Writing a historical requires research

Readers are clever people, they know what they like, and especially what they don’t. Some like danger and intrigue and some, like me, prefer things on the lighter side. I write what I most like to read: an escape from the present world and a good dose of hero and heroine attraction.

When I began reading historical romances, I had no idea what a barouche was. I did not know when gaslights were installed in London, and I knew nothing about King George III or his illness, other than what the writer told me. The more you read, however, the more you learn that sometimes works of fiction are not always correct and it should be.

The detail in a historical romance fascinates me but since I don’t live in England, and Australia doesn’t teach a great deal of English History, I have to find my own sources of information. All I can say is thank you, internet. So, in appreciation for the wonderful internet resources out there I am going to plug some of my favourite sources of information on the net.

Google books is brilliant.
It contains thousands of book titles and frequently, partial and full, PDF copies of older books (those out of copyright), from cover to cover. Each entry includes an ‘About this book’ page with basic bibliographic data like title, author, publication date, length and subject. You will be able to download, save and/or print a PDF version to read off-line.

For the historical romance writer, acquiring older works can be expensive and unless you live in the country you are writing about, copies can be hard to track down. With the internet at your fingers, you can find an answer to almost any question but be sure to double check your facts. You don’t want to make a mistake.

Homework for this edition:
Go to the Google books homepage, type in Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue, and click search books. You should get a list, now qualify that you only want to show Full View Only and your list will shrink. The top few books should mention the author Francis Grose and list different publication dates. Click on the one you would most like to view and you will get a “Read this book” page. Just follow the arrows and leaf through the pages. It’s that easy.

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