The tangled complicated love lives of writers!

Byron   dumas-fils-1-sized  AnaisNin

A monogamous relationship with a woman, was something that was totally alien to Alexandre Dumas, as he put it succinctly himself, “If I had only one, she’d be dead inside eight days.” This incorrigible playboy right from his teens until his death, didn’t want to get married and only did so when forced into it, to pay off some of his debts. This did not change his penchant for taking on any number of mistresses and in so doing fathering seven illegitimate children. It is no real surprise that this inveterate bed hopper died of syphilis.

Lord Byron was another serial bed hopper, famous for his bisexuality. Married to , Anne Isabella Milbanke, he also allegedly was getting a bit of extra-marital with her half-sister Augusta Leigh. Lord Byron’s antics were too much for Lady Byron, who left her husband, taking their child with her. Rumors of the man dubbed as “Mad, bad, and dangerous to know” got so intense he was forced to leave England and never ventured back. Lord Byron, the patron saint of the Romantics certainly lacked in moral fiber, an affair with Mary Shelley’s sister, Claire Clairmont, resulted in a child he refused to acknowledge or pay for. His Lordship would get through hundreds of women each year.

It is not only men writers who have a strong appetite to sample different sexual partners, take Anaïs Nin, married aged 20 this proved no stumbling block to her rampant sex life, including a passionate love affair with Henry Miller, living with him in Paris in the 1930s. When she reached the age of 44, she had two marriages on the go, one to Rupert Pole, a man aged 28 much younger than her, while still “married” to Hugh Parker Guiler her “first husband”. Simone de Beauvoir declined to marry her boyfriend, Jean Paul Sartre, but the two shared a fruitful and revolutionary lifelong relationship, interspersed with affairs, both being quite open about them, even sharing some of them. De Beuvoir had a penchant for young students, one such dalliance with a Nathalie Sorokine led to her having teaching license revoked.

Charles Dickens was allegedly a virgin when he married Catherine Hogarth, aged 24. The marriage was not well destined as almost immediately became obsessed with her younger sister, Mary, who sadly died not long into their marriage, so poor Catherine was left to compete with a “ghost”. The marriage staggered on culminating in ten children, until Dicken’s fell for a young actress, Nelly Ternan. Tired of his wife Dickens had an affair with the actress, which he kept under wraps for fear of scandal.

 

 

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Love is blind interview with Deanna Dee

love is blind author interview

 

NAME Deanna Dee…………………………………………………….

Do you believe love is blind ?
I believe love can be blind. People will forgive a lot for love, and they are often willing to overlook things in the ones they love that they wouldn’t in other people. That said, I think it’s important to actively work to make love see. Falling into a pattern and taking someone for granted can be the beginning step of a relationship’s demise. Keeping an eye out for these things helps to nip them in the bud and keep the relationship strong. Sure, we might see some things we don’t like in the process, but personally, I’d rather know and be happy anyway.
What about love at first sight…do you believe in this…has it happened to you?
Honestly, I’m not sure. It hasn’t happened to me, but other people say it’s happened to them. I don’t like discounting anything in life, so my short answer to believing is “maybe.”
Have you ever had a date from Hell? What happened?
Sadly, I have not. It’s an experience that seeing in the movies doesn’t do justice, and it would have been interesting to experience firsthand.

Is there much love/romance or sex in your stories? If so how is it conveyed?
My Games of Love series doesn’t have sex in it. I made that choice because I wanted to focus on the emotional growth without the complications sex can bring to a relationship. It’s a very interesting angle to write from, especially in a romance novel.

Is there any music or films that you associate with Valentine’s day or love in general?
Disney princess movies. I know, some people say they give terrible messages to kids, but they will always be my first experience with the romance story line.

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Married to a cross dresser!

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It must take a special type of woman to be married to a cross dresser. Do they turn a blind eye? Put a lock on their clothes cupboard? Do they go along with the thrill of it all? Are their minds full of deep suspicions? Do they accept this aspect of their husband’s personality. These themes are explored in a film I have recently seen called “The Danish Girl”. The film is based loosely on the life of Lili Ilse Elvenes, who was born Einar Magnus Andreas Wegener. Lili married Gerda Gottlieb at the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts in Copenhagen, and they married in 1904, when Gottlieb was 18 and Wegener was 22. Elbe started dressing in women’s clothes one day filling in for Gottlieb’s absentee model; she was asked to wear stockings and heels so her legs could substitute for those of the model. Elbe obviously took to wearing women’s clothing. The way the films portrays Gerda and Lili’s relationship, is that from the start it was a “game”… a game for thrills, to see how things could go. The introduction of this new ingredient in their marriage is bound to have an impact. Lili/Einar suffer terribly, as he/she faces the fact that he is a woman caught in a man’s body. Gerda suffers as she comes to the realization that the game has moved on and she now has to face the fact that she is losing her husband, who is not the person she married. Gerda does however benefit from the fact that her paintings of Lili, suddenly elevate her artist’s career. However going by what we see in the film, she does accept losing her husband in an almost saintly manner. We have to remember that this is a film set in a time when ignorance prevailed, most doctors perceiving Lili/Einar as being perverted or insane. These are pre-David Bowie days.

