More Reader Quizzes

Ladies From Pat Rice:

Despite the fact that I just finished a copyedit, and I’m now working through a line edit and revisions, which makes me as grouchy and irritable as a grizzly in January, I will try to rise above all that and be edifying for a change.

        After Candice’s wonderful interview, someone pointed out that we sounded as if we were all Regency writers, when actually, that’s probably as far from the truth as it is possible to go and still stick to history.  Not all the wenches enjoy the Regency era, and we’re not all Heyer fans, although I have a sneaking suspicion Jane Austen rates pretty high on all our lists.  I’m probably middle of the road on the issue, having written some small Regencies many, many moons ago, along with a few of the larger ones.  My historicals for nearly the last decade have been Georgians with a psychic twist, and I intersperse these with contemporaries.

       I’m not entirely certain what causes some eras and some countries to appeal to us as writers more than others. Although I’ve written what might be called a “medieval,” I did so because I wanted to write fantasy elements and the superstition of that time period was the only way I could get away with it.  I’ve always been drawn to Georgian and Regency England, but anything before or after that holds no interest for me.  Perhaps I lived a prior life in that period, who knows?  After 1820, I want to dive into American history, if only the American historical would make a comeback.  The 1820’s through the 1880’s in the United States was a truly exciting period of time, with innovation after innovation, and the entire western expansion to play with.  But I have almost no interest in the time prior to 1820 in this country.  My research library reflects these tastes.

     The really big question, to me, is why so many readers flock to Regency England, or to Scotland at any period.  What is it about those countries and time periods that have become so popular?  I could speculate that we are attracted to a country and era that was relatively peaceful and civil, but England was fighting Napoleon, and there was a great deal more peace in the period after the American Revolution and prior to 1810. As to Scotland, perhaps readers enjoy the fantasy of Scotland more than the Wwcrossedflagsgifactuality?  Or are there so many Scots’ descendants proud of their history that they scarf up every book on the subject? If so, then why aren’t we equally proud of our American heritage and want to read everything on the subject?

         So tell me what attracts you, as a reader, to a particular time period or country? The clothes? The history? Perceived civility or wittiness or strength and heroism?  Or conversely, what makes you hate a particular period or country?

Magicman_3

art credit (above):

Frank Cadogan Cowper, Venetian Ladies

66 thoughts on “More Reader Quizzes”

  1. Here’s my chance to be honest!
    I’m not particularly fond of the Regency “man.” I never imagine him dressed in breeches and hose. I like the voice of most authors who write Regency, however.
    I like Victorian, but so many authors of historical romance do not. I don’t know why. I like the Victorian “man.”
    Scottish reads — I do not know what it is about them, could be all of the reasons you’ve mentioned. I am Scottish-American, but never imagined myself with a Scotsman. My grandfather was from Edinburgh and my grandmother was from Skye. She had lived in Yorkshire for quite sometime before coming to America, so she had quite an interesting accent.
    I would be very interested in reading about other historical locations beside England, but the publishers say those do not sell.
    Cathy

    Reply
  2. Here’s my chance to be honest!
    I’m not particularly fond of the Regency “man.” I never imagine him dressed in breeches and hose. I like the voice of most authors who write Regency, however.
    I like Victorian, but so many authors of historical romance do not. I don’t know why. I like the Victorian “man.”
    Scottish reads — I do not know what it is about them, could be all of the reasons you’ve mentioned. I am Scottish-American, but never imagined myself with a Scotsman. My grandfather was from Edinburgh and my grandmother was from Skye. She had lived in Yorkshire for quite sometime before coming to America, so she had quite an interesting accent.
    I would be very interested in reading about other historical locations beside England, but the publishers say those do not sell.
    Cathy

