Sunday, August 9, 2015

Pocahontas didn't live in a speakeasy!

How true to time are your characters? 

Writing in the past can present a few problems for your characters when you have a Colonial girl telling her "beau" he's "cool". That's an extreme example, but credibility is everything. To that end, here are some resources (books) that might be helpful in keeping to the facts of your past setting. I'm not going to include names of authors (in most cases), because you can call them up online if necessary.

Everyday Life
Everyday Life in Early America
Everyday Life in Ancient Rome
The Expansion of Everyday Life, 1860-1876
Victorian America: Transformation in Everyday Life
Everyday Life in the 1800's
Everyday Life in the Wild West
The American West
Writer's Guide to Everyday Life in the 1800's
Writer's Guide to Everyday Life from Prohibition Through World War II
The Reshaping of Everyday Life: 1790-1840
Time-Life Books: This Fabulous Century
Vol. 1: 1900-1910
Vol. 2: 1910-1920
Vol. 3: 1920-1930
Vol. 4: 1930-1940
Vol. 5: 1940-1950
Vol. 6: 1950-1960
Vol. 7: 1960-1970
American Heritage Books
The American Revolution
Making of the Nation, 1783-1860
The Confident Years, 1865-1916
1920' s and 1930's
The Middle Ages
Pre-Columbian People of North America
The Female Experience
America's Immigrant Women
America's Frontier History
Zion in America: The Jewish Experience from Colonial Times to the Present
The Oriental American
The Italian American
The Dutch in America
South Slavic Immigration in America
The Culture of the 20's
America in the 40's (Reader's Digest book)
Civil War and Reconstruction (American Heritage)
Speech and Language
I Hear America Talking
Slang Down the Ages (for those in the UK)
Mrs. Beeton's Book of Household Management (Victorian era)
American Cookery (Amelia Simmons, 1796)
The American Century Cookbook
Food in History (Reay Tannahill) 

So if you want your characters to act, speak, dress, and LIVE authentically, research the time period carefully. You don't want to meet Pocahontas in a speakeasy!

A lot of research went into these books for character authenticity. Read more about them at my website. 

1 comment:

Donna Alice said...

These are also good sources. Had forgotten about the Everyday Life books ... and I even own several.