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Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Author Cathy Marie Hake Discusses the Victorian & Edwardian Eras

At the Winter Writers Retreat I attended last month, I had the opportunity to hear best-selling author Cathy Marie Hake discuss the Victorian & Edwardian Eras. She began by allowing us, the all-female audience, to try on corsets over our t-shirts to experience the undergarment for ourselves. It definitely lifted, squeezed, and separated. Quite honestly, it made my back feel better, although I don’t think I would have liked to wear the contraption all day. I was also reminded that the corsets available today are not as crude and constricting as those from days gone by. Ladies back then did not relax in a chair or recline on a sofa. They sat on the edge because their corsets would not allow them to do otherwise.

Cathy also dressed the part for her workshop and brought along items from her collection of vintage clothing, explaining various pieces and how they'd be worn.

I appreciated the detailed handouts from which I learned the daily schedule for an urban gentry housewife as well as a “tweeny.” I’m not referring to kids within the ages of 10 and 13, rather a tweeny in Victorian times was a maid who worked “between the stairs,” both downstairs with the cook and parlor maid and upstairs with the family. She ran up and down all day long.

In short, Cathy’s discussions, which spanned a couple of hours in the afternoons of two retreat days, whet my curiosity even more for this bygone era. I was also reminded, although I know from experience, that many, many hours go into researching a historical novel.

Cathy Marie Hake's latest novel is titled, Serendipity. Find it at http://www.amazon.com/ and wherever else fine books are sold.

1 comment:

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