    Reply
  3. Here’s my chance to be honest!
    I’m not particularly fond of the Regency “man.” I never imagine him dressed in breeches and hose. I like the voice of most authors who write Regency, however.
    I like Victorian, but so many authors of historical romance do not. I don’t know why. I like the Victorian “man.”
    Scottish reads — I do not know what it is about them, could be all of the reasons you’ve mentioned. I am Scottish-American, but never imagined myself with a Scotsman. My grandfather was from Edinburgh and my grandmother was from Skye. She had lived in Yorkshire for quite sometime before coming to America, so she had quite an interesting accent.
    I would be very interested in reading about other historical locations beside England, but the publishers say those do not sell.
    Cathy

    Reply
  4. I do like the late 18th and early 19th century setting (not Regency as such, but roughly the 50-year span from about 1770-1820), because it was, historically, such an interesting period, an eventful time of major change, intellectual growth and discovery. I dislike the Victorian period, partly because it is too recent, but mainly because the general attitude was so smug, bourgeois and self-righteous. Also, the clothes were actually fairly attractive in the 1800-1820 period, and were very interesting, if somewhat over-elaborate, just before that, whereas Victorian clothing, right through from the 1830s into the Edwardian period, was pretty ghastly and not even interesting.
    In general, though, I simply like to see stories set in a place and time that are well realised, well researched and understood, and therefore convincing. I do not normally enjoy stories set in places and/or historical periods that I know very well indeed myself, because I am too critical, and find myself unable to accept and ignore even quite small and trivial errors.
    The popularity of Scotland is, indeed, a mystery. Surely it cannot be simply because there are many Americans of Scottish descent? I have the impression that Irish historical settings are also well-liked by many American readers. But although there are numerous Americans of Scots and Irish descent, there are just as many, I should have thought, whose ancestors came from Germany, Italy, Greece, Poland, the Scandinavian countries and many more, but this does not seem to fuel a comparable passion for historical novels set in those locations. How many historical novels are there set in medieval Central Europe? Not a lot, I should think.

    Reply
  5. I do like the late 18th and early 19th century setting (not Regency as such, but roughly the 50-year span from about 1770-1820), because it was, historically, such an interesting period, an eventful time of major change, intellectual growth and discovery. I dislike the Victorian period, partly because it is too recent, but mainly because the general attitude was so smug, bourgeois and self-righteous. Also, the clothes were actually fairly attractive in the 1800-1820 period, and were very interesting, if somewhat over-elaborate, just before that, whereas Victorian clothing, right through from the 1830s into the Edwardian period, was pretty ghastly and not even interesting.
    In general, though, I simply like to see stories set in a place and time that are well realised, well researched and understood, and therefore convincing. I do not normally enjoy stories set in places and/or historical periods that I know very well indeed myself, because I am too critical, and find myself unable to accept and ignore even quite small and trivial errors.
    The popularity of Scotland is, indeed, a mystery. Surely it cannot be simply because there are many Americans of Scottish descent? I have the impression that Irish historical settings are also well-liked by many American readers. But although there are numerous Americans of Scots and Irish descent, there are just as many, I should have thought, whose ancestors came from Germany, Italy, Greece, Poland, the Scandinavian countries and many more, but this does not seem to fuel a comparable passion for historical novels set in those locations. How many historical novels are there set in medieval Central Europe? Not a lot, I should think.

    Reply
  6. I do like the late 18th and early 19th century setting (not Regency as such, but roughly the 50-year span from about 1770-1820), because it was, historically, such an interesting period, an eventful time of major change, intellectual growth and discovery. I dislike the Victorian period, partly because it is too recent, but mainly because the general attitude was so smug, bourgeois and self-righteous. Also, the clothes were actually fairly attractive in the 1800-1820 period, and were very interesting, if somewhat over-elaborate, just before that, whereas Victorian clothing, right through from the 1830s into the Edwardian period, was pretty ghastly and not even interesting.
    In general, though, I simply like to see stories set in a place and time that are well realised, well researched and understood, and therefore convincing. I do not normally enjoy stories set in places and/or historical periods that I know very well indeed myself, because I am too critical, and find myself unable to accept and ignore even quite small and trivial errors.
    The popularity of Scotland is, indeed, a mystery. Surely it cannot be simply because there are many Americans of Scottish descent? I have the impression that Irish historical settings are also well-liked by many American readers. But although there are numerous Americans of Scots and Irish descent, there are just as many, I should have thought, whose ancestors came from Germany, Italy, Greece, Poland, the Scandinavian countries and many more, but this does not seem to fuel a comparable passion for historical novels set in those locations. How many historical novels are there set in medieval Central Europe? Not a lot, I should think.

