Beau Brummell

Warning:Viewer discretion advised. Images of a good looking man’s buttox may be disturbing to some viewers.

*Snickers*

Beau Brummell, born as George Bryan Brummell (7 June 1778, London, England – 30 March 1840, Caen, France), was the arbiter of men’s fashion in Regency England and a friend of the Prince Regent, the future King George IV. He established the mode of men wearing understated, but fitted, beautifully cut clothes including dark suits and full length trousers, adorned with an elaborately-knotted cravat. Beau Brummell is credited with introducing and establishing as fashion the modern man’s suit, worn with a tie. He claimed to take five hours to dress, and recommended that boots be polished with champagne. His style of dress was known as dandyism.”

This video made me giggle. Apparently, men would come to watch Brummell get dressed–he was, after all, the King of Fashion in his days.

Author Interview: Mandy Hubbard

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“If the shoe fits, wear it–and if you’re in the mood for a frickin’ awesome romance, this is definitely the shoe for you.” – Lauren Myracle, New York Times Bestselling Author of TTYL

Pride and Prejudice meets The Wizard of Oz meets The Princess Diaries in this enchanting story of a young girl’s journey back in time… With delicious romance around every corner, and tantalizing mysteries waiting to be uncovered, Prada & Prejudice will satisfy the sweet tooth of dreamy, young readers everywhere.” – Kristin Walker, author of A MATCH MADE IN HIGH SCHOOL, Coming from Razorbill in 2010.

“Based very loosely on Pride and Prejudice, this humorous teen time-travel romance is the perfect escape.” – Cyn Balog, author of FAIRY TALE, coming from Random House in June 2009.

 

 

Here’s my interview with Mandy Hubbard, author of the soon to be released YA novel, Prada & Prejudice (June 11, 2009).

For the people who’ve just learned about your book, Prada & Prejudice , could you tell us a bit about it? It’s a young adult novel about a fifteen year old girl who trips in her Prada heels– and ends up in 1815.
 
What inspired you to write it? 
I am completely in love with Regency romances, but sometimes I wish the heroines would think and act more like me. So I thought– why not make my dream book and put a modern girl into 1815?
 
How did you come up with your characters? Do you develop them from people you know?
I always come up with the “hook” or plot first, and the characters second. I create the kind of character who would have the most trouble with the set-up so that I can have a lot of conflict. In Prada & Prejudice, Callie is from the twenty-first century, so I created Alex (a duke) who is, like most guys in 1815, sexist. He doesn’t understand or believe that girls can be just as smart and successful. Callie herself is used to trying everything to conform and be popular, but when she meets someone as maddening as Alex, she does the opposite– she speaks her mind and sticks up for people.
 
Do you have any plans to publish Broken Road, the story you posted up on Fictionpress?
Right now, no. I do love that story, but it needs some extensive revisions to be ready for publishing. I do sometimes play with the idea of tackling it, but at the moment I have enough projects to keep me busy! I am, however, THRILLED that it continues to find readers on Fictionpress. It is by far my most popular story– more so than the rest of them combined.
 
Both fictions are based on romance. How would you define ‘love’? And what elements do you believe are required to make a good romance novel?
I’m not sure how to truly define love– it’s an emotion that consumes us until we can’t think of anything else, that’s for sure! It’s the ability to see the best in someone else, it’s finding someone who snaps into your life like they were made for it. I think a good romance is one that takes two flawed characters who can come together and be better because of it. A good romance needs plenty of conflict, though. I HATE Romances in which the only conflict arises from a very simple misunderstanding– one which if one of the characters said about two sentences about it, the whole book would be wrapped up and the conflict would be gone. I prefer ones in which there are both external and internal conflicts, and the reader really has to wonder how the problems will be solved in time for a Happily-Ever-After.

And yes, a HEA is a must for me.
 
