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Saturday, May 27, 2017

If you were an American heiress, where must you go to show off your wardrobe...and your figure? You're snaring a husband, you see!

Last October, I went to Paris for research and had to take in the Opera Garnier!
I started a new series, THOSE NOTORIOUS AMERICANS, October 17 with a novel starring a family of brash, bold American beauties and eligible robber barons. The opera was an important venue for young ladies to be seen by eligible bachelors and so I had to go there and do my digging for those yummy little facts we all love in our romances!

In the late ninetieth century, every American heiress had to have a wardrobe fit for a princess or duchess or whatever ancient title she could grab. So she went to Paris. Her papa spent tens of thousands on a complete wardrobe for her from lingerie to tea gowns to evening gowns and many many chapeaus! He also hired French or English ladies, impoverished as they were, to educate their young misses in everything from how to curtsy to how to use a fish fork.
These impressionable young ladies went to cafes, the races and soirees galore.
Detail, Grand Hall, Opera Garnier, Paris
While there, they also had their nights at the opera. The Opera Garnier, to be precise. In my first novel in the series, WILD LILY, our heroine and her entire family go to an evening at this ornate example of Belle Epoch architecture. They sit in a box. (I did.) They sip champagne in the refreshment room. (I went but did not sip.) They escaped to the balcony for an assignation or more. (I went with Mr. DeLand out onto the balcony but we were quite modest at 3 in the afternoon!)

There were explicit rules about how to arrive, when and why and what a lady might and might not do at the opera. I've incorporated all my research for you...and added a bit of risqué elements to entertain you!

Draperies at entrance to Grand Hall,
Opera Garnier
And not only in the first book do we go to the opera. But in the second book in the series as well. There I treat you to a Frenchman you won't be able to resist. Neither can my American widow who wanted only one night of pleasure...and gets much more than she bargained for!
This second in the series is not yet titled, but you can look for it early in January!

Enjoy the rest of my pictures! I adored this lavish theatre and I hope you will too!

Interior of the theatre.
Grand Hall, Opera Garnier


Grand Circle, entrance to private boxes,
Opera Garnier, Paris

Grand staircase, Opera Garnier, Paris

Detail, Grand Staircase, Opera Garnier,
Paris

Red velvet chair, private box, Opera Garnier 



4 comments:

Kayelle Allen said...

Wow. Just... Wow. Minimalism eat your heart out. lol

Tina Donahue said...

God, I love these posts, Cerise! Please keep them coming. I live vicariously through them. :)

jean hart stewart said...

What wonderful pictures. Really a treat to see such lavish magnificence.

KateM said...

Inspiring post for the glamor of the setting, for your research, and for the intriguing premise of your American heiress meeting a Frenchman! :) Did you ever read "Banners of Silk" about a heroine rising from the lowest origins to the top of fashion house world?