Happy Tuesday, everyone! I finally got to catch the new Jane Eyre movie this weekend, after waiting weeks for it to open here, and I am so glad I did. I enjoyed it very much–despite the fact that many aspects of the story had to be cut (as they always do for feature-length films), I thought the atmosphere and complexity of the characters was still there, as well as the dark intensity. Highly recommended! (My favorite Jane Eyre is still the old Timothy Dalton version, but this might be a close second. I’ll need to see it again to make sure…)

It was also very timely for me, since I’m deep into the first book of a new Laurel McKee series, this one set in the early Victorian era (1840s) and centering around two families who are old enemies, one a ducal family and one a family with underworld connections (and having done quite a bit of research now on the Victorian underworld, I can only say–I thought the Elizabethans were naughty, but those Victorians were nasty. Maybe it’s the whole hidden/repressed thing the Victorians had going on, where the Elizabethans had it all out there for everyone to see. The contrast is fascinating). You’ll be hearing a lot more about my research on this period later (I’ve never done a Victorian setting before, and I’m really loving being immersed in this new world), but for now let’s do what I always like to do–look at some clothes!

One reason this story ended up being set in the early Victorian period rather than the later 1860s-70s-80s was the fashion. I love the gowns of this decade (and was inspired a lot by the costumes and general aesthetics of the movie Young Victoria–my heroine, Lily, looks a lot like Emily Blunt in my mind, and she also has a great wardrobe!), before things get a little high-Victorian excessive. But I have to remember in the love scenes that there are a lot more underclothes to deal with….

So let’s look at some of the images from my Victorian Research File. I especially love that red gown–my heroine is definitely going to wear that one!

Also this week, I’m enjoying watching the new Upstairs Downstairs (though I keep getting the naughty housemaid and the naughty younger sister mixed up–why do they look so much alike?) and reading Giles Tremlett’s new bio of Catherine of Aragon, as well as working on the WIP and getting ready to go to Kansas City in a couple of weeks to see a Princess Di fashion exhibit (as well as watching the new royal wedding?). What are you doing this week? What do you think of fashion, the Victorian era, Upstairs Downstairs, or anything else in the world??