Above painting: Louis Jean Francois - Mars and Venus an Allegory of Peace


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Sunday, September 4, 2011

What NOT to Include in a Medieval Romance Novel

**Originally this post was published at the Happy Endings Blog on June 16, 2011**

Often the things that fascinate me (and have me thanking that I live in present day) from the medieval era are more on the repugnant side, like the fact that maggots were used to clean up wounds–which I also heard has come back into play in modern medicine. *Shudder* Well, this got me to thinking… And I was chuckling to myself with the usual odd looks from my family, when I came up with the list of things NOT to include in your medieval romance novel (medieval fiction all bets are off!). And for that matter, you shouldn’t include these in any era of romance, as the point of a romance is to be romanticised, not disgusted by the hero and heroine. To be sure, I kept my own sound advice on:

What NOT to Include in a Medieval ROMANCE Novel
by Eliza Knight

~Without a doubt, do not talk about the shimmery film of grime that is giving your heroine her glowing look this morning (or tonight). There was no A/C, so even if she was a rare sort and bathed often, with layer upon layer of clothing on a hot 90 degree summer day with humidity of 50%, she is definitely going to be glowing…

~Zits… Heroine entered the great hall to gaze upon the hero, his dark hair curling at the ends, his muscles rippling beneath his shirt and a zit the size of volcano gracing the center of his chin. Nope, not sexy, lol

~As they lay together, limbs entwined, bed bugs burrowed beneath their skin, and nipped at the flesh around their ankles. *Shakes head* yeah, no, not this one!

~She awoke in the morning, sun filtering through the window. Hero lay beside her, his full lips tempting her to kiss him, until she smelled his breath–manure. Ew…Morning breath, not sexy.

~He stroked his hand over her limber leg, covered in a thick layer of hair. She lifted her arms, revealing a patch of hair in each armpit. Yikes! Hairy heroines…
~She removed her chemise to reveal the Amazonian bush at the crux of her thighs…
~Do not include the rat’s nest within your heroine’s headdress… Why do you think we call it a rat’s nest when your hair is looking crazy in the back?

~They galloped together across the landscape, she holding him around the waist from behind, her gown rippling in the breeze behind them, until his horse stopped suddenly, to take a large poo, which happened to get caught up in the romantic ripplings of her gown.

~If your hero has a raging case of head-lice, best to leave this out…

~Crapping into a large hole, or chamber pot and wiping with moss, straw, leaves or maybe there was nothing available to wipe with…Really leave #2′s out all together… (unless of course the heroine gives the hero a laxative in a fit of anger and he rushes from the room, which my heroine, Chloe did happen to do…lol)

Now I want to hear from you! What else should we add to this list?

A Lady's Charade -- A Medieval Romance novel by Eliza Knight!

From across a field of battle, English knight, Alexander, Lord Hardwyck, spots the object of his desire—and his conquest, Scottish traitor Lady Chloe.

Her lies could be her undoing…

Abandoned across the border and disguised for her safety, Chloe realizes the man who besieged her home in Scotland has now become her savior in England. Her life in danger, she vows to keep her identity secret, lest she suffer his wrath, for he wants her dead.

Or love could claim them both and unravel two countries in the process…

Alexander suspects Chloe is not who she says she is and has declared war on the angelic vixen who’s laid claim to his heart. A fierce battle of the minds it will be, for once the truth is revealed they will both have to choose between love and duty.


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Laurie Brown said...

Oh, dear, that is all so very true. Let's also leave out the smell of the rooms, the bed, the moat... some of the delicacies they ate (no offering the heroine a roasted mountain oyster) and I don't even want to *think* about what it was like after these great unwashed women had their periods. Great post!

Eliza Knight said...

lol Laurie!!! ME EITHER!!!

krazymama_98 said...

I do always notice the morning breath thing. In movies and books. I know. So I never let it bother me. I mean, what else to do? Ruin the whole thing to get up and brush teeth?? LOL Its not real life, thank goodness! haha

Eliza Knight said...

lol, so true Krazymama! Could you imagine? "My lady, pardon me, but I must cleanse my mouth before partaking in your lucious kiss." :-)

Tara said...

Amazonian bush? That's an image I won't be able to get out of my mind...makes me think of Anchorman when Ron Burgundy referred to his lower "mane".

Great post...no hairy heroines for me!