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Picturing a World

Puck Christmas 1908

The true meaning of Christmas may be the opposite of worldly vanity, but I can’t resist posting this image from the period of my present research for ANONYMITY.

San Francisco-based Grant Gordon (best known as a marine painter) provided illustrations to Puck and other periodicals.

I have to assume that my heroine, Mattie,  Read More 
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Pauline Carolus-Duran

Pauline Marie Charlotte Croizette was an artist and the sister of actress Sophie Croizette. In 1868, Pauline met Carolus-Duran in the Louvre, where she was copying old masters, and married him that year. I love  Read More 
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Chinese cabinet

One of the pleasures of researching an historical novel is discovering themes (I didn’t know how infatuated with Asian art and objects artists and collectors were in the 19th C until I started reading up for Where the Light Falls) and new artists. Gustave de Jonghe (1829–1893) was a Belgian painter, Read More 
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One of the gee-whiz pleasures for me in researching New York City at the turn of the 20th C is gawking at high-resolution photos on line. In the full view of this one at the Shorpy site, you can read ads on the El staircase and titles on the newsstand. I'm delighted with the  Read More 
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What corsets do

Blog tip: Corsets exercise the modern mind. Why did they WEAR them??? A revealing answer, a myth-busting answer (oh, the puns are endless) and more important a good look at how a corset affects the look of clothes is offered by The Pragmatic Costumer hereRead More 
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Not Mattie's world

Blog tip: My new heroine, Mattie, would never be presented at the Court of Saint James, not in 1907 or any other year. Still I loved coming across an itemized account of how much the clothes, the massage and the manicure cost for a debutante to be presented. Read More 
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Mattie illicit lover

In the first chapter of my work-in-progress, Mattie dresses for her job as a stenographer but daydreams about the coming evening with her lover as she puts on a sexy corset which she has bought from a fancy corsetiere.  Read More 
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Mattie Stenographer

As I tried to say last Thursday, I'll be writing more about my new work as well as Where the Light Falls. For instance, the stenographer shown here taking shorthand on her pad is younger than my new heroine, but I found the picture helpful in visualizing how Mattie might be dressed (shirt sleeves, no hat, pleated skirt)  Read More 
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On horseback, in pants

For my work-in-progress, I’ve been reading the autobiography of journalist Ida M. Tarbell, All in the Day’s Work. In 1892 for a McClure’s Magazine article, Tarbell interviewed the French archeologist and writer Jane Henriette Magre Dieulafoy, who with her husband Marcel worked on excavations in Persia.  Read More 
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Clothes and the historical fiction writer

Blog tip: It's hard to know for sure what ordinary people wore for everyday work in the past because only fine clothes tend to be saved. For a thoughtful post on the problem by a writer of historical romance, click here.
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