    Reply
  7. You know, I’m really not sure why certain times and places do or don’t appeal to me. I’m a history buff with a wide range of interests, so there are more periods I *do* want to read about than ones I want to avoid.
    To avoid this post stretching toward infinity, I’ll stick to eras/places that are common romance settings. Because I could write an essay about my fascination with the Greco-Persian Wars, but I’m not sure that would answer your question. 🙂
    I’m very picky when it comes to medieval, Scottish, or Viking romances, because so few of them feel realistic to me. I think most readers go to those subgenres for the “once upon a time” fairytale aspect, and I’m just out of step in wanting something different. But the eras themselves interest me.
    As for the Regency, I started reading it because it was there–my hometown library’s shelves were packed with Heyer, and the paperback racks filled with trad Regencies. And I liked the pretty dresses and was fascinated by what then seemed like the exotic world of the ton. Twenty years later, my Regency interests have shifted a bit. As a military history buff, I’m probably more interested in the Peninsular War than anything else (and, my GOD, those were some sexy uniforms!), though again I’ve accepted that I’m out-of-step with the average romance reader and will therefore have to get my love stories in one place and my war stories in another.
    While I’ll read Victorians by favorite authors, the era doesn’t appeal to me as much, at least in England itself. It just feels hemmed in somehow, on all levels.
    And I don’t like Westerns. Not at all. And I can’t explain it. Given my love for non-aristocratic protagonists and gritty adventure stories, you’d think I’d be all over them. But cowboys and gunslingers just don’t turn me on. Now, if you went way, way west and wrote about the early days of San Francisco or Seattle, or if there were more pioneer stories, sort of Laura-and-Almanzo for grownups, it’d be different. But Texas Rangers need not apply.
    So I guess my answer is, “I don’t know. I just like what I like.”

    Reply
  8. You know, I’m really not sure why certain times and places do or don’t appeal to me. I’m a history buff with a wide range of interests, so there are more periods I *do* want to read about than ones I want to avoid.
    To avoid this post stretching toward infinity, I’ll stick to eras/places that are common romance settings. Because I could write an essay about my fascination with the Greco-Persian Wars, but I’m not sure that would answer your question. 🙂
    I’m very picky when it comes to medieval, Scottish, or Viking romances, because so few of them feel realistic to me. I think most readers go to those subgenres for the “once upon a time” fairytale aspect, and I’m just out of step in wanting something different. But the eras themselves interest me.
    As for the Regency, I started reading it because it was there–my hometown library’s shelves were packed with Heyer, and the paperback racks filled with trad Regencies. And I liked the pretty dresses and was fascinated by what then seemed like the exotic world of the ton. Twenty years later, my Regency interests have shifted a bit. As a military history buff, I’m probably more interested in the Peninsular War than anything else (and, my GOD, those were some sexy uniforms!), though again I’ve accepted that I’m out-of-step with the average romance reader and will therefore have to get my love stories in one place and my war stories in another.
    While I’ll read Victorians by favorite authors, the era doesn’t appeal to me as much, at least in England itself. It just feels hemmed in somehow, on all levels.
    And I don’t like Westerns. Not at all. And I can’t explain it. Given my love for non-aristocratic protagonists and gritty adventure stories, you’d think I’d be all over them. But cowboys and gunslingers just don’t turn me on. Now, if you went way, way west and wrote about the early days of San Francisco or Seattle, or if there were more pioneer stories, sort of Laura-and-Almanzo for grownups, it’d be different. But Texas Rangers need not apply.
    So I guess my answer is, “I don’t know. I just like what I like.”

