of redacted and aubergine


Patricia Burroughs, This Crumbling Pageant

This is a guest post from the fabulous Patricia Burroughs, who has somehow run below the radar to talk about exactly what I told her not to talk about on my blog.


Of [Redacted] and Aubergine

Max wouldn’t let me write about [redacted]. I had to do that on Magical Words where I wrote about [redacted] and how Max mentored/bullied me into writing about them even though I Did. Not. Want. To).

Yes, there is Irony there.

So instead, I am writing about fashion.

Max is the Goddess Max in my pantheon for many reasons, one of which is her fabulous sense of design and All Things Fashion, including the Screenwriter’s Uniform in The Screenwriter’s Survival Guide.

And so when she nixed any mention of [redacted] on her blog, even though she made me write about them in my script, I decided I would write about fashion instead.

The problem is, I didn’t spend a lot of time writing about fashion in my dark epic fantasy, This Crumbling Pageant. And when I did write about fashion, I am not at all sure I wrote in such a way that Max, the Goddess of All Things Fashion, would approve.

I wrote about aubergine.

Aubergine is the French word for eggplant, that dark, dark purple that is almost black. In England in 1811, including the Magical version of England I write about, it is only worn by elderly dowagers.

Certainly not by young girls being presented to the Queen and to Society.

Persephone Fury’s sister [a beautiful duchess and a goddess of fashion in her own right] chose a lovely pale blue for her to wear.

But Persephone’s older brother interferes:


“Good gods,” Cosmo drawled. “So this is what they did to you?”

She blinked up at him, not believing her ears.

“I told them at all costs to avoid yellow, but I never dreamed they’d stick you in infant shades.”

She swallowed thickly. She looked nice; she knew she did.

“You’re fortunate to have me as your brother, poppet.” He sauntered into the room, waving the door shut behind him, locking it with a flex of his fist. “I thought they’d never leave.”

“What are you doing?” she demanded, fighting tears, all warm feelings gone in a flash. She curled her fingertips into her palms in an effort to calm herself. “You’re a wretch, Cosmo Fury, a wretch!”

He winced. “Oh good gods, and they even put a padded corset on you?”

She crossed her arms across her small breasts, her humiliation complete. She wouldn’t go downstairs, would never go downstairs, would leave London and never return.

“My sweet poppet, you’ll thank me.”


Should a seventeen-year-old girl ever have her older brother interfere and snatch away the dress the women in her family chose for her and replace it with one that doesn’t suit current fashion and worse, is an old woman color?

I guess it’s kind of obvious to say, read the book and find out. [Hey, that’s what blog tours are about, saying, read my book!]

This Crumbling Pageant is a book about magic and evil, about action and violence, about dark things and Dark things, about secrets and lies, and even in a scene or two, about [redacted].

But, it also has its moments of fashion, because this hero’s journey is happening to a girl.

And if that includes girly things like her menarche, her crush on the first man she meets, and her desire to be pretty for him?

Even better.

As for being trotted before Society to find a husband to further her family’s political ambitions…

Well, they can try.

And as for Max, and her opinions on the fashion choices in the book? Well, Max is always right. That’s a given.

But my characters? Will Persephone in aubergine be considered an Original or an Oddity?

The jury’s still out on that one. You’ll just have to read it to find out!

This Crumbling Pageant is available in print and digital at Amazon, BN and Kobo.


Patricia BurroughsNicholl Award-winning screenwriter and bestselling novelist Patricia Burroughs loves dogs, books, movies, and football. A lifelong Anglophile, she treasures her frequent travels in the British Isles researching The Fury Triad, the epic fantasy that has taken over her life and heart. She and her high school sweetheart husband are living happily ever after in their hometown of Dallas, Texas.


20 Responses to of redacted and aubergine

  1. aubergine is a power color! and, some say that Jane Eyre has a menarche scene in the Red Room–at least that’s what I was taught in college–and so I wrote a paper on it.

    I [redacted] you! <3

  2. Now I have to go read Jane Eyre again! [Not that this is a penance!] [redact you back!] <3

  3. I wish I had the paper. It was typed, and the copiers were coin operated. I didn’t have time or change to make a photocopy. The prof left after finals.

  4. How frustrating! The stuff I wish I still had was my own fault, unfortunately.

  5. Max

    Well purple was a color of royalty back with the Greeks, so it’s been a color associated with power a really long time. “Aubergine” is just a fancy British term for eggplant purple, don’tcha know. [wink]

  6. It goes back to the Greeks? That is even more perfect for my story. Win!

  7. Max

    Hmm, I may have it wrong, it may be the Romans. That’s what I’m seeing in a Google search.

  8. Max

    From Roman Emperor Clothing – The Color Purple and the ‘Trabea’ Toga: :

    “The most associated color with Roman Emperor Clothing is the color purple. Only a Roman Emperor was allowed to wear the ‘trabea’ which was a toga entirely colored in purple and worn on ceremonial occasions. Statues of gods were also dressed in the purple trabea toga, emphasising the importance of the color and of course associating the Emperor with the Roman gods. The purple toga was also referred to as the Toga purpurea. Lesser mortals such as kings, senators, young sons of senators, augurs and some other important priests were allowed to have purple stripes on their togas. The width of the stripe varied accordance to their status.”

  9. Pingback: quote o’ the week | celluloid blonde

  10. Stripes! Ooooh, am working on next book. Stripes!

  11. Max

    You’re going to Rome just because of those purple stripes, aren’t you?

  12. The Greek Isles. I’ll figure out a way to connect the dots somehow.

  13. Max

    “Recently, the archaeological discovery of substantial numbers of Murex shells on Crete suggests that the Minoans may have pioneered the extraction of Imperial purple centuries before the Tyrians.”

    And Aristotle was talking about the dye, it was definitely around.

    Tyrian Purple (Article) — Ancient History Encyclopedia

  14. Wicked. Take that, IRS!

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