What do you do when you’re in a writer’s block?
Force it. Truly. It doesn’t always work, but if I’m having trouble and I have a deadline or a goal, I just write pure, utter drivel until it starts flowing. Sometimes it only takes a few pages, other times a chapter or two, but eventually I strike gold and things start flowing again. Then I have to go back and cut the yucky stuff.
 
Are there any authors that influenced your writing?
Kat Martin wrote the first ever regency romance I read (THE BRIDE’S NECKLACE) and is the one who inspired me to try and go from Fictionpress to published.
 
How long have you been writing for?
I created my Fictionpress account in 2003, so I suppose six years now! 
 
What do you find most difficult about writing?
Staying motivated to make it through the middle and to the end. I like to say, “I don’t like to write, I like to have written.” 
 
What are your favourite 5 books?
Oooh! In no particular order:
 Going Too Far by Jennifer Echols
The Season by Sara Maclean
The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan
Hate List (fall 2009) by Jennifer Brown
A MATCH MADE IN HIGH SCHOOL (2010) by Kristin Walker
 
Favourite movie?
Empire Records
  
Do you have any advices for aspiring writers?

 If you love it, it is worth it, and don’t let anyone convince you otherwise. It’s impossible to NOT encounter rejection or bad reviews, but as long as you stick with it and put the time into improving your craft, it WILL happen. The question is, will you stick with it long enough?

Regency Era: The Naughty Bits (#2)

Here’s a fascinating article about trousers in the Regency Era written by M.M.Bennetts. Seriously, for those of you who write Regency romances, this is a must read. It’ll crack you up:

Inexpressibles, what were they, you ask?  Very very tight, usually knitted of silk, trousers–almost like today’s women’s leggings, designed to show off a gentleman’s muscular legs to best advantage.  They were also known as bum-clingers and the term inexpressibles said it all–for what respectable woman could express that?… Read the full article here.

Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire

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Fan-crazy. There can be no other terminology to describe my feelings for Georgianna, the Duchess of Devonshire. I became obsessed with her after reading (and am still reading) her biography by Amanda Foreman.

I’ve become so fond of her that I searched everywhere for the book she wrote herself. There was none in the library, but I found through the internet that there was one in stock at Indigo, so I went there and spent $24 to buy it.

Oh boy, I could go on praising this book, but I’ll do so after I finish. I’m on page 136 right now and so have about 300+ pages left. So I guess it’s a bit too early to give you guys my final consensus. But so far, sooooo good. My understanding of the ton has changed forever after reading it.

Anyway, back to the biography. Through her fluid writing based on her meticulous research, Foreman recreates the upper-class London society of the 18th century: “The ton, by definition, inhabited the realm of extreme. Moderation was not a part of its world: elegence bowed to artifice, pleasure gave way to excess.” I am left breathless each time I open this book. I am thrown into the haut-ton which I both despise and am bewitched by. I can scarcely breathe, fearing for Georgie, and what blunder she might next make…Her amounting debts leaves me ill at ease. And sometimes it’s hard to imagine that such a woman had existed. Her life seems almost fictitious in that it seems…too big for life itself.

And of course, I haven’t gotten over my “fancy” for Harriette Wilson, the famous courtesan of the Regency Era. Who wouldn’t admire a woman with so much wit as to say: “If, thought I, this man is not to be entirely mine, perhaps I shall not be entirely his.” 

Regency era: The Naughty Bits

I was reading the biography Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire, when I came across a wager actually made between men in the late 18th century:

‘Ld Cholmondeley has given two guineas to Ld Derby, to receive 500 Gs. whenever his lordship fucks a woman in a Balloon one thousand yards from Earth.’

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I cracked up reading this. I never thought gentlemen, no matter how crude they were, would actually use the ‘F’ word. I didn’t even think it was used in this way–and how ever was I to know? it’s not as if Jane Austen ever mentioned it in her book (even the word ‘damn’ was a big no no for her time).

But geez, reading this wager alone tells me that the state of decadence was as bad then as it is now.

Men will always be men.