Thursday, August 04, 2005

Missing in action

I'm very sorry for letting this lapse. It certainly showed me people were reading and enjoying, though! Thank you for being pleasant in your requests for more.

I want to explain what happened to show why this may be sporadic. I started minepast while doing intensive research and daily coming across strange things I wanted to share. Unfortunately, before realizing I could do something with them I didn't save most of them, but I had a few and came across a few more.

But then the writer's life took over. I had to switch to writing, especially to get a proposal off for a new book. Then I had to prepare my talk for the Romance Writers' national conference in Reno. Then go there. At the same time I should have been doing some promo for the reissue of one of my older books that's on the shelves now. (Risque Celtic statue, misogynistic parrot, eccentric hero, bizarre plot. Forbidden Magic. Buy now!)

BTW, not entirely from the past, but part of my research for my talk was Dr. Helen Fisher's fascinating book WHY WE LOVE. (I strongly recommend this. It's fascinating and readable. Also Malcolm Gladwell's BLINK!) In it she reports that a study over time and cultures shows a distinct preference for women with a waist that is 70% of their hips. This applies to the junoesque and the Twiggies and reflects the optimum balance of estrogen and testosterone for reproduction.

I have to say that my first thought was, bring back crinolines! If we can't fix our waists, we can spread our hips. Probably explains a lot of fashion. Then I wondered about the waist-concealing style of the Regency. Perhaps there's a reason high waisted fashion has rarely taken hold. But that's probably the reason that in fashion plates at least, Regency dresses often emphasise the breasts to a shocking degree. As in the picture above.

People sometimes think the Regency was a period of prim propriety, but the fashion doesn't bear that out. After all, it's also the time when men chose to wear form-fitting pantaloons AND cut their waistcoats and jackets up to the waist.

History -- it's not always what it seems to be.

I'll try to put up more tomorrow, and again, thanks for the assurances that there are people as fascinated by strange trivia as I am.

If you don't read romance, you don't know what you're missing -- and you certainly shouldn't criticize it!

All the best,


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