“The tasteless dedication to pretentious excess shown by Lollia Paulina, Caligula’s third wife, was hard to parallel. She would bedeck herself with emeralds and pearls whenever she attended even the most modest gathering, taking the receipts with her to show to anyone who doubted [what] her jewelry had cost….” (Pliny, Natural History, 9.117)
Can you imagine what he’d say about the…erm, “understated” display of bling by Hollywood one-percenter Kim Kardashian?
I believe the poor old wheezer would go into cardiac arrest.
Also, in case you’re interested, here’s a link to a post I wrote for the fabulous Shelli Johaness Wells on the fine art of ripping out your heart and squeezing it out onto your work: http://www.srjohannes.com/2012/08/finding-emotional-truth-in-historical.html. I’ll be sharing more of my ideas on writing historical fiction at the upcoming Writing and Illustrating for Kids SCBWI conference in Birmingham in October.