My latest story, A Cloud of Hawthorne, is a good, old fashioned steamy bodice-ripper and it made me think...how did lovers communicate in the age before telephones, emails, or texts? How would a gentleman (or scoundrel) know when to make a move? How did a lady know if the object of her desire fancied a roll in the hay? Servants could be indiscrete, what was one to do?
There were two methods depicted in fiction, though it is not known if they were actually used in real life. One was slipping a note to a lover in a bouquet of flowers. It was common for women to carry bouquets at social events and it would be easy to hide a small note in there. William Thackeray used this method in Vanity Fair when Becky Sharp and George Osbourne think about running away together.
The other fictional method was fan language. Several books and stories have women communicating their desires via hand-held fans. If a woman walked away with the fan in her right hand, covering her face, that meant the man should follow her. If she fanned herself slowly, it meant she was married but if she fanned herself quickly, she was engaged.
One method of communication that has documented proof was flower arrangement. Every flower had meaning and could be used to send messages. The rose had a meaning for every flower, state of bloom, and quantity. Yellow roses indicated infidelity on the part of the giver and a rosebud was a sign of love.
Sounds a lot more fun than sending an "I <3 U" text.
WHEN THE SYNERGY OF TWO AUTHORS COLLIDE, A NEW STORY IS TOLD. WITHOUT RISK, LIFE IS STAGNANT.
Thank you, GB, King of collaboration!
EPISODE SEVEN FROM GRAFFITI BLEU'S INFAMOUS SIMONY CHIAVARY:
click on the tab GUEST #33 at the top of the page to read the full episode.