The Silver Petticoat Review: We’re Damsels Not in Distress…
“Because when you are imagining, you might as well imagine something worthwhile.” — L.M. Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables
We’re Amber and Autumn Topping, identical twins, writers, idealists, thinkers, lovers of chivalrous romance, and proud Modern Romanticists who believe in making the world just a little bit more imaginative and beautiful.
Growing up with creative parents, we were able to imagine and create to our heart’s content. And as we grew into adults, we never lost that child-like wonder. Old souls with a penchant for turning dreams into reality, the idea for The Silver Petticoat Review first began at a Victorian Tea Room with a friend (Rebecca Lane) and now here we are!
WE’RE ON A MISSION
Where are all the stories in modern day with epic Jane Austen-like romances mixed with literary/artistic merit? Where are all the quality sensation stories Louisa May Alcott and Austen enjoyed?
And where has the love and joy in life gone? Let’s remember what it was like to imagine as children and create that in our lives NOW. And let’s find ways to love and help everyone around us to create a more beautiful world.
So, we’re on a mission to find and promote these stories (quality Jane Austen-like romances of restraint & Brontë-like stories of Romanticism) because they do exist! We’re on a mission to create these stories – as well as inspire other storytellers to create them. And we’re on a mission to live like Modern Day Romantics (Silver Petticoat style, of course) who believe in optimism and wonder. Why? Because the world needs it. Let’s look up at the stars and connect to nature. Let’s remember what it was like to feel alive in this breathtaking world. And let’s find and create wonderful stories of magic, romance, and imagination.
We promote this because we believe in old-fashioned romance with a contemporary twist, chivalry, and living a more imaginative, beautiful life. We challenge the status quo of modern-day romance that’s about casual emotionless connections and swiping left. We challenge that all content needs to be cynical, pornographic, or excessively explicit (which we believe has led to less and less romance and imagination in storytelling). And we challenge vulgarity of conversation. Instead, we appreciate wit, culture, art, and deep conversations.
In addition to storytelling, we also challenge this trend to be harsh, gritty, and cynical in our own lives. What’s wrong with creating and celebrating imagination, beauty, nature, travel, and intense emotion mixed with a little bit of logic, wit, and depth?
We’re on a mission to connect to you, fellow kindred spirits like us. Whether you’re looking for romantic influence in your own life, seeking a bit of escape, looking for inspiration to write the next epic romance, or wanting to appreciate the loveliness of life a little more, we’re the site for you! Here you’ll find a positive place to lift the spirit even when we discuss Dark Romanticism!
So, here at The Silver Petticoat Review, not only will you find content about quality Old-Fashioned Romance (quality romance of restraint) but you’ll be introduced to Modern Romanticism as well. It’s a new (or old depending on how you look at it) style of storytelling as well as a more imaginative way of appreciating life.
By spreading this message of Modern Romanticism, we’re starting a new movement (or reigniting a past one with a modern twist):
We call it…
THE ROMANTIC REVOLUTION.
We see ourselves as Romantic Rebels fighting for an optimistic, creative world of empathy and imagination. We’re also uniting against the popular opinion that would have everyone believe old-fashioned romance and chivalry are dead. Or that imaginative stories of restraint (meaning without explicit content) are silly and merely “sentimental.”
Today, some may say that in this post-post-modern world, literary movements are dead. BUT WE DEFY THAT. AND WE HOPE YOU DO TOO!
We can unite together and begin to create wonderful and memorable works of art inspired by the great literature of the past while also being original as well as contemporary.
Together, let’s create a Romantic Revolution and start an actual new literary, artistic, and intellectual movement. No matter what religion, culture, background, political beliefs, sexual orientation, etc… we can all unite through common ground and sharing stories.
IS ROMANCE BAD FOR US?
With the onslaught of blogs, online magazines, and social media in the mid-2000’s to today, we discovered that hardly anyone was discussing the topics we were interested in. Namely quality old-fashioned romance (more Jane Austen in style than Erotica) in entertainment, period dramas, stories inspired by the Romantic movement, and even romantic living as influenced by the Romantics from the Romantic Period. So, we thought, well, why not us?
SEE Our Old-Fashioned Romance 101 Guide
Since the time we started this blogazine in 2013, it’s only become less and less acceptable (non-PC) to appreciate old-fashioned romance (romantic comedies, paranormal romance, fairy tales, etc.) and/or imaginative Romanticism. In our Postmodern world, gritty realism, cynicism, casual romance, vulgarity, and explicit content have become the acceptable norm. While unabashed romance, optimism, Romantic imagination, and “non-explicit” stories are often sneered at.
