Note from Amanda: Thanks to my computer choosing last weekend to have a Complete and Utter Meltdown, I was not able to post Elaine Golden’s guest blog! She has graciously agreed to reschedule for today–and is offering a giveaway as well! Welcome to the Riskies, Elaine…
One of the things I love most about writing historical romance is the research. Oh, I don’t particulraly care about poking around in dusty tomes, but I do love to learn little tidbits about how things were, how people thought and lived differently than they do today. I’ve been known to get lost randomly flipping around in an encyclopedia, or the modern day equivalent by following curious links in Wikipedia. I even keep a Historical Trivia page on my blog filled with odd historical facts (as well as blurbs and excerpts!).
The old author’s adage suggests to “write what you know.” Research is an essential tool to understand the dynamics of the era, and to present a story that will immerse readers in the culture and trappings of an historical romance.
The Internet is such a vast resource for historical research. There are wonderful bloggers who share their knowledge of the era, digitized maps and images and period publications, and there are endless photographs from tourists and travelers. So very many resources available at our fingertips!
And such interesting things I have discovered as I research the Regency era for my Fortney Follies series published by Harlequin Historical Undone!
–The British Regency nearly began 22 years before the Regency Act was passed on February 5, 1811. The reigning George III suffered several bouts of mental illness during his reign and in 1789 Parliament almost passed the Regency Act after a great deal of debate. Only a swift recovery from the King at that time stopped things. I blogged about it earlier this month on the Harlequin Blog.
–When researching the origin of the Regency phrase “in the pink” I discovered the phrase’s origins–and a whole lot more. Dod you know the color pink was considered a “masculine” cover until the 1940s? I blogged about all things to do with pink on my site…
–The Prince Regent loved Brighton and taking the waters there. And he had a favorite bather, a local character named Martha Gunn. I’ve also blogged about bathing in Brighton, Prinny, and Marth on my site!
Earlier this month Diane Gaston posted some great links on Regency research. In addition to those wonderful sites, some of my own favorite Internet links include:
—The Online Etymology Dictionary: Not a traditional dictionary, but an explanation of the origin of words and what they meant at various points in time. Ever wonder if a word is historically accurate? What it meant to the Regency hero or heroine? You’d be amazed at how the meaning of a word can change so radically over the centuries!
–Historical Map overlays with Google Maps: Match historical avenues and parks to today’s view of the world!
Do you have a fun bit of Regency trivia to share? Favorite website for Regency research?
Comment on this blog post for a chance to win an electronic copy of my debut Regency romance, An Imprudent Lady! I’ll select two winners at random at 6 pm Pacific time on Wednesday, February 23…
And do check out other Undones! These short sexy romances are perfect when you have limited time but want a great romance to read. Michelle Styles generously shares this month with me, offering a sexy Roman-era romance with The Perfect Concubine