    Reply
  9. You know, I’m really not sure why certain times and places do or don’t appeal to me. I’m a history buff with a wide range of interests, so there are more periods I *do* want to read about than ones I want to avoid.
    To avoid this post stretching toward infinity, I’ll stick to eras/places that are common romance settings. Because I could write an essay about my fascination with the Greco-Persian Wars, but I’m not sure that would answer your question. 🙂
    I’m very picky when it comes to medieval, Scottish, or Viking romances, because so few of them feel realistic to me. I think most readers go to those subgenres for the “once upon a time” fairytale aspect, and I’m just out of step in wanting something different. But the eras themselves interest me.
    As for the Regency, I started reading it because it was there–my hometown library’s shelves were packed with Heyer, and the paperback racks filled with trad Regencies. And I liked the pretty dresses and was fascinated by what then seemed like the exotic world of the ton. Twenty years later, my Regency interests have shifted a bit. As a military history buff, I’m probably more interested in the Peninsular War than anything else (and, my GOD, those were some sexy uniforms!), though again I’ve accepted that I’m out-of-step with the average romance reader and will therefore have to get my love stories in one place and my war stories in another.
    While I’ll read Victorians by favorite authors, the era doesn’t appeal to me as much, at least in England itself. It just feels hemmed in somehow, on all levels.
    And I don’t like Westerns. Not at all. And I can’t explain it. Given my love for non-aristocratic protagonists and gritty adventure stories, you’d think I’d be all over them. But cowboys and gunslingers just don’t turn me on. Now, if you went way, way west and wrote about the early days of San Francisco or Seattle, or if there were more pioneer stories, sort of Laura-and-Almanzo for grownups, it’d be different. But Texas Rangers need not apply.
    So I guess my answer is, “I don’t know. I just like what I like.”

    Reply
  10. Jo here.
    It is fascinating, Pat, because the stories are also different. Certain types of stories seem to fit certain places in the writer’s and reader’s mind.
    For example, there’s no reason not to have a Georgian romance with silk, satin, and swordfighting set in the elegance of Edinburgh, Dublin, or even somewhere in Wales, though I don’t know where. But on the whole, a book set in Wales, Scotland, or Ireland will have a different sort of story and different characters.
    With Scotland it’s nearly always the kilt-wearing, simple-living rebel/outsiders.
    With Ireland, it’s usually the oppressed part of the story with a similar rebel plus some Celtic poetry/tragedy.I’ve heard Irish people complain of all of #*$*! magic in Irish books.
    With Wales it’s usually stoic, and quietly resistant. Which could be why it’s not so popular as a setting. Despite some wonderful rebel princes in the middle ages it’s hard to imagine a fiery Welsh rebel.
    I’m not saying there’s no reason for the above, or real historical causes, but all the same the range of social conditions and characters was much wider.We have wenches who’ve written books set in all three areas who can doubtless add insight.
    The same thing applies to the US, I think. There certainly was a Colonial and Federal society not much different to that in Britain, but stories set among that elite don’t seem to do well.
    My basic point is that readers might be choosing type of story as much as setting.
    Comments?
    Jo

    Reply
  11. Jo here.
    It is fascinating, Pat, because the stories are also different. Certain types of stories seem to fit certain places in the writer’s and reader’s mind.
    For example, there’s no reason not to have a Georgian romance with silk, satin, and swordfighting set in the elegance of Edinburgh, Dublin, or even somewhere in Wales, though I don’t know where. But on the whole, a book set in Wales, Scotland, or Ireland will have a different sort of story and different characters.
    With Scotland it’s nearly always the kilt-wearing, simple-living rebel/outsiders.
    With Ireland, it’s usually the oppressed part of the story with a similar rebel plus some Celtic poetry/tragedy.I’ve heard Irish people complain of all of #*$*! magic in Irish books.
    With Wales it’s usually stoic, and quietly resistant. Which could be why it’s not so popular as a setting. Despite some wonderful rebel princes in the middle ages it’s hard to imagine a fiery Welsh rebel.
    I’m not saying there’s no reason for the above, or real historical causes, but all the same the range of social conditions and characters was much wider.We have wenches who’ve written books set in all three areas who can doubtless add insight.
    The same thing applies to the US, I think. There certainly was a Colonial and Federal society not much different to that in Britain, but stories set among that elite don’t seem to do well.
    My basic point is that readers might be choosing type of story as much as setting.
    Comments?
    Jo

