Bloomers and the Tantalus—What I never knew about the Regency Period
Let us be honest with each other. I have read billions of Regency romances. Billions.
I thought I knew everything there was to know about the period, including the voice, the feel, the tone of it.
I was flabbergasted to discover how little I actually knew.
For one thing, a lot of the authors I had so voraciously read, got some things wrong. Just minor details really, like their dates. And fashions. And things that might be lying around the house.
For example, the Tantalus, that lovely invention where our heroes keep their ubiquitous brandy…was not invented until much later.
You know. Little things.
But when you’re an erotic author little things, like bloomers, become suddenly significant.
Specifically, the fact that they didn’t wear them in the Regency period. Underwear didn’t really become a common convention until the much more rigid Victorian era. There are those who will disagree with this tidbit—I prefer to err on the side of caution.
When my first erotic Regency, Folly, went to final line edits, I got the word. No Bloomers. I had to re-write several key scenes—scenes I loved, which caused me to GNAW off my fingernails.
I’ll share it here, just because I cannot bear for it to be forever consigned to oblivion. This scene appears in the book, but is severely truncated. And no one’s wearing drawers.
He nodded curtly in her direction. “There. You’re unbuttoned. Finish the job yourself.” Because, God, he wanted to watch her undress. For him.
She swallowed and nodded and let the dress fall to the floor.
He ground his teeth, bit his tongue, curled his hand in to a fist around the arm of the chair. Anything to keep him from flying across the room, taking her in his arms and planting himself inside her.
No. He sat there in the plush chair and watched as she revealed herself to him. For once her dress fell, she lifted her chemise. His heart thudded in his chest as her creamy belly, her abdomen and finally, her breasts were bared.
God. She was beautiful.
She pulled the chemise all the way off and let it fall to the floor. Let her gaze fall as well. She peeped up at him, standing there in nothing but her drawers.
Yeah. It nearly killed me to cut that “Finish it.”
When I started on my second erotic Regency, Dark Fancy, it was a little easier. I had my cheat sheets to make sure bloomers and the dreaded Tantalus did not appear. But I still made some interesting faux pas. Anachronisms. Terms or words that were not in use during that period.
I have to say, I enjoyed reading the FLE’’s notes tremendously. Now that I am working on the next two books in the series, I am having a blast checking the etymology of words and phrases I like. If you write historical romance, please allow me to recommend Online Etymology Dictionary: http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?term=entomology. If you’re a history nerd like me, you’ll love it.
In the meantime, please enjoy this blurb and excerpt attached.
By Sabrina York
When Lady Helena Eloise Simpson flees an unwanted marriage to a revolting lord, she finds refuge with James, a charming, handsome man unlike any she’s ever known. Helena concocts the perfect solution to her problem. She asks—begs—James to ruin her. Surely her betrothed will repudiate her if she is no longer pure. And if all her efforts fail and she still ends up married to a horrid man until the end of her days, she will—at least once—have known true passion.
But James is not all he seems. He is, in fact, a wicked lord with a dark fancy. When Helena awakens his desire, he becomes determined to take everything she has to offer and more. No matter the cost.
Dark Fancy by Sabrina York
An excerpt from: DARK FANCY
Copyright © 2013 by Sabrina York, 2013
All Rights Reserved, Ellora’s Cave Publishing , Inc.
By reading any further you are stating you are at least 18 years of age. If you are under the age of 18, it is necessary for you to exit this site.
James stared at Eloise, brave, proud, innocent Eloise. He could relate to the passion in her plea. He had a sudden desire to be released from a betrothal himself. He fiddled with the corner of his napkin. “There is always the chance your betrothed won’t care if you’re ruined.” Some men did not.
Her lashes fluttered. When they rose again, there was a look in her eye that sent lust coursing down his spine. It settled in his cock. “If I’m to be married to a bilious flounder of a man for the rest of my life, I should like to know passion just once. Just once, James.”
“J-just once?” His voice cracked.
Her smile blossomed. “Perhaps more than once.”
He had to laugh, although this was clearly no laughing matter. “My dear. I would be happy to oblige.”
“Excellent!” She clapped her hands with glee.
Unfortunate, that, because it made her look, once again, like a little girl. But then she picked up her cup and ran her pink tongue around the rim, lapping at the wayward drops. He reached for the second bottle.
She held out her cup for a refill. “You will need to show me what to do.”
He almost forgot to stop pouring. Hell yes. He’d love to show her what to do. He’d love to instruct her—in elaborate detail—what, precisely, to do. Something snarled in his belly. His palm itched.
He forced down that decadent desire. Chained the beast.
For God’s sake. She was an innocent, a virgin. If he opened with that card, not only would she truly be ruined, she would probably hie off to the nearest nunnery and spend the remainder of her life in seclusion.
Oh, he would bed her. He would despoil and beguile her, but only in the very gentlest of fashions.
But his fantasies, the darkling imagery of what he would truly like to do, simmered.
“Are you…” He cleared his throat. “Are you ready for your bath?”
“Heavens, yes.” Once again, she clapped her hands.
The childlike gesture was off-putting since, at the moment, he was thinking of sinking his cock into her body and swallowing her moans with his mouth. But he liked her enthusiasm. It also made him desire—very deeply—to tie those hands to the bedposts. So she couldn’t clap them.
Why that thought made him salivate, he didn’t know.
Ah hell. Of course he knew.
Despite the lust snarling through him, he managed a modicum of chivalry, although it was perfunctory at best. “I’ll fashion a curtain.”
Her next words nearly unmanned him. “You don’t need to.”
“I b-beg your pardon?”
“You don’t need to bother with a curtain.” For a shy and demure innocent, she had something of a brazen streak. “I mean, if we’re going to…you know…”
“Yes. If we’re going to make love, you will see me naked anyway.” A frown crossed her brow. “Won’t you?”
He chuckled. “Most certainly.”
“I thought so. But people are not very forthcoming when one asks about such things.”
“Really?” That had not been his experience in the slightest. Then again, she was a girl. The world sought to save and protect innocence. Until it ravaged it.
He did not know why he trembled as he poured the heavy buckets into the tub. He was a man of the world. Jaded and used to much more decadent fare than initiating virgins to the delights of the flesh. He should hardly be nervous about the prospect of having her.
Then again, maybe it wasn’t nerves. Maybe it was just pure, seething desire.
Dark Fancy is now available for preorder on Amazon
About Sabrina York
Sabrina is an award winning author of erotic romance with over a dozen titles available, ranging from sweet & sexy erotic romance to BDSM to erotic horror. Connect with her on twitter @sabrina_york or Facebook.
- Adam’s Obsession: Contemporary Erotic Romance
- Extreme Couponing: Contemporary BDSM
- Folly: Erotic Regency
- Pushing Her Buttons: Contemporary BDSM
- Rising Green: Steamy Erotic horror
- Training Tess: Contemporary BDSM
- Trickery: Magical Domination
- Tristan’s Temptation: Contemporary Erotic Romance
- Dark Fancy, the scorching prequel to Folly (Short Novel): Available February 22, 2013 From Ellora’s Cave
- Man Hungry (Short Story): Available March 31, 2013 from Ellora’s Cave
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