny, it does seem that menstruation started later in the past. Some of it might have been down to nutrition. It would be interesting to know if rich girls menstruated earlierp

    Reply
  64. Yes, Jenny, it does seem that menstruation started later in the past. Some of it might have been down to nutrition. It would be interesting to know if rich girls menstruated earlierp

    Reply
  65. Yes, Jenny, it does seem that menstruation started later in the past. Some of it might have been down to nutrition. It would be interesting to know if rich girls menstruated earlierp

    Reply
  66. Thanks, Hope. I’m glad you enjoy my books.
    Good point about the smell. I think a lot of today’s readers would be put off by that. As societies we tend to think most natural smells unpleasant and suppress them with with deodorants of one sort or another.
    I can remember one well known American author saying that the hero and heroine NEVER smell unless it’s soap or perfume. These days sweat is okay, but only if it’s fresh. Not day old! I sort of thing that’s an inhibition.

    Reply
  67. Thanks, Hope. I’m glad you enjoy my books.
    Good point about the smell. I think a lot of today’s readers would be put off by that. As societies we tend to think most natural smells unpleasant and suppress them with with deodorants of one sort or another.
    I can remember one well known American author saying that the hero and heroine NEVER smell unless it’s soap or perfume. These days sweat is okay, but only if it’s fresh. Not day old! I sort of thing that’s an inhibition.

    Reply
  68. Thanks, Hope. I’m glad you enjoy my books.
    Good point about the smell. I think a lot of today’s readers would be put off by that. As societies we tend to think most natural smells unpleasant and suppress them with with deodorants of one sort or another.
    I can remember one well known American author saying that the hero and heroine NEVER smell unless it’s soap or perfume. These days sweat is okay, but only if it’s fresh. Not day old! I sort of thing that’s an inhibition.

    Reply
  69. Thanks, Hope. I’m glad you enjoy my books.
    Good point about the smell. I think a lot of today’s readers would be put off by that. As societies we tend to think most natural smells unpleasant and suppress them with with deodorants of one sort or another.
    I can remember one well known American author saying that the hero and heroine NEVER smell unless it’s soap or perfume. These days sweat is okay, but only if it’s fresh. Not day old! I sort of thing that’s an inhibition.

    Reply
  70. Thanks, Hope. I’m glad you enjoy my books.
    Good point about the smell. I think a lot of today’s readers would be put off by that. As societies we tend to think most natural smells unpleasant and suppress them with with deodorants of one sort or another.
    I can remember one well known American author saying that the hero and heroine NEVER smell unless it’s soap or perfume. These days sweat is okay, but only if it’s fresh. Not day old! I sort of thing that’s an inhibition.

    Reply
  71. Mary, I remember the embarrassment of asking for sanitary towels in the chemist. Not logical, but as a teenager it felt like admitting something terrible. Ouch on bushes between the legs!
    I too doubt the ladies’ convenience during dinner. They would leave fairly early, leaving the men to drink on, so I doubt it would be necessary, and I’m sure they’d prefer to to elsewhere if necessary.
    After all, male urination is less complicated than female.

    Reply
  72. Mary, I remember the embarrassment of asking for sanitary towels in the chemist. Not logical, but as a teenager it felt like admitting something terrible. Ouch on bushes between the legs!
    I too doubt the ladies’ convenience during dinner. They would leave fairly early, leaving the men to drink on, so I doubt it would be necessary, and I’m sure they’d prefer to to elsewhere if necessary.
    After all, male urination is less complicated than female.

    Reply
  73. Mary, I remember the embarrassment of asking for sanitary towels in the chemist. Not logical, but as a teenager it felt like admitting something terrible. Ouch on bushes between the legs!
    I too doubt the ladies’ convenience during dinner. They would leave fairly early, leaving the men to drink on, so I doubt it would be necessary, and I’m sure they’d prefer to to elsewhere if necessary.
    After all, male urination is less complicated than female.

    Reply
  74. Mary, I remember the embarrassment of asking for sanitary towels in the chemist. Not logical, but as a teenager it felt like admitting something terrible. Ouch on bushes between the legs!
    I too doubt the ladies’ convenience during dinner. They would leave fairly early, leaving the men to drink on, so I doubt it would be necessary, and I’m sure they’d prefer to to elsewhere if necessary.
    After all, male urination is less complicated than female.

    Reply
  75. Mary, I remember the embarrassment of asking for sanitary towels in the chemist. Not logical, but as a teenager it felt like admitting something terrible. Ouch on bushes between the legs!
    I too doubt the ladies’ convenience during dinner. They would leave fairly early, leaving the men to drink on, so I doubt it would be necessary, and I’m sure they’d prefer to to elsewhere if necessary.
    After all, male urination is less complicated than female.

    Reply
  76. I think that mentioning menstruation in a story adds to its authenticity. Certainly, in my case, my periods and attendant awful symptoms (cramps, backache, migraines) had a severe impact on my life to the point were I knew there were certain activities I would have to miss when my period was due, I’d be just too ill. It was only when I was in my thirties that new migraine medication became available and it made such a difference; and now I’m through the ‘change’ I feel I can live my life without having to look at the calendar. Although stories that omit this aspect of a heroine’s life can be great (and I certainly don’t want every gory detail) I thinks that some acknowledgement that women’s’ physical experiences in the past reflect our own in the 21st century, adds to the interest of the story and aids understanding of how they might have coped.

