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Picspam for The General's Mistress

For Black Ships, Hand of Isis and Stealing Fire I had no pictures of my main characters. No one knows what Charmian looked like, even though she is a historical person, and the "real" Lydias, Athenagoras of Miletus, left no portraits that have survived. However, with Elza I've moved forward into a much more modern era, and there are portraits of everyone galore!

The General's Mistress takes place from 1796-1800, at the beginning of their stories in the Wars of Revolution, before most of the characters attained the positions they later held. Here's my main character, Elza, as she appeared during the first part of this book, when she was indeed the general's mistress.




You can click on pictures to make them bigger.

And this is Michel, looking very young and earnest in 1798.



And that wind through the world, Napoleon at Arcola!



(Doesn't look like a short ugly guy in a funny hat, does he?)

Comments

( 14 comments — Leave a comment )
(Deleted comment)
jo_graham
Oct. 27th, 2011 12:56 pm (UTC)
Very true! Napoleon was about 5'7", the same height as Elza, who was Amanda Tapping tall for her time.

No, Michel isn't handsome. Not really. Elza thinks he's utterly gorgeous though! The hair truly doesn't do anything for him, does it?
(Deleted comment)
jo_graham
Oct. 27th, 2011 01:13 pm (UTC)
Love is blinding indeed! However, he is tall! Michel is six feet and built like a rugby player, a really big guy. The hair is weird. The straight part and pulled back into a queue is old fashioned in 1798, and it doesn't do a thing for him.
_illumina_
Oct. 27th, 2011 03:33 pm (UTC)
5'7"? Interesting! Average height for a man in the UK today is only about 5'9 or 10", so he's only a bit shorter than the modern average.

Archaeology has been proving for a while now that prehistoric and medieval people weren't really all _that_ much shorter than nowadays, it was the Industrial Revolution that really messed with nutrition and development!
jo_graham
Oct. 27th, 2011 03:48 pm (UTC)
Yeah, he's not that short!

One thing I find interesting is looking at the clothes. You can tell a lot about a person's height and build from their clothes, as of course people's clothes generally fit them! (Especially expensive best clothes, which tend to be the ones that have survived.) For example, you can tell from Michel's dress uniform coat that is in the Museum of the Army in Paris that he was very broad shouldered proportional to his waist. A closely tailored cutaway coat like that makes it very clear that he has big shoulders. From Elza's dress that was in a temporary exhibit at a Dutch museum in 2005 it's clear that she was exceedingly tall for a woman of that period, taller than I am now by an inch or two, if the front of her dress just cleared the toes of her shoes as it ought to. Not a small woman at all. I'd put the dress at an American size 12 or 14. Which helps explain how she can pass for a man when she's dressed as a man -- she's very tall!
penknife
Oct. 27th, 2011 12:06 pm (UTC)
Oh, terrible hair for Michel in that picture! :-) But nice one of Napoleon.
jo_graham
Oct. 27th, 2011 01:00 pm (UTC)
Yeah, that's not his best hair, for sure! Center part, pulled straight back into a queue -- sigh.

Yes, a very good one of Napoleon! It's not my favorite, but my favorite is later, after the end of this book, 1804.
kassrachel
Oct. 27th, 2011 12:56 pm (UTC)
Oh oh oh -- lovely!!
jo_graham
Oct. 27th, 2011 01:11 pm (UTC)
Aren't they? Michel is so young and so sincere looking. And Elza, with her books instead of the conventional decor.
chiliarch
Oct. 27th, 2011 01:21 pm (UTC)
Well, the queue was the proscribed hairstyle for a hussar at that time (just take a look at the movie "The Duellists"), but he does look better with his "Empire" hair cut.

I have never understood the need for ridiculing Napoleon because of his height, especially as his height was normal for the time. It probably all started with the British newspapers, who presented him either as a sort of monster or at least made fun of him.

She looks absolutely lovely, though.
jo_graham
Oct. 27th, 2011 02:52 pm (UTC)
I love The Duellists! :) But yeah, he looks much better with his later haircut.

I think it is the British newspapers. In the US most of the books we have on the subject are British because those are the ones in English, and so it gives us a very slanted view.

She does! There are some much less flattering ones of her later. Not a great beauty at all, though he seemed to think so.
heatherlayne_n
Oct. 28th, 2011 10:09 pm (UTC)
Why don't men wear sashes like that anymore? *Sigh*
jo_graham
Oct. 29th, 2011 10:13 am (UTC)
I have such a thing for those sashes! *sigh* One thing about writing a courtesan is that there is more sex in the books, and in the second book there is a scene about the sash. It's just.... Those sashes!
( 14 comments — Leave a comment )