The Author's Quest - Finding Historical Resources On The Web
In the age of the Internet, aspiring authors have a virtually limitless number of resources at their fingertips. This can be particularly helpful for those who wish to write about historical time periods. With the touch of a button, writers can be escorted through bygone eras, learning about each period's food, dress, manners and more. However, for the uninitiated, the sheer volume of information can be overwhelming. So we thought we would clear the confusion and gather together some of the best websites to help authors research the historical elements in their manuscripts.
At HistoricalNovels.info you will find more than just a dusty list of links. The site is full of solid gold resources for aspiring authors, from advice and articles collected in an easy-to-browse manner to an annotated list of books set around the world in different time periods. Don't be put off by the colorful graphics, there's a wealth of information here!
For writers looking for an introduction to the Regency period, be sure to check out Inspirational author Jennifer Hudson Taylor's collection for Writing in the Regency Era - Online Resources. But be warned, the sections on Christmas in the Regency and the list of movies that have recreated this Era of Elegance will take time to investigate thoroughly.
On author Michele Sinclair's page of Regency Era Information, the author proves that less really is more. Visitors to the site will be thrilled by its easy-to-read layout and the helpful annotations for each link. Our favorite section is the Regency Lexicon where we discovered the definition of the slang term "monkey" as well many other obscure phrases of the age. Another not-to-be-missed feature is the detailed section about the peerage of the realm, including information about the Life Peerage Act of 1958 in response to the abuse of the hereditary peerages.
Advanced Regency Writers, rejoice! Jane Austen's World is for the detail-oriented Regency fan who wants to do her homework (and some extra credit) to bring the era to life in the most realistic way possible. From links to aspects of daily life to the far more minute such as pictorial replications of a woman's stays in 1820, this website is full of the information that will help you really understand the lives of your historical characters. Two resources that cannot be missed - the link to Jane Austen's advice for writers and a page that plays music from a Regency ballroom.
Are you heading across the sea for a story set in Colonial America? The good folks over at Nebraska Partnership for American History Education have resources for almost everything a writer could want to know about the early days of America. This website isn't flashy, but the information ranges from a tour of virtual Jamestown (including a 3D recreation of a Native American village) to Spy Letters of the American Revolution as well as resources about the Coins and Currency of Colonial America.
Over at Luminarium: Anthology of English Literature, there is an extensive collection of Additional Resources for Medieval England. Just because you are writing about a period of drafty castles and poor hygiene doesn't mean that you will be stuck guessing about what went on back then. Take advantage of all of these scholarly links to see such gems of the time as a Map of the Plague in Europe to the age's answer to Betty Crocker, A Boke of Gode Cookery.
We hope these sites help get you inspired to whip your historical manuscript into shape! Please let us know if we've missed any of your favorite resources.