    Reply
  77. I think that mentioning menstruation in a story adds to its authenticity. Certainly, in my case, my periods and attendant awful symptoms (cramps, backache, migraines) had a severe impact on my life to the point were I knew there were certain activities I would have to miss when my period was due, I’d be just too ill. It was only when I was in my thirties that new migraine medication became available and it made such a difference; and now I’m through the ‘change’ I feel I can live my life without having to look at the calendar. Although stories that omit this aspect of a heroine’s life can be great (and I certainly don’t want every gory detail) I thinks that some acknowledgement that women’s’ physical experiences in the past reflect our own in the 21st century, adds to the interest of the story and aids understanding of how they might have coped.

    Reply
  78. I think that mentioning menstruation in a story adds to its authenticity. Certainly, in my case, my periods and attendant awful symptoms (cramps, backache, migraines) had a severe impact on my life to the point were I knew there were certain activities I would have to miss when my period was due, I’d be just too ill. It was only when I was in my thirties that new migraine medication became available and it made such a difference; and now I’m through the ‘change’ I feel I can live my life without having to look at the calendar. Although stories that omit this aspect of a heroine’s life can be great (and I certainly don’t want every gory detail) I thinks that some acknowledgement that women’s’ physical experiences in the past reflect our own in the 21st century, adds to the interest of the story and aids understanding of how they might have coped.

    Reply
  79. I think that mentioning menstruation in a story adds to its authenticity. Certainly, in my case, my periods and attendant awful symptoms (cramps, backache, migraines) had a severe impact on my life to the point were I knew there were certain activities I would have to miss when my period was due, I’d be just too ill. It was only when I was in my thirties that new migraine medication became available and it made such a difference; and now I’m through the ‘change’ I feel I can live my life without having to look at the calendar. Although stories that omit this aspect of a heroine’s life can be great (and I certainly don’t want every gory detail) I thinks that some acknowledgement that women’s’ physical experiences in the past reflect our own in the 21st century, adds to the interest of the story and aids understanding of how they might have coped.

    Reply
  80. I think that mentioning menstruation in a story adds to its authenticity. Certainly, in my case, my periods and attendant awful symptoms (cramps, backache, migraines) had a severe impact on my life to the point were I knew there were certain activities I would have to miss when my period was due, I’d be just too ill. It was only when I was in my thirties that new migraine medication became available and it made such a difference; and now I’m through the ‘change’ I feel I can live my life without having to look at the calendar. Although stories that omit this aspect of a heroine’s life can be great (and I certainly don’t want every gory detail) I thinks that some acknowledgement that women’s’ physical experiences in the past reflect our own in the 21st century, adds to the interest of the story and aids understanding of how they might have coped.

    Reply
  81. So true, I don’t recall this brought up in historical romance more than a couple of times and I don’t read much contemporary romance to know if it’s addressed there but would assume more so in that genre than historical. I recall a couple books with it very little mentioned, I think a Susan Johnson historical but can’t remember the other one. I did remember yours and now want to read again ! I think too it goes along with birth control not mentioned much as well. A great post!
    Cathie

    Reply
  82. So true, I don’t recall this brought up in historical romance more than a couple of times and I don’t read much contemporary romance to know if it’s addressed there but would assume more so in that genre than historical. I recall a couple books with it very little mentioned, I think a Susan Johnson historical but can’t remember the other one. I did remember yours and now want to read again ! I think too it goes along with birth control not mentioned much as well. A great post!
    Cathie

    Reply
  83. So true, I don’t recall this brought up in historical romance more than a couple of times and I don’t read much contemporary romance to know if it’s addressed there but would assume more so in that genre than historical. I recall a couple books with it very little mentioned, I think a Susan Johnson historical but can’t remember the other one. I did remember yours and now want to read again ! I think too it goes along with birth control not mentioned much as well. A great post!
    Cathie

    Reply
  84. So true, I don’t recall this brought up in historical romance more than a couple of times and I don’t read much contemporary romance to know if it’s addressed there but would assume more so in that genre than historical. I recall a couple books with it very little mentioned, I think a Susan Johnson historical but can’t remember the other one. I did remember yours and now want to read again ! I think too it goes along with birth control not mentioned much as well. A great post!
    Cathie

    Reply
  85. So true, I don’t recall this brought up in historical romance more than a couple of times and I don’t read much contemporary romance to know if it’s addressed there but would assume more so in that genre than historical. I recall a couple books with it very little mentioned, I think a Susan Johnson historical but can’t remember the other one. I did remember yours and now want to read again ! I think too it goes along with birth control not mentioned much as well. A great post!
    Cathie

    Reply
  86. When reading historicals, I’m not bothered by the lack of any mention of private matters like menstruation or visiting the loo. For me, it’s a given and doesn’t really need to be mentioned unless it’s important to the plot or the scene.
    Did they have outhouses during the Regency? I don’t think I’ve ever read a Regency where an outhouse was mentioned. I remember outhouses from my childhood, and also remember those sanitary napkins/belts like you mentioned, above.
    I have an old medical book from the 1860s, written by an American doctor. His do’s and don’ts regarding menstruation are a hoot, especially his warning not to take a cold bath in a creek during your period or you could go insane!
    I was reminded of cold baths today because it’s 30° outside, with snow expected, and we’re also having a freak windstorm that knocked out my power twice already. (And now my e-mail is down again.) So I may be risking my sanity if the power goes out again and I have to take a cold bath!

