Source Books for Historical Writers: A Partial List by @LyndiLamont #research

June 16, 2018 by in category Writing with 2 and 0
Home > Writing > Source Books for Historical Writers: A Partial List by @LyndiLamont #research

Source Books for Historical Writers: A Partial List

Compiled by
Linda McLaughlin

Book Kitten

Note: This post is excerpted from my website at https://lindalyndi.com

Several years ago, I did a talk on writing and researching historical romance, and as part of the handouts, I included a bibliography of sources. I call it a partial list because there are many, many sources available, depending on your setting and time period. These are a few of the ones I’ve found useful.

Central and Eastern European Wildlife book coverCentral and Eastern European Wildlife, Gerard Gorman, Bradt Travel Guide, 2008. Available on Amazon.com as paperback & recommended by Janet Cornelow.

A Dictionary of First Names, Patrick Hanks and Flavia Hodges, 2nd ed., Oxford Paperback Reference, Oxford University Press, 2006. (Out of print)

Dover Books on Costume, Dover Publications – a series of books about costumes of different eras. Also paper dolls with costumes and descriptions. Various dates and authors. Available at Amazon.com

Extraordinary Origins of Everyday Things by Charles Panati, Harper Collins, 2013. Available in paperback and Kindle editions.

Homes of Family Names in Great Britain by Henry Brougham Guppy, London, Harrison and Sons, 1890. Free e-book available from Google Books.

How to Write and Sell Historical Fiction by Persia Woolley, Writers Digest Books, 1997. An excellent guide, now apparently out of print but available used.

Medieval Underpants and Other Blunders: A Writer’s (& Editor’s) Guide to Keeping Historical Fiction Free of Common Anachronisms, Errors, & Myths, by Susanne Alleyn, Second Edition, Spyderwort Press, 2013, e-book.

Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary, 11th Edition, Merriam-Webster, 2003. Or any older edition. (The 2016 edition seems to have eliminated most of the dates.) 11th ed. gives dates of when words entered the English language. The only thing better is The Oxford English Dictionary, if you can afford it and have somewhere to store the multiple volumes. But that you can find at the library.

Mirror-of-graces
The Mirror of the Graces by A Lady of Distinction, first published in 1811. I have a paperback copy, but it’s available in e-book format format.

The New American Dictionary of Baby Names, Leslie Dunkling and William Gosling, Signet, 1985, 1991. Better than the average baby name book because it gives some historical context for names. (Out of print.)

North American Wildlife: An Illustrated Guide to 2,000 Plants and Animals, Reader’s Digest, 1982. Available in paperback.

The Oxford Dictionary of English Christian Names by E. G. Withycombe, Third Edition, Oxford University Press, 1977, now out of print. (First edition 1945)

The Penguin Dictionary of Historical Slang
by Eric Partridge, Penguin Book, 1972. Now out of print except for a ridiculously over-priced e-book version. Buy used.

The Random House Dictionary of the English Language, Second Edition Unabridged, 1987. Out of print, but probably available at the local library.

Slang and Euphemism, Richard A. Spears, 3rd revised ed., Signet, 2001. Useful addition, esp. for writers of historical erotica. (Out of print)

The Old West series, Time-Life, out of print but can be found in libraries and some used bookstores.

Victorian House Explained coverThe Victorian House Explained, Trevor York, Countryside Books, 2005. Part of the England’s Living History series which includes houses of various eras, the Industrial Revolution, steam railways, canals, etc.

What Jane Austen Ate and Charles Dickens Knew: From Fox Hunting to Whist-The Facts of Daily Life in Nineteenth-Century England, Daniel Pool, Touchstone, 1994. Still available in paperback and Kindle editions.

What Life Was Like… series, Time-Life.

The Writer’s Digest Character Naming Source Book, Sherrilyn Kenyon, Writer’s Digest Books, 1994. Available used on Amazon.com.

