Tag Archives: Raynene Burgess

A History – A Little Bit of the Victorian

For my first post on the history of eras gone by that we love to read about in our romance stories, I’m using information from my favorite book, “Victorian Style” by John Crosby Freeman. This remarkable book lists an alphabet of various aspects of this time period. Now, as writers and readers of historical romance stories, we are aware that the rage of Victoriana of today is because of those people who have undertaken the task to preserve the peculiars and particulars of that time. I, personally, am a fanatic of Victoriana. I studied the Civil War period for my undergrad degree and was fascinated at how fashions and ideologies crossed continents, not just societies.

I was going to consider the unequivocal corset, a staple of any lady’s wardrobe during this period, but I think, instead, that perhaps just a general overview of the clothing of this period would do. I can get specific later. And, as I’m writing this at the last minute, I don’t have the time to research what I want to spend time on.

There are those individuals—perhaps you’ve been to one—who participate in historical reenactments. I had the pleasure of speaking with a Union soldier at Gettysburg in 1994 and it was interesting to listen to him. He stayed in character—I couldn’t trip him. Later that same day, I chatted with a couple at dinner who’d just come from doing a presentation as a couple living in Gettysburg during the Civil War. The gentleman was dressed as a Union Colonel and his wife (they were married in real life) was wearing the prettiest evening dress of that period. I sometimes think I’d have done well living back then. I’d certainly have enjoyed the clothes!

And of course, there’s always the classic “Gone with the Wind” book and movie. What we probably don’t realize is that women—and men—were of shorter stature in the 1700s and 1800s. So, if you’re intent on re-creating a gown of that period, just be forewarned that you’ll have to adjust the size. Then, there’s the matter of the corset. Remember how Scarlett’s maid tightened those laces on the corset? And we wonder why there was so much fainting back then…yet, there are still women today who wear the often dreaded “Merry Widow” as it’s also been called in modern times. Many historians recommend, and rightly so, that instead of trying to force our taller frames into dresses and gowns that simply won’t fit, copy the pattern and adjust to fit our more robust frames. You can still dress like Scarlett O’Hara, just not as uncomfortably!

Next time you go to an antique store, see if the proprietor has some period clothing. You can find oodles of websites online. For both writers and readers, our love of this time period will never get old or fade in intensity. Here’s to times past that teach us and entertain us as writers and readers.

Raynene Burgess


A History – Brand New Year, Brand New Page

Wow, it’s 2010 already. Are you ready to start writing for real? Well, okay, you’ve been writing for real. I get that. But, are you ready to get serious about your writing? That means writing every day, even if it is bad.

As Nora Roberts said, “You can correct bad writing, but you can’t correct a blank page.”

From historical writing to paranormal and every genre in between, we write stories that engage our readers. We alone can take readers to places they’ve never been, remind them of what they’ve felt, help them relate to the characters we create, and bring them to a place of happiness, even if for just a couple of hours.

This is my first post of my own to a blog. While I write contemporary romantic suspense, I read historical romance. One of my favorite authors is Stephanie Laurens. There’s also Sabrina Jeffries and many others. Find your favorite author and study her work. Then sit down and try your hand at finding your own voice in writing. That’s part of beginning this new year.

Since I’m writing this historical blog, here’s your first assignment of the New Year. You are welcome to leave them as a comment, but no, you don’t have to submit them to anyone, just yourself or your critique  partner.

    Write a description of a Victorian wedding in about 500 words.

This just may be the new beginning you’ve been looking for. Remember, new year, new page. Go for it!

Raynene Burgess

A History has a new and improved look!

Come by and check out our wonderful new site look, designed by our very own Shiela Stewart.
Thank you Shiela for your time and effort in making our site beautiful.
Please comment and tell us what you think of the look of our site.

Tomorrow is the big day!

A History of Romance is open to visitors tomorrow. Please come by and see what we have in store for you. Be sure to check out the contest, and the new blogs. Have fun looking around the site.
April Dawn

Here She is… Raynene Burgess

I live in Columbia, SC with my parents and my poodle (Fifi), originally growing up in south Florida and moving to SC in 2006. I’ve been married and am divorced since 1999, being now happily single. I started writing devotionals in 1988 and moved to contemporary romance in 2000, when I realized that I could write my own romance stories, too, instead of just reading them. I’ve been managing editor, contributing editor and publisher of several Christian newsletters over the years. In 2002 I published my first Christian devotional, “Good Morning, Father!” through PublishAmerica. In 2006 I published my first contemporary romance through the same e-pub. I currently have several projects going and am writing like crazy and submitting my newest manuscript, “Killer Designs” to e-pubs and agents.

Visit her at her website