    Reply
  12. Jo here.
    It is fascinating, Pat, because the stories are also different. Certain types of stories seem to fit certain places in the writer’s and reader’s mind.
    For example, there’s no reason not to have a Georgian romance with silk, satin, and swordfighting set in the elegance of Edinburgh, Dublin, or even somewhere in Wales, though I don’t know where. But on the whole, a book set in Wales, Scotland, or Ireland will have a different sort of story and different characters.
    With Scotland it’s nearly always the kilt-wearing, simple-living rebel/outsiders.
    With Ireland, it’s usually the oppressed part of the story with a similar rebel plus some Celtic poetry/tragedy.I’ve heard Irish people complain of all of #*$*! magic in Irish books.
    With Wales it’s usually stoic, and quietly resistant. Which could be why it’s not so popular as a setting. Despite some wonderful rebel princes in the middle ages it’s hard to imagine a fiery Welsh rebel.
    I’m not saying there’s no reason for the above, or real historical causes, but all the same the range of social conditions and characters was much wider.We have wenches who’ve written books set in all three areas who can doubtless add insight.
    The same thing applies to the US, I think. There certainly was a Colonial and Federal society not much different to that in Britain, but stories set among that elite don’t seem to do well.
    My basic point is that readers might be choosing type of story as much as setting.
    Comments?
    Jo

    Reply
  13. I think Jo is dead right. There are certain stereotypes about different countries and populations.
    But oh, what a fine story could be set in Wales during the almost-successful rebellion of Owain Glyndŵr in the early 15th century! But I probably wouldn’t read it unless the author were a native Welsh-speaker, because he/she would be bound to get something wrong…

    Reply
  14. I think Jo is dead right. There are certain stereotypes about different countries and populations.
    But oh, what a fine story could be set in Wales during the almost-successful rebellion of Owain Glyndŵr in the early 15th century! But I probably wouldn’t read it unless the author were a native Welsh-speaker, because he/she would be bound to get something wrong…

    Reply
  15. I think Jo is dead right. There are certain stereotypes about different countries and populations.
    But oh, what a fine story could be set in Wales during the almost-successful rebellion of Owain Glyndŵr in the early 15th century! But I probably wouldn’t read it unless the author were a native Welsh-speaker, because he/she would be bound to get something wrong…

    Reply
  16. >>I dislike the Victorian period, partly because it is too recent . . .
    I think this has something to do with my disinterest in American historicals. And Westerns make me think of dust, mud, and uneducated men. Scotland, on the other hand, has a mythical quality about it.
    This probably isn’t going to be very helpful since I get the feeling that I’m in a minuscule minority. I have to confess that I don’t pay close attention to historical periods. I like reading English historicals; but, as far as I’m concerned, there are Medievals and not-Medievals. I’ve never been very good at associating events in time; plus, I don’t visualize when I read so clothing descriptions are wasted on me. I read authors whose voice I like and what I read depends on what they write. If Jo didn’t say that the Mallorens were Georgian, I wouldn’t know they weren’t in the same period as the Rogues. Sorry, I know that’s not very heartening after all your research. But it does mean that if I like an author I’ll follow her just about anywhere.

