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Evangeline Holland
In a glass of champagne
Writer, reader, historian, traveler, vintage fashion lover, sassy cat-lady, and classic cinema geek.
Interests: travel, history, france, trains, cats, books, e-books, blogging, celebrity gossip, music, vintage, fashion, hats, sewing, art
Recent Activity
Welcome, Susanna! A great addition to the site.
Toggle Commented Jul 26, 2016 on Saying Hello... at Word Wenches
1 reply
Jo's books were practically the first romance novels I'd ever read, and I was so delighted when I discovered how active she was online (and this was back in the days of the old AAR boards and Yahoogroups). I moved away from Georgians/Regencies a few years later, but my favorite JB titles remained comfort reads. I'm so sorry to hear of her passing, and my thoughts are with her family and friends, as well as the Word Wenches.
Toggle Commented May 24, 2016 on In Memoriam: Jo Beverley at Word Wenches
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I don't think history is taught any differently today than when I was a teenager 10-15 years ago. In fact, history is much more accessible via blogs, social media, and YouTube. I see tons of enthusiastic comments from teens on the documentaries I watch on YouTube. It might not be the "historical" in historical romance that scares readers away a little, but how the books are packaged. We can shout all we want that we don't write bodice rippers, but the covers haven't changed that much since the 80s (clinches, bare chests, flowing hair, passionate gazes, flowery titles). It's rather similar to how new romance readers gobble up category-style romances by indie writers and epublishers like Entangled, but continue to turn up their noses at anything Harlequin. I also believe historical romance needs to return to its roots: the heroine's journey. Younger readers have grown up on period dramas and MG/YA historical fiction that have a deep romantic plot, but are mostly focused on one or more female protagonists. Even Downton Abbey, the popular period drama du jour, is very heroine-centric. And the stories younger readers consume are larger in scope: the heroine gets the guy, but she also saves the world, or her estate, or her planet, or her relationship with her sister/parent/best friend.
Toggle Commented Aug 5, 2014 on Words -Historical at Word Wenches
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I loved Ridley's bio despite my skepticism of her claims to tell the real story of Edward VII. It gives a very vigorous and full-bodied portrait of both him and his era, and compliments my other favorite EVII biographies (by Christopher Hibbert, Virginia Cowles, and Philippe Julian). The most recent read that knocked my socks off was Erika Robuck's Fallen Beauty. Laura, the fictional character, was great, but Robuck's portrayal of Edna St. Vincent Millay was astounding.
Toggle Commented Mar 1, 2014 on What We're Reading in February at Word Wenches
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That's why they commanded large salaries...though, when you think about it, car mechanics still make a pretty nice living. *g* My car museum is in Sacramento, California.
Toggle Commented Feb 4, 2014 on Cars at Word Wenches
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How fortuitous! I was also visiting a car museum over the weekend and snapped lots of pictures. As for fuel, petrol stations were fairly ubiquitous by the 1910s, and most motorists took cans of petrol with them in case they ended up somewhere where they couldn't refill. I have a number of AAA books (US and UK) and travel guides from the Edwardian era, which listed places for motorists to fill up during the travels.
Toggle Commented Feb 3, 2014 on Cars at Word Wenches
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I feel settings in romance are based on the images we receive via popular culture. Since I devoured gothic romances and "clogs-and-shawls" books early on in my romance/women's fiction reading, I am usually drawn towards books set in the North of England (or in Cornwall). I do have to say, Jo, that Emily and the Dark Angel created an uncanny love for Leicestershire (Melton Mowbray to be more specific, and the hunting society, to be even more specific!), so when an author does step outside of London, I am more than happy to get a peek at the countryside via fiction. As for Ireland and Wales--yes, please! I think I have Celtic blood somewhere, and Welsh, Irish, Bretons, Cornish...I find them all romantic, admirable, and fascinating. I'm currently reading Carrie Lofty's Starlight, and really enjoy the Glasgow setting. We don't see too many industrial or city Scottish settings; we leap straight from London to the Highlands.
Toggle Commented Sep 7, 2012 on Where and what at Word Wenches
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Evangeline Holland added a favorite at Word Wenches
May 13, 2012
I think the "bodice ripper" moniker arose because the books were written by women with women audiences in mind (and were published in MMPB, which before the 90s, was the place for lurid, LCD pulp fiction). After all, what really separates Sweet Savage Love from Forever Amber, or even the novels of Frank Yerby? Fannie Hurst, Anya Seton, Faith Baldwin, etc wrote romance novels and "women's fiction", but were widely read by all audiences and were prominent in the mainstream. Yet somehow, with the publication of Kathleen E. Woodiwess and Rosemary Rogers, and the rise of the modern-day romance genre, anything to do with romance and sex and passion and lustiness was a "bodice ripper" or "formulaic Harlequin romance". I have a few theories about this, mostly arising from the common insult of "sexually frustrated housewives" and the post-women's lib era, but I'll leave it at that. As for the "but" from Joanna Trollop, perhaps it's because historical novels published in Britain were mostly of the Catherine Cookson, clogs-and-shawls variety? Or it could be because of articles written in the past by a few historians denigrating the "trend" for well-bred and attractive women winning prizes for their so-called superficial women's historical fiction and non-fiction (i.e. Amanda Foreman's celebrated bio of Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire). It just seems to me that women must always apologize for being interested in women's issues via their writing, and in order to be accepted as "serious" writers, they must eschew anything sentimental and apologize for the few women novelists who are successful in spite of their romantic novels.
Toggle Commented Mar 9, 2012 on Awards and historicals at Word Wenches
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Evangeline Holland is now following Laura
Feb 24, 2012
I posted a series on Edwardian interiors last year, and Lord Derby's house is quite similar to the layout of a house in Charles Street (built ca 1900): http://edwardianpromenade.com/home/edwardian-interiors-an-edwardian-town-house/ The mention of the ballroom reminds me of a few photos in Nicholas Cooper's "The Opulent Eye"--I was surprised to see that ballrooms in few London houses that had them were so narrow! The only residences with huge ballrooms were those newly built with them, or a large mansion like Devonshire House or Londonderry House. These houses had electricity or gas, but I can only imagine how sweltering it must have been to dance for hours in such close quarters.
Toggle Commented Feb 24, 2012 on Visiting Lord Derby at Word Wenches
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I go absolutely bonkers for maps. I have a number of maps from my Baedeker's lamenated to hang on the walls, and when I discovered a bird's-eye-view map of 1900s Newport, I had to print that out and hang it up too.
Toggle Commented Feb 14, 2012 on A good map is a thing of beauty at Word Wenches
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Gorgeous!
Toggle Commented Nov 11, 2011 on Court gown and train, 1907 at FIDM Museum Blog
I have a particular obsession with steamer trunks, born from watching so many films from the 1930s where the actress opens her trunk and finds her designer duds hung, folded, and draped in the gazillion compartments. I wandered over to eBay a few months ago and winced at the prices for some of those gorgeous antiques--$10,000+, especially if it's Louis Vuitton!
Toggle Commented Jun 22, 2011 on baggage at Word Wenches
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Evangeline Holland is now following The Romantic Armchair Traveller
Mar 11, 2011
Evangeline Holland is now following The Typepad Team
Mar 30, 2010