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Friday, October 15, 2010

It's Research Time Again

I'm going through the laborious process of starting research on a new historical romance novel. The novel will be the next in my pretty well-established Brothers in Arms Regency series, so there is a great deal of research on setting, time and place that is already done. But I have specific questions I need answered for my plot.

The story takes place in 1820. I need to find a situation, a parade, celebration, riot, that turns, or could turn with a bit of literary license, violent. Someone needs to die. (Cue macabre music.) Now, I haven't done one lick of research yet. I've only laid out my plot outline. So this may be a simple research matter. Or not. We'll see.

For my last book in this series I had to do a great deal of research on the Peninsular War, the Forlorn Hope, weapons, battle tactics, ranks, and horse breeding. It was interesting to read the previous blogpost about anachronistic animals in historical books. For the horse breeding sections of my book I did some painstaking research to make sure I used breeds that were common at the time, and also to use the breeds that they were experimenting with at the time in an effort to create a better carriage horse for the new modern roads. This was a completely new area to me.

For this book, I'm delving into more familiar territory. I have a graduate degree in American history, and taught it for several years. So research into slavery and American and British laws governing slave ownership, and escaped slaves and their capture, will be slightly easier for me. But not much. I also need to do some research on ship travel, travel times, marriage laws, New Orleans in 1820, and what the weather was like in London in 1820.

Wow! This blog is turning into a great list of what I need to research. :-)

I can't leave out criminal gangs in London, the London constabulary and jurisdiction, what very heavy pottery might have been made of, fashion for the elite pregnant woman, early suffragettes and the movement for equal rights for women, and the laws of succession.

I'm sure I left something out. But it will turn up in the writing. I'm so glad I wrote this blog! It's gotten me very excited to delve into my research, which I've been postponing. So happy reading to all, I'm off to research!

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