    Reply
  87. When reading historicals, I’m not bothered by the lack of any mention of private matters like menstruation or visiting the loo. For me, it’s a given and doesn’t really need to be mentioned unless it’s important to the plot or the scene.
    Did they have outhouses during the Regency? I don’t think I’ve ever read a Regency where an outhouse was mentioned. I remember outhouses from my childhood, and also remember those sanitary napkins/belts like you mentioned, above.
    I have an old medical book from the 1860s, written by an American doctor. His do’s and don’ts regarding menstruation are a hoot, especially his warning not to take a cold bath in a creek during your period or you could go insane!
    I was reminded of cold baths today because it’s 30° outside, with snow expected, and we’re also having a freak windstorm that knocked out my power twice already. (And now my e-mail is down again.) So I may be risking my sanity if the power goes out again and I have to take a cold bath!

    Reply
  88. When reading historicals, I’m not bothered by the lack of any mention of private matters like menstruation or visiting the loo. For me, it’s a given and doesn’t really need to be mentioned unless it’s important to the plot or the scene.
    Did they have outhouses during the Regency? I don’t think I’ve ever read a Regency where an outhouse was mentioned. I remember outhouses from my childhood, and also remember those sanitary napkins/belts like you mentioned, above.
    I have an old medical book from the 1860s, written by an American doctor. His do’s and don’ts regarding menstruation are a hoot, especially his warning not to take a cold bath in a creek during your period or you could go insane!
    I was reminded of cold baths today because it’s 30° outside, with snow expected, and we’re also having a freak windstorm that knocked out my power twice already. (And now my e-mail is down again.) So I may be risking my sanity if the power goes out again and I have to take a cold bath!

    Reply
  89. When reading historicals, I’m not bothered by the lack of any mention of private matters like menstruation or visiting the loo. For me, it’s a given and doesn’t really need to be mentioned unless it’s important to the plot or the scene.
    Did they have outhouses during the Regency? I don’t think I’ve ever read a Regency where an outhouse was mentioned. I remember outhouses from my childhood, and also remember those sanitary napkins/belts like you mentioned, above.
    I have an old medical book from the 1860s, written by an American doctor. His do’s and don’ts regarding menstruation are a hoot, especially his warning not to take a cold bath in a creek during your period or you could go insane!
    I was reminded of cold baths today because it’s 30° outside, with snow expected, and we’re also having a freak windstorm that knocked out my power twice already. (And now my e-mail is down again.) So I may be risking my sanity if the power goes out again and I have to take a cold bath!

    Reply
  90. When reading historicals, I’m not bothered by the lack of any mention of private matters like menstruation or visiting the loo. For me, it’s a given and doesn’t really need to be mentioned unless it’s important to the plot or the scene.
    Did they have outhouses during the Regency? I don’t think I’ve ever read a Regency where an outhouse was mentioned. I remember outhouses from my childhood, and also remember those sanitary napkins/belts like you mentioned, above.
    I have an old medical book from the 1860s, written by an American doctor. His do’s and don’ts regarding menstruation are a hoot, especially his warning not to take a cold bath in a creek during your period or you could go insane!
    I was reminded of cold baths today because it’s 30° outside, with snow expected, and we’re also having a freak windstorm that knocked out my power twice already. (And now my e-mail is down again.) So I may be risking my sanity if the power goes out again and I have to take a cold bath!

    Reply
  91. I don’t remember which author (though likely Carla Kelly) who had a female character who swore she would faint at the sight of block (maybe it was you Jo?) and the hero just looked at her and said, she must spend a week a month in a dead faint! I thought it was hilarious!

    Reply
  92. I don’t remember which author (though likely Carla Kelly) who had a female character who swore she would faint at the sight of block (maybe it was you Jo?) and the hero just looked at her and said, she must spend a week a month in a dead faint! I thought it was hilarious!

    Reply
  93. I don’t remember which author (though likely Carla Kelly) who had a female character who swore she would faint at the sight of block (maybe it was you Jo?) and the hero just looked at her and said, she must spend a week a month in a dead faint! I thought it was hilarious!

    Reply
  94. I don’t remember which author (though likely Carla Kelly) who had a female character who swore she would faint at the sight of block (maybe it was you Jo?) and the hero just looked at her and said, she must spend a week a month in a dead faint! I thought it was hilarious!

    Reply
  95. I don’t remember which author (though likely Carla Kelly) who had a female character who swore she would faint at the sight of block (maybe it was you Jo?) and the hero just looked at her and said, she must spend a week a month in a dead faint! I thought it was hilarious!

    Reply

Leave a Comment