The Writer’s Guide to Everyday Life in the Middle Ages: The British Isles From 500-1500 by Sherilyn Kenyon, Writers Digest Books First Edition 1995; e-book 2014.

In the 1990’s, Writer’s Digest published numerous titles on Everyday Life in various historical periods, all of which are now out of print but available as used books. I wish the other authors would make them available as e-books like Sherilyn Kenyon has done.

What are your favorite research books?

 

Linda McLaughlin

Save

 

Author Bio
Author Bio
Linda McLaughlin grew up with a love of history fostered by her paternal grandmother and an incurable case of wanderlust inherited from her father. She has traveled extensively within the United States and has visited Mexico, Canada, & Australia. A lifelong dream came true with a trip to England where she was able to combine sightseeing with research for her novels. A native of Pittsburgh, she now lives in Southern California. She loves transporting her readers into the past where her characters learn that, in the journey of life, love is the sweetest reward. She also writes steamy romance under the name Lyndi Lamont.
  • OCC/RWA August Online Class: Writer Wellness

    Writer Wellness, A Writer’s Path to Health and Creativity: Good self-care is the new multi-vitamin! Writers should still take a multi-vitamin, and Writer Wellness is a complimentary plan to help you stay on target for writing and life.

  • POV: Going Deep and Staying There February 2020 OCC/RWA Online Class

    It doesn’t matter if you write first-person narrative or third-person with multiple viewpoint characters—getting deep inside a POV character’s head is the key to writing stories that grab readers by the heartstrings, no matter what genre you’re writing.

  • Make Your Writing Shine through Self-Editing with Linda Carroll Bradd #onlineclass #self-editing
    Source Books for Historical Writers: A Partial List Compiled by Linda McLaughlin Note: This post is excerpted from my website at https://lindalyndi.com Several years ago, I did a talk on writing and researching historical romance, and as part of the handouts, I included a bibliography of sources. I call it a partial list because there […]
  • FINISH THAT BOOK with The Chunky Method May 2019 @OCCRWA #onlineclass
    Source Books for Historical Writers: A Partial List Compiled by Linda McLaughlin Note: This post is excerpted from my website at https://lindalyndi.com Several years ago, I did a talk on writing and researching historical romance, and as part of the handouts, I included a bibliography of sources. I call it a partial list because there […]
  • Pin It! Why Authors Shouldn’t Ignore Pinterest Marketing with Elena Dillon OCC.RWA Online Class
    Source Books for Historical Writers: A Partial List Compiled by Linda McLaughlin Note: This post is excerpted from my website at https://lindalyndi.com Several years ago, I did a talk on writing and researching historical romance, and as part of the handouts, I included a bibliography of sources. I call it a partial list because there […]
HOW TO WOO … A RELUCTANT BRIDE

ILONA’S WOLF

Buy now!
ILONA’S WOLF

LADY ELINOR’S ESCAPE

Buy now!
LADY ELINOR’S ESCAPE

LILY AND THE GAMBLER

Buy now!
LILY AND THE GAMBLER

ROGUE’S HOSTAGE

Buy now!
ROGUE’S HOSTAGE

TOVA’S DRAGON

Buy now!
TOVA’S DRAGON
×
Linda McLaughlin grew up with a love of history fostered by her paternal grandmother and an incurable case of wanderlust inherited from her father. She has traveled extensively within the United States and has visited Mexico, Canada, & Australia. A lifelong dream came true with a trip to England where she was able to combine sightseeing with research for her novels. A native of Pittsburgh, she now lives in Southern California. She loves transporting her readers into the past where her characters learn that, in the journey of life, love is the sweetest reward. She also writes steamy romance under the name Lyndi Lamont.
  • Veronica Jorge says:

    Wonderful resources. Thank you for sharing.

  • Linda, these are great. Thanks!

  • Copyright ©2017 A Slice of Orange. All Rights Reserved. ~PROUDLY POWERED BY WORDPRESS ~ CREATED BY ISHYOBOY.COM