What I Don’t Know Could Fill a Book

Sandra’s post on May 11th regarding her exhausting (in both contexts) research on Roman history and life is the perfect lead in to my much less ambitious undertaking.

Here is the link to her post: https://riskyregencies.com/2015/05/06/fictionalizing-the-past/

Really, after fifteen years of researching regencies, and writing them, I thought I knew all I needed to know. I’ll be honest and admit I wrote around the subjects that did not interest me too much (Parliament and politics for one) but felt I had a good handle on how MY Regency set characters lived.

In fact, writing a historical requires its own sort of world building. Not as totally as, say science fiction, but certainly there is a lot of room for the imagination. In the end the writer interprets the regency lifestyle based on her understanding of history and her own view of life, or how she would like life to be. Without a doubt the importance of the history of time and place matter more to some authors and readers than it does to others.Needlework cottage

It’s important to me. I was a history major in college (American history unfortunately) and brought that fascination with me when I decided to write a regency. I have been forever grateful to early blogs I participated in. They gave me a chance to share the information that I never used in a story but could not abandon before I knew way too much about said subject.

Now I’m faced with a challenge. I’m starting a series I referred to in my last blog post. Here is the link if you want to catch up:  https://riskyregencies.com/2015/04/20/writing-and-reading-a-series/

I find I need to know everything I can about the life of an Anglican vicar. From the get go I can see MY vicar is not cast in the usual mode. The spiritual life and general well-being of the people in his village are more important to him than an invitation to the right homes or parties (definitely not a Mr. Collins.) I can deal with that. But, because of it, I want to get as much of the rest of his world right.

I’ve pulled all possible books off my shelves including a treasure titled A COUNTRY PARSON 1759 to 1802. Too bad it’s before the war with Napoleon but it should still be useful, don’t you think?

In the meantime here is what Pennsford looks like. I’m sure I can count on you to ignore the modern roadway.iStock_000006145954_Small

The picture above, after the third paragraph, is a hand-stitiched image of one of Pennsford’s cottages

Please tell me how you start researching a subject you know little about and, as reader, how important to you is the accuracy of the world a regency author builds. And if anyone knows any specific books about a vicar’s life around 1817 please share!

About Mary Blayney

I have been writing both contemporary and regency romances since 1986, first with contemporary romances for Silhouette and later with historicals set in the Regency period. Family will always play a strong part in my books since, for me, family relationships are as fundamental as the love between a man and a woman.
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