When I started writing VEXING THE VISCOUNT, I wanted to play with the idea of my heroine masquerading as a courtesan. But I knew Daisy Drake wouldn’t be convincing unless she had some inside information, so I allowed her to discover the memoirs of Blanche La Tour, a French “woman of pleasure.”
Which meant I needed to research the life of an 18th century courtesan. Here’s a little of what I discovered:
Move over, Britney! Eat your heart out, Paris! Courtesans were the original prey of the paparazzi. These darlings of the London tabloids provided the cartoonists of their day with juicy on dits and outrageous exploits to lampoon. Top-tier ‘birds of paradise’ demanded and received generous stipends, clothing allowances, jewels, houses, a box at the opera and endless diversions from their well-placed protectors. When the relationship ran its course, these astute businesswomen often had negotiated an annuity to comfort them in retirement.
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