“Do you still find her beautiful?,” asked Guillaume as he readjusted his hair.
“Always have. She certainly knows how to please a man if you know what I mean,” said Maurice.
“Truthfully, Maurice, how many women would tolerate your nomadic ways?. You end up marrying another woman and poof! Your freedom is gone,” said Guilllame.
“You sound like you want me to keep her,” said Maurice.
“I most certainly do!,” said Guillame.
“She has been most respectful of me,” said Guillame.
Marceau French Historical Fiction Novel #histfic
Gay relationships carried on quietly in situations where one partner was in a marriage with children — especially in centuries past. Guillaume, my gay character in Marceau, knew how typical it was to love a married man who is quite powerful financially and politically. Guillaume knew his place and his role in Maurice’s life and played it beautifully. Guillaume is a theatre actor who loved to dress up as a woman. Only in Chapter One, you see him walk into Maurice’s bain (bath) with his hair up, wearing his favorite rouge and showing a bit of cleavage. You know I could have revved up that scene more intimately but I held back…knowing this book may end up in a physical format some day. You also see him blow a kiss at Maurice during a toast presentation at the de Roche dinner. Guillaume plays a very strong companion role in this novel throughout. He is my favorite character!
As in my previous post about my repeated dream on Maurice (my protagonist in Marceau). Despite Maurice telling me in my dream that he was a financier to many heads of state and sovereigns during pre-revolutionary Paris, FR, I decided to make this man quite powerful, contractually married to a woman and with a gay lover and companion. I have been asked by several editors to change Maurice’s sexual preferences to a womanizing male… And I said no. I literally did research the gay life in 1788 Paris, FR and it is unfortunate that divorce was not a possibility because our dear King Louis XVI administered his kingdoms on several of his catholic beliefs. I respect people’s opinions and beliefs about their religion. However. When it came to being a gay man or woman and most especially in the upper echelons of society when people are supposed to be married with children as in 1788, one had to resort to clever tactics on avoiding discovery. Maurice got around all that by having a personal valet as a clever way of disguising Guillaume’s role in his personal life. Don’t always suspect the butler, though…
Dinner theatre was a common form of entertainment in Paris and throughout Europe for that matter. This art form brought an ambiance to the audience based upon the various acts performed on stage. Le Salon Orangerie was a private theatre meaning only members were allowed to attend. This Salon was bought by Maurice Marceau for Guillaume although this tidbit of information is not in the story. Le Salon Orangerie was used as an outlet to voice concerns politically as well as for entertainment. Guillaume is one of my favorite characters in the whole novel. He is a character actor in the theatre who quite careful with clothes and dotes on Maurice.
I actually did some research on what it was like to be gay in Paris, FR back in 1788. There were two acceptable modes both men and women could partake. As a man in the higher echelons of society, one was expected to be married with children. Still, the marriage kept going and the children kept growing with the entire family remaining intact.