    Reply
  17. >>I dislike the Victorian period, partly because it is too recent . . .
    I think this has something to do with my disinterest in American historicals. And Westerns make me think of dust, mud, and uneducated men. Scotland, on the other hand, has a mythical quality about it.
    This probably isn’t going to be very helpful since I get the feeling that I’m in a minuscule minority. I have to confess that I don’t pay close attention to historical periods. I like reading English historicals; but, as far as I’m concerned, there are Medievals and not-Medievals. I’ve never been very good at associating events in time; plus, I don’t visualize when I read so clothing descriptions are wasted on me. I read authors whose voice I like and what I read depends on what they write. If Jo didn’t say that the Mallorens were Georgian, I wouldn’t know they weren’t in the same period as the Rogues. Sorry, I know that’s not very heartening after all your research. But it does mean that if I like an author I’ll follow her just about anywhere.

    Reply
  18. >>I dislike the Victorian period, partly because it is too recent . . .
    I think this has something to do with my disinterest in American historicals. And Westerns make me think of dust, mud, and uneducated men. Scotland, on the other hand, has a mythical quality about it.
    This probably isn’t going to be very helpful since I get the feeling that I’m in a minuscule minority. I have to confess that I don’t pay close attention to historical periods. I like reading English historicals; but, as far as I’m concerned, there are Medievals and not-Medievals. I’ve never been very good at associating events in time; plus, I don’t visualize when I read so clothing descriptions are wasted on me. I read authors whose voice I like and what I read depends on what they write. If Jo didn’t say that the Mallorens were Georgian, I wouldn’t know they weren’t in the same period as the Rogues. Sorry, I know that’s not very heartening after all your research. But it does mean that if I like an author I’ll follow her just about anywhere.

    Reply
  19. “And Westerns make me think of dust…”
    Mary, this cracks me up, because when asked why I don’t like Westerns, the first thing that springs to mind is, “They’re DUSTY.” Which explains nothing, at least in my case, because plenty of eras/settings I *do* enjoy would be at least as likely to involve dust! But still, it’s the first thing I think–Westerns are dusty, and cowboys and the like don’t turn me on.
    It took some doing to get me to watch Joss Whedon’s brilliant FIREFLY, which FOX iniquitously canceled, because I had to be talked past the fact it was a space *Western*, and therefore set off my dusty sensors! But I ended up loving it so much that I tried some ordinary Westerns…and discovered I still don’t like them. Which I guess just goes to show Joss Whedon can make anything work for me, because I also thought I didn’t like vampires or anything horror-related until my best friend all but tied me down and forced me to watch an episode of Buffy.

    Reply
  20. “And Westerns make me think of dust…”
    Mary, this cracks me up, because when asked why I don’t like Westerns, the first thing that springs to mind is, “They’re DUSTY.” Which explains nothing, at least in my case, because plenty of eras/settings I *do* enjoy would be at least as likely to involve dust! But still, it’s the first thing I think–Westerns are dusty, and cowboys and the like don’t turn me on.
    It took some doing to get me to watch Joss Whedon’s brilliant FIREFLY, which FOX iniquitously canceled, because I had to be talked past the fact it was a space *Western*, and therefore set off my dusty sensors! But I ended up loving it so much that I tried some ordinary Westerns…and discovered I still don’t like them. Which I guess just goes to show Joss Whedon can make anything work for me, because I also thought I didn’t like vampires or anything horror-related until my best friend all but tied me down and forced me to watch an episode of Buffy.

    Reply
  21. “And Westerns make me think of dust…”
    Mary, this cracks me up, because when asked why I don’t like Westerns, the first thing that springs to mind is, “They’re DUSTY.” Which explains nothing, at least in my case, because plenty of eras/settings I *do* enjoy would be at least as likely to involve dust! But still, it’s the first thing I think–Westerns are dusty, and cowboys and the like don’t turn me on.
    It took some doing to get me to watch Joss Whedon’s brilliant FIREFLY, which FOX iniquitously canceled, because I had to be talked past the fact it was a space *Western*, and therefore set off my dusty sensors! But I ended up loving it so much that I tried some ordinary Westerns…and discovered I still don’t like them. Which I guess just goes to show Joss Whedon can make anything work for me, because I also thought I didn’t like vampires or anything horror-related until my best friend all but tied me down and forced me to watch an episode of Buffy.

