Authors take particular care to romanticize centuries past. Let’s face it, we have kings, queens, dukes, earls, lords, barons, and every other aristocratic title possible to give our heroes. Our settings are in stately homes and castles. Occasionally, you’ll find other interesting eras to read about including knights, Vikings, and pirates. But what was life really like in centuries past? If you’re interested, read a few of our historical tidbit articles below. Life wasn’t always a peachy experience, and women often struggled to survive spinsterhood and even marriage. If you’re interested in a bit of reality, these articles may be for you.
Check back often for new ones!
Read about how to hold and attend a ball – 1872 Victorian Style. “Balls are the paradise of daughters, the purgatory of chaperons, and the pandemonium of paterfamilias.” They are a father’s nightmare because daughters need new dresses and the brougham won’t be available the night of the affair.
The Habits of Good Society are quite clear regarding the waltz and how one should dance. Read the advice from a real author from 1872.
Prostitution was big business in the 19th Century. Read about the lifestyle of how many women supported themselves during difficult times.
What was is like to get married during the Victorian era? Did women wear white?
Arsenic was used in just about everything. It wasn’t only a poison of choice if you wanted to kill another person. It was in the makeup that woman wore, in their dresses, and in their wallpaper. Arsenic poisoning was a regular occurrence during the Victorian era.
Fascinating reading about the lives of women in the Victorian era. Read the accounts of women who lived in poverty, middle-class, or riches.
Did a man break his engagement? Was your heart broken in two? In the 19th century, you could sue a man or woman for the breach of promise of marriage and receive compensation. Read about the shattered hearts and stories.
My travels have taken me to the Victorian & Albert Museum in London. where there were wonderful exhibits of actual period clothing.
And they lived happily ever after. Not! Find out the laws regarding divorce in the 19th century.
Author guest post exploring the delicate matters of personal hygiene – definitely a look at the unmentionables and undergarments.
Guest Post about Regency Christmas Traditions – HOGMANAY BY SUSANA ELLIS
A guest post about the bedchamber of a king in Tudor times.
A post exploring the intrigue of Knights.
What does it take for a lady to be considered accomplished? Read about the requirements in 1872.
Poor personal habits by an individual who neglected his body was a sure sign of weak character. A lady’s and man’s toilet routine was an important aspect in upper Victorian society.
Another article from the Habits of Good Society giving its female readers tips on the ladies’ toilet.
Duels can provide high drama in a romance novel! Here is an article from author Alexa Aston on the rules during the Regency Era.
“By folding and cutting letters in various clever patterns, people attempted to hide their correspondence from unwanted readers, and the “locks” came in myriad types.”
Understanding the centuries-long struggle is essential to understanding true characterizations in historical fiction and romance. I remain firmly in the “portray women within the restrictions of their times’ camp. Otherwise, we’re simply creating 21st century women in costume.