Feline Dress Improvers: The Victorian Fashion in Bustle Baskets for Cats

“As the basket was padded and lined with satin, and bedizened with fringe and ribbons, pussy did not object to being a prisoner therein, and to being placed on the lady’s bustle as a pack.”

Truth, 1887

Kittens at Play by Henriette Ronner-Knip (1821-1909).

During the mid-1880s, the silhouette of women’s gowns was characterized by the size and shape of the bustle or “dress improver.” Unlike the more moderate-sized dress improvers of the 1870s, the bustle of the 1880s was—at its most extreme—large, protruding, and shelf-like. For fashionable ladies with cats, it provided a convenient ledge on which to strap a satin-lined cat basket.[…]Continue Reading

The Viscount and the Vicar's Daughter Blog Tour, Giveaway, and More!

It’s release day for my new Victorian romance novel The Viscount and the Vicar’s Daughter! To celebrate, there’s a blog tour with excerpts, reviews, and interviews. I’m also hosting a special Victorian-themed gift giveaway here at my website, featuring a wax sealing set and a signed paperback copy of my book. To top it all off, my debut novel The Lost Letter has been reduced to $0.99 for the entire week just to mark the occasion. So, without further ado, let’s get started![…]Continue Reading

The Lost Letter is ON SALE for $0.99

Dear Readers,

Tomorrow is release day for my new Victorian romance novel The Viscount and the Vicar’s Daughter! I’ll be over at USA Today this morning with an exclusive excerpt. To further mark the occasion, I’m thrilled to announce that the eBook version of my debut Victorian romance The Lost Letter is going on sale for just $0.99! This sale is for one week only. It runs from January 22-January 29. […]Continue Reading

A Victorian Lady's Guide to Fashion and Beauty: Cover Reveal!

At long last, I can reveal the beautiful cover of my upcoming book A Victorian Lady’s Guide to Fashion and Beauty. It was designed by Jon Wilkinson at Pen and Sword Books (UK) and features one of my favorite historical paintings: Toilette by Jules James Rougeron, 1877. I hope you love it as much as I do![…]Continue Reading

The Truth About Reformed Rakes: Victorian Views on Marrying a Scoundrel

The Kiss by Carolus Duran, 1868.

If you’ve ever read a historical romance novel, you’ll likely be familiar with the oft-quoted belief that “reformed rakes make the best husbands.” This matrimonial maxim did not, however, originate in the world of Regency and Victorian fiction. In fact, when it came to marriage, many a nineteenth century lady firmly believed that a reformed rake was superior to other men. Not only was a rake more sexually experienced and (presumably) a better lover, but—after having sown his wild oats—a rake was believed to be more attentive to his business and more indulgent toward his wife.[…]Continue Reading