by Amanda L.V. Shalaby, author of Rhianna
Who doesn’t love a man in a cravat? A man who can dance to classical masterpieces? A man who addresses you as “my lady”?
Would it matter if he didn’t have a texting plan?
As a writer of historical romance, I often find myself comparing life in the twenty-first century to the lives of my characters, and I wonder: If I lived 200 years ago, what would I miss most?
Now, I want to be clear: I am a huge fan of nineteenth century England. I love the country houses and the clothing and the horse-drawn carriages. I spend a good deal of time there, albeit from the comforts of my writing desk, in a relaxed, temperature-controlled office, with a cup of freshly-brewed, Arabica bean coffee, accented with flavored creamer. But would I actually want to live there?
Life in nineteenth century England had its pros, if you were born or married into the right class. You could have a big house, lots of land, and lots of free time. There is something to be said for a simpler lifestyle in a world where technology has us communicating and multi-tasking as never before. Stressful demands on our time can be overwhelming. At such times, I find tea in the drawing room, offered by a butler with white gloves, exceedingly appealing. But what would you do when the urge to shoe shop online hits?
Getting back to our well-mannered, dancing gentleman in his cravat… With no online profiles to provide us the wealth of information on him we so desperately desire, your go-to source for info on the hot guy was gossipy, old women – or maybe your father would offer some details about him. And forget trying to snap a photo of him with your smart phone before you left the ball for the night!
How do you think you would fare in such a world? If you lived in nineteenth century England, what would you miss most?