Lili finally concluded his/her salvation is to go the full way and become a fully-fledged woman, even entertaining the idea of being able to have a child. Consequently she opted for sex reassignment surgery, which was experimental at the time. Sadly this led to her death.

Grayson Perry, like Lili is an artist. There may be some discernable differences between the two. Perry is married and has a child. From an early age he liked to dress in women’s clothes and in his teens concluded that he was a transvestite. The artist first borrowed a dress from his sister when he was 10-years-old, but never told her why. The artist says that his alter-ego Claire – whose style is inspired by Little Bo Beep, “the crack cocaine of femininity” – gives him a certain level of anonymity.
Aging is a constant battle, Grayson Perry says Trannies go through this horrible cycle,” he said. “When they’re really young and just post-pubescent, they can look gorgeous as a woman – you’re fairly androgynous, you’re thin, you just look good. Grayson Perry’s wife is a psychotherapist, quite a useful métier, not surprisingly Grayson Perry’s childhood was fraught with family problems.

Why does he cross dress? Because I feel compelled to, I suppose,” he ventures. “It gets me excited. A whole raft of feelings, really. It’s not just an erotic thrill. It’s also kind of like a coming-home.”

Other known cross dressers include J. Edgar Hoover’s femme name was apparently “Muriel”. Herman Goering, commander of the Luftwaffe in WW II, was also a crossdresser and partial to silk nightwear.

Comedian/actor Eddie Izzard describes himself as “a straight transvestite or a male lesbian”. He has also described himself as “a lesbian trapped in a man’s body and “a complete boy plus half girl”

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Who was this St Valentine?

St Val

Everybody has their conceptions of Valentine’s day.  Maybe for those of a more pragmatic nature,  it is just a cynical marketing tool, the beneficiaries being among others, flower shops, shops that sell chocolate.  The card industry must welcome it with glee, every year when it comes around, restaurants must also relish it, all those romantic candle lit dinners. Young people of a certain age attach a significance to it. There are those bereft of partners, who dread it, when it comes around, as it only amplifies their loneliness

The origin of this much heralded day is shrouded by mystery. For some reason February has long been celebrated as a month of romance, and that St. Valentine’s Day, as we know it today, contains elements of both Christian and ancient Roman traditions. One legend has it that Valentine was a priest who served during the third century in Rome. When Emperor Claudius II decided that single men made better soldiers compared to those equipped with wives and families, he took the extreme step of forbidding marriage for young men.

Valentine defied the emperor and continued secretly to marry those who chose the path of marriage. When his defiance was discovered it was decreed he should be put to death, accordingly the priest was eventually beheaded and then named a martyr by the Church .
Another legend contends that Valentine may have been killed for attempting to help Christians escape harsh Roman prisons, where they were often beaten and tortured.

According to one theory , an imprisoned Valentine actually sent the first “valentine” greeting himself after he fell in love with a young girl–possibly his prison guard’s  daughter–who visited him during his confinement. Before his death, it is said that he wrote her a letter signed “From your Valentine,” an expression that still prevails today.
Whichever legend you chose to believe among the many unsubstantiated, we are led to believe Valentine was sympathetic, heroic and in essence a true romantic.

Some believe the Christian church may have decided to place St. Valentine’s feast day in the middle of February in order to “Christianize” and counter balance the pagan celebration of Lupercalia. Lupercalia was a fertility festival dedicated to Faunus, the Roman god of agriculture, also to the Roman founders Romulus and Remus.

The oldest known valentine still in existence today was a poem written under duress in 1415 by a French man Charles, Duke of Orleans, to his wife while he was imprisoned in the Tower of London following his capture at the Battle of Agincourt.

It was the English writer Chaucer who first linked St. Valentine’s Day with romance and was later followed by Shakespeare with references to the day in his works. . By the 18th century, gift-giving and exchanging handmade cards on Valentine’s Day had become common in England.

Whatever the history, which is of little concern to many Valentine’s day will always feature strongly in many people’s diaries.

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