Why do I Write About the Gilded Age?

Elizabeth Camden All about Me! Leave a Comment

May I confess to a completely ridiculous reason I prefer to set my novels around in the late 1890’s?

Why do I write books set during the Gilded Age?

It’s the clothes.

It’s not the only reason….but it’s a biggie. I simply adore the splendid, flattering styles of this era. Witness the cast picture from the BBC miniseries Selfridge. The miniseries was “meh,” but it is a continual feast for the eyes. But the movies of Jane Austen book? Spectacular stories, but the women’s clothes look like nightgowns to me.

More seriously, the late 19th century also appeals to me because it was an era when women were beginning to get a better foothold in the social and economic world. I’ve been able to write heroines who worked as journalists, translators, and coming soon, a watchmaker and a mathematician. Such professions weren’t realistic set earlier in the century…but I can get away with it by the 1880’s.

Then again, it could all be about the clothes!

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