Snippet Sunday: The General’s Wife: Sam

One thing I really like about Snippet Sunday* is that it forces me to look at my work and ask “do I really want people reading this?” I’m using it as a vehicle to introduce readers to characters in The General’s Wife, which I am revising. This week I’m introducing our hero Sam. I like Sam, so I want his introduction to be satisfying.

Your first thought is, “Wait–what? Who is this ‘Sam’? I thought Mr. Bridgers was our hero?” To which I reply, “This is erotica. We have one villain and multiple heroes.” Continue reading

Victorian Sex: My Secret Life (Part 1)

This post is not about my secret life, it’s about the infamous tome published c. 1890, authored by a man known only as Walter. The book, My Secret Life, was written as a memoir and is often considered a work of Victorian erotica, which it most certainly is not. It is unabashedly an impressive work of pornography. Unlike a more famous erotic memoir, John Cleland‘s Fanny Hill which has a plot and a resolution (actually a happy ending), My Secret Life is more a series of vignettes. It does have the elements of fiction: There are running characters; there is development of Walter’s psyche; there is a progression of time. But it lacks any plot. Weighing in between 790 and 1173 pages (depending on the version; this one is cited), My Secret Life is the epitome of the rambling sexual memoir, a prime example of that particular style of Victorian porn. Continue reading

Romans: Hair, the Emperors, and an Exhibition

I’ve been a Roman nerd since I was a kid. Not a I-know-every-minute-detail-about-them kind of nerd, more of a fascinated dilettante kind of nerd. I’m drawn to Roman culture and history, especially art and the emperors (“I, Claudius” was shown on PBS in my formative years). I did my master’s thesis on Roman mosaics. And I wrote a book on Hadrian.

So, when I saw the news about the recreation of the hairstyle of the Vestal Virgins, I got a bit excited. I mean, how cool is that? Continue reading