Highlighting Historical Romance with Susan Varno who shares what garments Regency women wore under their cloth…and when they didn’t bother with any.
During the Regency Period, what did ladies of refinement wear next to their skin? Ladies usually wore a chemise, either ending below the waist or halfway down the calf. If worn at all, corsets went over the chemise. A more energetic woman who intended to go horseback riding or pursue sports might “bind” her breasts with a narrow length of material, wrapping it around a few times and tucking in the end.
Below the waist, petticoats or pantaloons were available. Pantaloons covered their legs and part of their unmentionable parts. Drawers were another possibility. These were like shorts in various lengths. Since elastic hadn’t been invented yet, drawers were held up by a string around the waist and tied in the front. Princess Charlotte wore pantaloons but most society women went, as we now say, “commando.” Since no one was going to see what a woman wore beneath, except for possibly her best friend on a sleepover, I imagine each woman wore—or did not wear—what she found most comfortable.
About the Book
Sherwood Forest, 1815
Cassiopeia Valient storms, “Sir, is this any way to conduct a kidnapping?”
When Blake Forester rescues her from her crashed carriage, Cassie mistakes this lord for “The Gentleman Bandit” she hired to kidnap her for ransom. And Blake is her intended victim.
He should be outraged! Instead, he’s intrigued. Since he returned from the War, he suffers terrifying memories. Why did so many die, yet he is unscathed? To answer that question, he has engaged in death-defying wagers and duels. This diabolical damsel may be the distraction he needs to get back to living again.
After Blake reveals who he really is, Cassie’s life shatters. She vows to cease her wild, reckless behavior. This time her actions went beyond dangerous. They were criminal. If she has to bite back words and squeeze out smiles, she will act like a proper lady.
Thwarting her resolve, the lord dares her to join him in glorious adventures. She can’t avoid the rascal. He’s offered to loan her father money to repair their flood-damaged estate.
Demanding his cut of the ransom, the real Gentleman Bandit threatens blackmail and kidnapping. Blake and Cassie chase the culprit only to discover the most dangerous adventure is falling in love.
Aching to touch her one last time, Blake helped her down from her saddle. When she joined him beside the racing water, he said, “Miss Valient, I must tell you something. This can wait no longer.”
“I wonder if our thoughts are similar,” she said.
Similar? They couldn’t be. However, he had no desire to speak first.
“I’m not responsible for your earlier crimes,” she said. For this one, I would be. Lord Rayneford is a vicious man. He will hunt you down. When he discovers you don’t have all of his money, he will kill you. I can’t allow this to continue.”
A sliver of joy pierced his despair. Had she guessed Blake was really that “evil Lord”, but she liked him anyway?
In case he was wrong, he asked, “So the kidnapping is off?”
Her eyes drooped in sorrow. “By now, someone has found our broken carriage. Lady Rayneford has sent people to search for us. If you leave us by the roadside, we’ll be found soon enough. And you will have time to escape.”
At least she cared for him as the Gentleman Bandit. Might that soften her reaction when she learned he wasn’t her favorite outlaw?
Fading sunlight turned her dark hair luminous. “If we had met at some other time. No, not even then. We have too much fire and fight between us. But entertaining the possibilities has been delightful.”
More than delightful. Irresistible. “We can still explore those possibilities.”
She shook her head. “I must force myself to be what the lord wants. I have responsibilities to my family. If I didn’t, I would run away with you this minute.”
His mouth fell open. “You would?”
She wants to run off with a highwayman she’s known for a few hours? Cassiopeia Valient walked a fine line between magnificence and madness.
About the Author: Susan Varno
Like many readers and writers, I watch stories inside my head. When I read a Regency romance, I imagine myself dancing at a London ball or racing through Sherwood Forest. When I write, I imagine an intriguing scene, always one with action and attraction. I watch how my hero and heroine act. That’s how I discover who they are and what they care about. Before I’ll write their story, they must surprise, titillate and even upset me. I love researching their time and place in history almost as much as I love inviting these “strangers” inside my head.
Though I was born and raised in Chicago and its suburbs, I married a country boy from rural Ohio. Richard insisted we retire to the hinterlands of the Arkansas Ozarks. While we lived there, I interviewed more than a hundred people for articles in magazines and newspapers. My focus was Ozarks people, culture and history.
My husband died three years ago. I miss my hero every day. We have two grown sons and one grandson. I now live in a Chicago suburb. Last year, I cruised the western Caribbean and this year the western Mediterranean. Someday, England here I come.
Visit website http://susanvarno.com/