From Michelle: Emily Bryan’s dreamy new hero isn’t only vexed because we damn Americans keep thrusting that supposed-to-be-silent ‘s’ in the middle of his title. So sue us! No, our man of science/logic, Lucien, is hot/bothered over a feisty miss-who-knows-her-way-around-a-archeology-dig, but who’s learned a court(esan)ly trick/two to interest clueless Lucien, whom she’s crushed on since girlhood. Looks like there’s more than one way to vex a peer… and deliver a delightfully engaging secondary love story w/in a super-entertaining new novel. Please welcome Emily “Her Diana Groe Viking Books Shouldn’t Be Missed” Bryan w/ your warmest Bella buongiorno…
From Emily: Buon giorno, Bellas! When Michelle invited me to join you today, your name (bella means beautiful, after all) got me thinking about how ideals of beauty change.
Marilyn Monroe was a buxom size 14 when she played in “Some Like it Hot.” Then Twiggy burst onto the scene and anorexia became the “gotta-have” fashion syndrome. The pendulum will probably swing back someday (perhaps in my daughters’ lifetimes!)
But women didn’t draw the short end of the extreme fashion straw. Men have been under pressure to conform to unrealistic expectations, as well. And no era was tougher on them than the time my “Vexing the Viscount” is set in—Georgian (Early 1700s up till the Regency Period).
Today, we like our men broad-shouldered and slim-hipped. If a Georgian gentleman wanted to impress the ladies, he had to have well-developed calf muscles. Even the exaggerated sweeping bow of the day was designed to display a man’s lower leg. Poor spindle-shanked fellows had to resort to carved wooden “falsies” in their stockings in order to “make a beautiful leg.”
Now we subscribe to a “bigger is better” philosophy of male beauty, but in the 1700’s, a man was considered exceptionally fine if he had very small hands and feet. Can’t you just hear the Georgian girl talk?
“I say! Did you notice how small Ichabod’s feet are?”
“How could I miss them? You know what they say about men with small feet!” (insert tittering laughter here!)
Over the years, fashion has dictated that men wear high heels (ever see a painting of Louis XIV?), wigs, cosmetics, beauty spots, mutton-chop sideburns, shaved heads, and pony tails. It has favored square chins, cleft chins and double chins! Even the Vikings had one very silly season when all the tough guys were sporting lace caps. In short, fashion makes fools of us all.
Anyway, even though “Vexing the Viscount” is set in 1731, you’ll be happy to know that idealized male beauty-wise, my hero Lucian would be more at home in our century. Manual labor has toned him. He needs no falsies in his stockings. And his feet are ENORMOUS!
So what fashion or beauty ideal has rubbed you raw or made you giggle? (I personally have a pic of my DH in orange plaid pants that is blackmail-worthy!)GuestBlogs to Be: Friday 27: Karen Anders; March 2: Caroline Linden; 11: Megan Hart: 31: Jenna Petersen; 4.15: "Midnight Cravings" authors.
AUTHORS: Donate an item for the high-visibility RBTB Page in Brenda Novak's Online Auction for Diabetes! Write Michelle @ firstname.lastname@example.org to donate! Suggestions: Lunch/cocktails w/you at RT/RWA; character in your novel named after winning bidder; personalized books; guest blog on your site; crafts/services made/offered by you; book gift cards...
Authors: Wanna be a FOB? Link RBTB from your site/blog and send me your url @ email@example.com. I'll link you up on the Friends of Bellas page!