History in Living Color
Thanks so much to the History Hoydens for hosting me today as I celebrate the recent release of my new Victorian historical, ROMANCING THE COUNTESS!
I’m the type of writer who enjoys a good challenge. Actually, the measure of the challenge’s difficulty depends on how 1) how much sleep I’ve had recently and 2) how much screaming my daughters have subjected me to that day. =)
For the story of ROMANCING THE COUNTESS, I wanted to focus on the developing relationship between the hero and heroine more than any exotic or unusual setting. With this in mind, I chose to write a large portion of the story with a country house party as the background. Although a country house party isn’t extraordinary for historical romances, I’d never written one before so it was exciting for me. Yet I also wanted to write of activities that could have occurred at a country house party that weren’t typical from my experience as a romance reader.
Therefore, I conducted a little research and found something which intrigued me: tableaux vivants. Or, in translation: living pictures.
We’ve probably all read romances featuring plays or dramatic readings. Well, tableaux vivants are still performances. Participants chose scenes from paintings or even scenes in history, costumed themselves appropriately, then stood before the audience as a scene or painting come to life. They did not speak and they did not move; they simply kept still.
In ROMANCING THE COUNTESS, our heroine—who is the hostess of the house party—sets up such a tableaux vivants activity for her guests. I’m sure the audience’s interpretation of various tableaux vivants would be thrilling indeed when the still portrayals were performed.
It’s one of my favorite scenes where the hero interacts with the other guests (let’s just say he was chosen to be the murdered Julius Caesar in someone else’s tableau vivant), and I hope you enjoy it, too. =)
Have you ever heard of or seen a tableau vivant before? What are some of your favorite activities at a house party to read about in historical romances?
One random commenter will be chosen to win a copy of my newest book, ROMANCING THE COUNTESS (open internationally)! Also, find out how to win the ROMANCING THE COUNTESS Book Tour Grand Prize of 50+ romance novels by visiting www.AshleyMarch.com!
Labels: Ashley March