Still, when you research popular search topics from Google, there’s clearly a current hunger for romantic comedies, fairytale-like romances, and Romanticism in modern day despite the negative voices and media telling us these stories are dangerous or worse, “silly.”
If there’s not a standard of Realism or grit or masculine appeal (which is fine but let’s have more variety!), the critics quickly find ways to demean genres that “appeal” to the supposed feminine psyche.
We hate to break it to these academics and critics or even hate-filled voices on the internet claiming enlightened views, but in a bit of twisted irony, the same arguments made against romance (especially romantic comedies and paranormal) today, identically reflect the voices of men hundreds of years ago; the same men who raged against women reading novels (especially Gothic ones) because it was bad for their delicate mind. Jane Austen herself satirized these ridiculous fears with her classic Gothic romance novel, Northanger Abbey.
Margaret Cohen, author and professor of French language, literature, and civilization, explained this history to New York Times Op-Talk:
“From the late 18th century through the middle of the 19th …women were considered to be in danger of not being able to differentiate between fiction and life.”
Sound familiar? If we could count the number of times people have told us that reading a paranormal romance or watching a romantic comedy or romantic period drama (No, we don’t expect men to “be” Mr. Darcy) was unhealthy, we’d be rich! “It creates unrealistic expectations,” they say. And yet women in perfect shape wearing scantily clad clothes while they fight like a ninja and fall in love with an average looking man with an average intellect in movies and television somehow makes the critical cut! Does that mean men don’t understand that a Bond girl is a fantasy? As if our minds are so “weak” we’re unable to distinguish between the tropes found in a romantic comedy and actual life.
That said, while we don’t believe men or women should be fantasies brought to life, we do think it’s perfectly acceptable for chivalry to still exist. That it’s okay to be INFLUENCED by the great romances! And it’s also wonderful to live a more beautiful, imaginative life inspired by the traits of the Romantic Age – with a modern twist.
ARE YOU A DAMSEL, DAME OR GENTLEMAN NOT IN DISTRESS?
There’s this modern belief that’s spread around that to be a modern-day woman (or man) you also need to scorn romance. Sure, it’s acceptable to appreciate romance in a logical, “need” kind of way. But where’s the swoon-worthy type of romance?
Shouldn’t it be okay to be an educated, intelligent woman who also loves chivalrous romance whether in stories or in real life? Intelligent women (and men) who long for equal partners but don’t scorn culture, good manners, and gallantry? Isn’t it nice to not have to do everything and always be superwomen even if you can?
So, we stand with kindred spirits like us who secretly (or not so secretly) love reading Jane Austen novels or watching shows and movies about immortal vampires and/or Prince Charming. We love cliché-ridden romantic comedies and we’re proud to say it!
We say, why can’t we be a modern-day damsel (or dame or gentleman) who’s not in distress but sure does like to be saved (or imagine being saved) from time to time? Yes, we absolutely believe in equal opportunity rescuing.
As we grow The Silver Petticoat Review, we plan to create a creative community of fellow kindred spirits who can connect and have deep conversations about literature, film, art, romantic living, etc. A modern-day Concord. So, make sure to join our Romantic Revolution by subscribing to our newsletter below for all updates.
As for us, we’re Petticoat Damsels (in our 30s because age is relative) …not in distress! And we’re not afraid to say it!
ARE YOU A FELLOW MODERN ROMANTICIST?
Now, while we are influenced by the Romantic movement of the late 18th to mid-19th century as well as the American Romantics, Modern Romanticism is just a little bit different. Think of it as Romanticism combined with Old-Fashioned Romance in a realistic way and an adventurous, “Romantic” style of living without all the bad behavior of Lord Byron and Percy Shelley or even intense melancholy. We’re taking the positive aspects of the past movement and molding it into our modern world through a positive Silver Petticoat lens.
Being a Modern Romanticist means connecting to your true self, developing your imagination, intuition, and personal gifts (which does not mean you have to create in the Romantic Style) as well as connecting to nature and others around you.
So, are you a fellow Modern Romanticist?
If you’re a non-conformist who believes in kindred spirits, love, nature, beauty, imagination, spirituality, individuality (IE: Jane Eyre following her own moral compass), and that people can and should be able to get along no matter what background (YAY for fellow optimists!), then you just might be!
