Secret Messages & Lovers' Trysts
I’m pausing the gentlemen’s clubs for this blog post because I’d like to announce something far more important than establishments to which I might never gain admittance: this week is my birthday. Yes, I am neveryoumind years old, and loving it, as always.
What does one get the romance writer who loves so much?
Well, I’m an old fashioned girl and I can never get enough of flowers. However if you’ve forgotten my bouquet, please don’t panic. You’re still welcome to stay to tea – because I’ve already received the best gift possible.
What is it?
How kind of you to ask.
It’s some exciting news I cannot share with you yet. (I know, but orders are orders, and I’m not one to tell tales.) I do give you my word, though, as a lady and a scurrilous gossip, to reveal all as soon as my publisher gives me leave. However, as I’m not one for romantic suspense, I feel it only right to let slip a few clues...so I went looking back at the most Regency way to convey secret messages. How did our ladies and gentlemen drop their gentle hints?
After all, there were military intelligence operatives operating on behalf of the British Crown throughout the Napoleonic Wars, and through all the courts of continental Europe (these gentlemen predated James Bond and were twice as ruthless, I assure you). Then there were all the other secret shenanigans going on in the 1800s. One of these secretive methods would surely yield up a way for me to drop a hint in your ear dear readers…for example, have you heard of the secret language of flowers, also known as Floriography?
Floriography is more often associated with Victorian times but there’s plenty of evidence to suggest it was used during the Regency era as well. With so many secret assignations going on, and lovers trysting all over the place, it seems one could hardly pass an obliging hedgerow in Regency England without stumbling over a blossom used in some secret signage, or a couple ‘at it’ behind the trees.
Not all the meanings were the same across all of England, but it seemed a fine way to let you know, and keep my promise (Sssh…).
Below are just a few of the blooms you might use to convey your feelings to an illicit lover, depending on your situation, and that of your lover:
Wild rose: pleasure and pain.
Pansies: thinking of you.
Yellow marguerite: I’ll come and see you soon.
Canterbury Bell: your letter was received.
White Lily: my love is pure.
Iris: I’ve sent a message.
Daisy: I love you truly / only.
Red carnation: my heart aches for you.
Apple Blossom: I choose you over others.
White rose: I cannot (usually in answer to a question posed by the gift of a narcissus).
Narcissus: When may I see you again?
Poppy: I am not free / we are discovered.
Cornflower: be gentle with me.
Hyacinth: Your loveliness charms me.
Red tulip: I declare my love.
Honeysuckle: devoted affection.
So, your clue? Look below. I’ll post the answer in my newsletter. ;-)