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Joanne Bourne
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I know even Heyer nods. And her research must have been tremendously difficult. No internet. I'm glad she got it right. (Assuming I got it right.)
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We want to portray reality; we want to build a picture in the reader's mind that may not be entirely reality; we have to take modern sensibilities into account ... I mean, it's enough to make you just take up knitting. One of these days we'll find out that tea or coffee does something dreadful to you. Imagine all the scenes that will then give off a different vibe.
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I do love Susanna Kearsley. I hadn't thought about the whole timing thing. One more layer of consideration for adding in the smoking. I think I'll put this on the list of stuff to ponder.
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Good Lord -- ratings for 'historical smoking'. What next? (There's some of those Regency dresses -- perfectly accurate ones -- that might qualify as 'partial nudity' I suppose.)
Toggle Commented Jan 17, 2015 on Regency tobacco and How to Puff It at Word Wenches
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I think it's very reasonable to assign a certain raffishness to tobacco use. A certain sense that this was not for polite company. And it is a way to get him out on the terrace, isn't it?
Toggle Commented Jan 17, 2015 on Regency tobacco and How to Puff It at Word Wenches
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I don't mind the smoking thing in fiction. Maybe it's from seeing smokers depicted so often in 18th Century taverns, sprawling with their long clay pipes. They look so relaxed and happy and at home. I can't help but think those men didn't go through much tobacco, either. Those pipe bowls look as if they held maybe half a tablespoon.
Toggle Commented Jan 17, 2015 on Regency tobacco and How to Puff It at Word Wenches
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Somebody has a Master's thesis waiting for them in a comparison of characters who smoke in Mills&Boon/HQN in the 1950s and 60 and current ones.
Toggle Commented Jan 17, 2015 on Regency tobacco and How to Puff It at Word Wenches
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As you say ... it's an evocative action. It tells us about the character. It creates an atmosphere.
Toggle Commented Jan 17, 2015 on Regency tobacco and How to Puff It at Word Wenches
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A 'cigarillo' is a very small cigar, one perhaps not much larger than a cigarette. The word itself probably doesn't date any earlier than the late 1820s, so a Regency gentleman shouldn't be smoking them by that name. But in the Regency, manufactured items were not so much standardized. If a man wanted very small cigars he could probably arrange to buy them. And they had small smokes similar to cigarillos in Spain a century and more earlier.
Toggle Commented Jan 17, 2015 on Regency tobacco and How to Puff It at Word Wenches
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I had not thought thought of the ever-present and overwhelming smell of coal fires and wood fires and tallow candles. I have a wood stove for heat in my house and I know I go about smelling of wood smoke all the time. (I tell myself it's a pleasant smell.) So the line between tobacco smokers and not wouldn't be as sharp a divide as today, I think.
Toggle Commented Jan 17, 2015 on Regency tobacco and How to Puff It at Word Wenches
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Oh dear -- Shannon, you are so right. NOT at the breakfast table. NOT after intimacy. But there are scenes where smoking could be just the perfect action.
Toggle Commented Jan 17, 2015 on Regency tobacco and How to Puff It at Word Wenches
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I know many people feel this way in real life. Interesting to see it carry over to the fictive world. And Romance would be where this preference hits, because we need out heroes to be appealing!
Toggle Commented Jan 17, 2015 on Regency tobacco and How to Puff It at Word Wenches
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I'm with you. Reading history, I want to see history. When I'm writing I don't delve into ALL the history available. I don't go to situations where I'll pull my reader out of the fictive haze. I pick and choose. But at the very least I do try to avoid social anachronism.
Toggle Commented Jan 17, 2015 on Regency tobacco and How to Puff It at Word Wenches
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Those are WONDERFUL examples. And great insight on how Thomas and Chase use smoking to make a point about their heroines. They are so clever.
Toggle Commented Jan 17, 2015 on Regency tobacco and How to Puff It at Word Wenches
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Sherlock Holmes and his drug habit . . . and therein lies an interesting parallel. When Doyle wrote his works there was an entirely different attitude toward cocaine. When we read them, we apply different values. We read a 'different story', really.
Toggle Commented Jan 17, 2015 on Regency tobacco and How to Puff It at Word Wenches
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We can use what a character smokes, and how and where, to tell us about him or her. As useful as coffee versus tea or what he reads.
Toggle Commented Jan 17, 2015 on Regency tobacco and How to Puff It at Word Wenches
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That's exactly it. Part of what we're doing in Historical Romance is visiting a different world.
Toggle Commented Jan 17, 2015 on Regency tobacco and How to Puff It at Word Wenches
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I feel as though the 50s may have been some sort of all-time high for smoking. Cigarettes are a very 20th century thing. (Mechanical cigarette rolling machine at the beginning of the century made smoking very cheap.) I sat and thought a good long while before I put a pipe in Doyle's hands. It seemed so suited to his acquired persona. So much the protective coloration he'd seek. In the end, I did it for the characterization.
Toggle Commented Jan 16, 2015 on Regency tobacco and How to Puff It at Word Wenches
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Ouch. Sorry sorry sorry ... and that's one aspect of the writing I had not even considered. Congratulations on stopping.
Toggle Commented Jan 16, 2015 on Regency tobacco and How to Puff It at Word Wenches
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This is kinda what I think. I wouldn't so much enjoy that sort of kiss in real life. In fiction, I don't really think about it.
Toggle Commented Jan 16, 2015 on Regency tobacco and How to Puff It at Word Wenches
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So even in fiction it would bother you. Something for authors to think about ...
Toggle Commented Jan 16, 2015 on Regency tobacco and How to Puff It at Word Wenches
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Sometimes we want to add these things for realism. Sometimes for character development. It's not just in Historical Romance. Even writing a contemporary hero we probably add some behaviors we don't like so much ourselves.
Toggle Commented Jan 16, 2015 on Regency tobacco and How to Puff It at Word Wenches
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We make allowances for the historical period, don't we? This isn't the least of the mental adjustments we make. Less frequent bathing and haphazard laundry comes to mind. So many of these period differences we don't bring to the reader's mind. We don't have to mention them. Smoking, however, is an active, on-stage sorta thing so it has more effect on how we see our hero.
Toggle Commented Jan 16, 2015 on Regency tobacco and How to Puff It at Word Wenches
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I haven't been in a position to show a character thinking about the smells of home or the smells of the past, I think. But the sense of smell is incredibly evocative. The scent of tobacco would be one of those signature memories. Maybe I'll use it sometime.
Toggle Commented Jan 16, 2015 on Regency tobacco and How to Puff It at Word Wenches
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In my Byron quote above, he expresses a preference for them. I haven't researched it, but I bet there was a small, wild, sophisticated set that used hookas.
Toggle Commented Jan 16, 2015 on Regency tobacco and How to Puff It at Word Wenches
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