For a full exploration of Modern Romanticism in storytelling, see our Guide.
IN SUMMARY – THE ROMANTIC REVOLUTION
In all, we’re starting an all-new Romantic Revolution! So, become rebels like us and embrace romance, optimism, hope, imagination, and creativity in stories and life!
We’re Amber and Autumn Topping…and we’re Romantic Rebels.
So, join the Romantic Revolution and rebel with us!
Here at The Silver Petticoat Review, we share reviews, articles, blog posts, lists, videos, advice, Period Drama News, Romance News, Quizzes, Romantic Moment of the Week, and even a Period Drama Review Archives sorted by historical era!
We should note that while we cover many genres, the story must either have a quality old-fashioned romance in it OR be steeped in Romanticism/Modern Romanticism. And that includes the classics as well as international content. We also strive to include content that has PG-13 “like” content or below, minus a few exceptions for artistic merit and/or genre interest. However, these exceptions are made very selectively and depend on the holistic overall “feel” of the story. We’re mostly looking for stories of “restraint.”
A huge focus of this site is the past! So, for categorization purposes, all books, TV Shows, and films from before the year 1970 will be categorized as a classic. Documentaries or researched biopics about classic authors (IE: a documentary about Louisa May Alcott or a biopic about Jane Austen) will also be given the classification no matter what year the film was made. Faithful adaptations of classic novels (these have to clearly be novels that have stood the test of time) will be given the tag as well because they are connected to classic literature.
We will also give the “Classics” tag to articles/lists that are focused on the classics or the authors (IE: Jane Austen quotes or a romantic moment from a classic film/classic adaptation).
However, retellings of classic books are not classified as “classics.”
For more recent classics, articles/reviews about content from 1970-1999 will instead be categorized as “Vintage.”
We love period dramas! So any time our articles are about a period drama we will give it a categorization of period drama to make them easy to find. We’ve also included a Period Drama Archive for an easy go-to list of all of the reviews.
Costume Drama – Fairy Tales & Fantasy
Any article or review that is connected to fantasy, fairy tales, folklore or mythology (with costumes) from film and TV so you can find all of the “fairytale” content with costumes in one place!
One of the main topics of The Silver Petticoat Review is old-fashioned romance. Whenever a post is about a book, movie, or show heavily featuring old-fashioned romance, we will give it this extra categorization.
And then to make it even more fun, we’ve recently added sub-categories of the romantic genres so you can find what you like. These are for stories that have a main romantic focus, not just a subplot.
Fantasy & Sci-Fi
- Fairy Tale Romance
- Fantasy Romance
- Paranormal Romance
- Sci-fi & Dystopian Romance
- Urban Fantasy
- Classic Romance: This includes romances from classic literature, classic films & classic TV (the 1960s and earlier). It also includes faithful adaptations of classic romantic literature (IE: Pride and Prejudice). Retellings don’t count.
- Historical Romance
- Regency Romance
- Gothic Romance
- Romantic Mystery
- Romantic Suspense
- Contemporary Romance
- Inspirational Romance
- International Romance
- Literary Romance
- Romantic Comedy
- Romantic Drama
- Young Adult Romance
You can also check out our Old-Fashioned Romance Archive HERE.
Refer to our guide for old-fashioned romance 101 for more detailed descriptions of what we cover.
Any stories from the Romantic Period (or even modern adaptations of stories from this period) will receive this categorization. We also tag classic literature/film (IE: L.M. Montgomery, Bram Stoker, etc.), that while not from the Romantic Age, are clearly steeped in the style of Romanticism (the 1960s and earlier). We also categorize stories pre-Romantic Period that influenced Romanticism. IE: Shakespeare, the early Gothic novel, fairy tales, and folklore, etc.
Modern Romanticism includes stories from the recent past (post-1960s) to present-day that is influenced by the artistic and literary movement from the 18th to 19th centuries with a Silver Petticoat Twist.
Refer to our Modern Romanticism 101 guide for more detailed descriptions of what we cover.
Posts that highlight the Romantic way of living. Creativity, travel, beauty, imagination, creativity, etc.
We love and celebrate cultural diversity. So, whenever we cover a story from a different country, we’ll categorize it as “International.”
(The featured image was made by Dena from the Etsy BubblegumBlowfish shop)