I'm going to write up a few blogs and schedule them to post on Tuesdays as usual, though I haven't had any luck with scheduling blogs since Blogger made changes. If Tuesday comes around and nothing shows up, you'll know that I still don't know what I'm doing. I'll try to blog consistently and interact with everyone's comments and blogs, but please forgive me if I drop off the face of the Internet and you don't hear from me for days or even a week. Honestly, I don't know what to expect. God's got this, I know, but isn't it hard to trust the unknown to Him?
My blog posts haven't been very entertaining lately, so I thought I'd throw you some interesting facts I've learned while researching the 18th century.
1. At a ball, dinner came before the dancing, and not everyone was invited to the dinner. Don't roll your eyes--you may have known that, but I didn't! I had to re-write three chapters of TWOI to get it right.
2. Gents and ladies wore gloves when outside the home, and during formal occasions, such as a ball. (Not sure why women would choose mitts over fingered gloves other than when needing finger dexterity--still checking that one out.) They removed their gloves before dining, and placed them on their laps and their table napkins over them. This was the perfect detail to fuel Louisa's misconception of Altamont in TWOI's new chapter one. :-)
Brooklyn Museum Costume Collection at The Metropolitan Museum of Art
3. Fruit was scare and expensive, and only the wealthy could get it. It was quite a feat for Lord Admiral Howe to provide citrus fruits to the scurvy-ailing men of the Royal Navy! Yes, my novel is about Louisa, but Richard Howe was quite a character. Did you know that he went from being blamed for Britain's failed efforts in the Revolutionary War to the hero of the "Glorious First of June" battle about twenty years later??? Yes, he's begging for a book of his own. Where was I?...fruit. The English cooked their fruit for superstitious reasons. They believed that indigestion or even the plague (the plague? really?) could result from eating raw fruit.
4. For the wealthy, vegetables were more of a garnish than side dish, and they ate a lot of meat. Venison was a status symbol.
5. Ooh, love this one! Obviously, men wore perfume as well as the women, but did you know that nothing distinguished the men's perfume from the women's? I'm getting an image of Lord Altamont walking around in a cloud of "Aqua Admirabilis" (a perfume made popular by King Louis XV, consisting of grape spirits, lavender and rose water) LOL! Nah, I think he'd wear musk or some kind of bergamont combination (which they had in the 1700s, but by the turn of the century when cleanliness and hygiene was becoming important to society, wearing a stronger perfume such as musk was thought to reflect bad hygiene.)