This image is from an Ackermann's magazine which was published in 1816, slap bang in the middle of my favorite time period, the Regency. Ackermanns was a bit like the Vogue of it's day, containing fashion plates, articles about famous people, furniture, politics and the goings-on of the Royal Family.
I bid regularly on Ebay for these little fashion plates which have usually been separated from the rest of the magazine and kept, probably by women who either wanted to copy the style of the dress themselves or wanted their dressmaker to do it for them. It's a bit like us catalogue shopping or using the internet.
I love the idea of some Regency young lady frowning over the details of a dress, wondering just how the style could be reproduced and in what fabric. It makes me feel close to a generation of women long gone. Women who appreciated fashion as much as I do and possibly wondered why so many of the models pictured were so thin and so beautiful. I also love holding something so precious in my hand. The detail on these engravings is amazing and the colors remain remarkably fresh considering each ten inch picture is almost 200 years old.
This particular picture is a favorite of mine because the lady shown is a widow. But if you take a peek at her perfect little face, she looks ripe for mischief. She inspired me to write my first erotic romance, "Eden's Pleasure" about a young widow who has endured a loveless marriage to an older man and is determined to have some fun before she marries again. Enter, our hero, Major Gervase Harcourt and his identical twin brother, Gideon, who is not averse to helping matters along in his own unique way.
One of the most essential things for me when I write, is introducing conflict. That's why I like to write historicals because the very rules of society, and the way women were 'expected' to behave cause conflict. Helping these ladies get around the rules is one of the main pleasures of writing historicals. Allowing them to get around the sexual mores of their time is even more interesting!
So, dear readers,or fellow bloggers, which time period do you prefer to write or read your erotic fiction in and why?