Kate Pearce x
"Ma'am, I should like to be under your Man Cook by Way of Improvement."
Thanks for having me as your guest on Lust Bites!
I'm Jane Lockwood and I write dirty books. Dirty historical books, actually--and I blog with our very own Kate Pearce over at The Spiced Tea Party, where we spend quite a bit of time talking about how to write hot books that are also historically accurate. If you want to hear more about that, and you're attending RWA National in San Francisco, Pam Rosenthal and I will present our workshop Writing the Hot Historical at 8:30 a.m. (aargh) on Saturday, August 2.
The commercial break is now over--sort of. Because I'm also giving a workshop later that day on Georgian servants, which is what I've really researched--and strangely enough, the material overlaps. Why? Socio-economic changes and all sorts of good stuff you’ll have to attend my servant workshop to understand.
But during the period, a genre of art became popular--portraits of servants at work. Of course portraits of women in the kitchen, particularly surrounded by suggestive vegetables, had long been popular (wow! look at the size of her .... cabbages).
Possibly portraits were a sentimental representation of obedient, diligent family retainers from a mythical golden age of master-servant relationships. Servants, after all, knew the secrets of the house and their employers, and they were supposed to be loyal and discreet—but not always. During the sensational divorce trial of Lady Diana Bolingbroke (1734-1808), her servants testified with enthusiastic attention to detail about locked doors and the hair powder on one end of the couch and the mud on the other (from the head and boots respectively of her adulterous lover). Yes, it was the House of Lords; yes, they were under oath; but you get the impression they went a bit above and beyond the call of duty.
Some portraits had a very strong erotic quality; look at this lady’s maid (she's very well dressed in her mistress's cast-offs) eyeing you up while she washes her mistress' undies. Robert Morland's series of women doing laundry was wildly popular, reproduced as engravings for the discerning gentleman. He actually produced two versions of the woman ironing--this one with her eyes modestly downcast, and another of her staring brazenly at the viewer. Note how cleavage takes center stage in both pics. Think about it. A woman doing something with her hands and allowing someone to watch—it’s full of erotic possibilities. Maybe she knows she’s being watched … or maybe she’s pretending she doesn’t know.
Jane has also offered to give away of copy of "Forbidden Shores" to one lucky poster.