    Reply
  22. The imagery you’re conjuring for different eras and countries is quite fascinating! Admittedly, I see the Victorian age as a rather revolting combination of sexual repression and fairly sick debauchery, so I’m assuming it’s things we’ve read that induce these ideas.
    And I’ll agree, I’m not too much on dusty Western ranches and prefer San Francisco or the like, as well, but there’s a LOT of room out there for a lot of different stories. And some places aren’t even dusty. “G”

    Reply
  23. The imagery you’re conjuring for different eras and countries is quite fascinating! Admittedly, I see the Victorian age as a rather revolting combination of sexual repression and fairly sick debauchery, so I’m assuming it’s things we’ve read that induce these ideas.
    And I’ll agree, I’m not too much on dusty Western ranches and prefer San Francisco or the like, as well, but there’s a LOT of room out there for a lot of different stories. And some places aren’t even dusty. “G”

    Reply
  24. The imagery you’re conjuring for different eras and countries is quite fascinating! Admittedly, I see the Victorian age as a rather revolting combination of sexual repression and fairly sick debauchery, so I’m assuming it’s things we’ve read that induce these ideas.
    And I’ll agree, I’m not too much on dusty Western ranches and prefer San Francisco or the like, as well, but there’s a LOT of room out there for a lot of different stories. And some places aren’t even dusty. “G”

    Reply
  25. I’m such a history buff that I’m interested in pretty much every setting. The whole slavery issue has pretty much turned me off any antebellum U.S. southern story – particularly if it’s set on a plantation. I will also say that while I loved medieval history in college, a lot of medieval romances seem to fall short with me – they don’t seem to really reflect the time period. Of course, my “modern sensibilities” may just be horified by the rampant injustice that “true” stories of the time would have to portray.
    However, some of this may have to do with the talent, voice and story telling ability of the author. Like in every other kind of book, the #1 reason I buy a historical romance is usually the author name.
    The AgTigress asked why there weren’t more stories about Polish immigrants, etc. to the US. There honestly are not a lot of secondary sources/history books on Polish immigrants or other immigrant books where the primary sources will be written in languages that most people no longer know how to read or write in the U.S. (an exception may be Yiddish for lots of different reasons.) Statistically, a lot of emigrants did come from English speaking country, but the fact that scholars can read those primary sources without having to learn a second – sometimes very challenging – language may also contribute to a lack of interest or sources on those groups. The other immigrant group characters also may seem “too different” (or too poor for an escapist read) if they really reflect their culture.
    I also think there are just certain places and time periods of interest to the majority of people. At one point, I wanted to be a history professor and attended grad school in history.
    The majority of my classmates were interested in 20th century history – some of it so recent I thought they needed to be in another department. 🙂 A handful were interested in 19th century, and the number of students pursuing older time periods REALLY dropped off – in undergrad and grad students. Perhaps it was too far removed or too different to be relavant.
    The other thing is that there are not as many great secondary sources – never mind primary sources – in ENGLISH on more “obscure” countries. I always thought European History was so dominated by France – and England was treated as such a different case that it needed a class of its own. My European History classes really did not cover eastern Europe much (20th century classes are different bc of world wars and communism). One country dominating a region is not limited to Europe. Latin America seemed to be limited to Mexico, Cuba (all the lefties loved it), perhaps a southern cone coutnry and then the home country of the teacher. 🙂
    I’m rambling, but I don’t think a strong preference for certain time periods is limited to just historical romances. I think the same trend can be found in mainstream historicals and even in history itself.
    Loretta – Were you able to find many secondary sources on Albania in English for your Albanian stories???
    -Michelle

    Reply
  26. I’m such a history buff that I’m interested in pretty much every setting. The whole slavery issue has pretty much turned me off any antebellum U.S. southern story – particularly if it’s set on a plantation. I will also say that while I loved medieval history in college, a lot of medieval romances seem to fall short with me – they don’t seem to really reflect the time period. Of course, my “modern sensibilities” may just be horified by the rampant injustice that “true” stories of the time would have to portray.
    However, some of this may have to do with the talent, voice and story telling ability of the author. Like in every other kind of book, the #1 reason I buy a historical romance is usually the author name.
    The AgTigress asked why there weren’t more stories about Polish immigrants, etc. to the US. There honestly are not a lot of secondary sources/history books on Polish immigrants or other immigrant books where the primary sources will be written in languages that most people no longer know how to read or write in the U.S. (an exception may be Yiddish for lots of different reasons.) Statistically, a lot of emigrants did come from English speaking country, but the fact that scholars can read those primary sources without having to learn a second – sometimes very challenging – language may also contribute to a lack of interest or sources on those groups. The other immigrant group characters also may seem “too different” (or too poor for an escapist read) if they really reflect their culture.
    I also think there are just certain places and time periods of interest to the majority of people. At one point, I wanted to be a history professor and attended grad school in history.
    The majority of my classmates were interested in 20th century history – some of it so recent I thought they needed to be in another department. 🙂 A handful were interested in 19th century, and the number of students pursuing older time periods REALLY dropped off – in undergrad and grad students. Perhaps it was too far removed or too different to be relavant.
    The other thing is that there are not as many great secondary sources – never mind primary sources – in ENGLISH on more “obscure” countries. I always thought European History was so dominated by France – and England was treated as such a different case that it needed a class of its own. My European History classes really did not cover eastern Europe much (20th century classes are different bc of world wars and communism). One country dominating a region is not limited to Europe. Latin America seemed to be limited to Mexico, Cuba (all the lefties loved it), perhaps a southern cone coutnry and then the home country of the teacher. 🙂
    I’m rambling, but I don’t think a strong preference for certain time periods is limited to just historical romances. I think the same trend can be found in mainstream historicals and even in history itself.
    Loretta – Were you able to find many secondary sources on Albania in English for your Albanian stories???
    -Michelle

    Reply
  27. I’m such a history buff that I’m interested in pretty much every setting. The whole slavery issue has pretty much turned me off any antebellum U.S. southern story – particularly if it’s set on a plantation. I will also say that while I loved medieval history in college, a lot of medieval romances seem to fall short with me – they don’t seem to really reflect the time period. Of course, my “modern sensibilities” may just be horified by the rampant injustice that “true” stories of the time would have to portray.
    However, some of this may have to do with the talent, voice and story telling ability of the author. Like in every other kind of book, the #1 reason I buy a historical romance is usually the author name.
    The AgTigress asked why there weren’t more stories about Polish immigrants, etc. to the US. There honestly are not a lot of secondary sources/history books on Polish immigrants or other immigrant books where the primary sources will be written in languages that most people no longer know how to read or write in the U.S. (an exception may be Yiddish for lots of different reasons.) Statistically, a lot of emigrants did come from English speaking country, but the fact that scholars can read those primary sources without having to learn a second – sometimes very challenging – language may also contribute to a lack of interest or sources on those groups. The other immigrant group characters also may seem “too different” (or too poor for an escapist read) if they really reflect their culture.
    I also think there are just certain places and time periods of interest to the majority of people. At one point, I wanted to be a history professor and attended grad school in history.
    The majority of my classmates were interested in 20th century history – some of it so recent I thought they needed to be in another department. 🙂 A handful were interested in 19th century, and the number of students pursuing older time periods REALLY dropped off – in undergrad and grad students. Perhaps it was too far removed or too different to be relavant.
    The other thing is that there are not as many great secondary sources – never mind primary sources – in ENGLISH on more “obscure” countries. I always thought European History was so dominated by France – and England was treated as such a different case that it needed a class of its own. My European History classes really did not cover eastern Europe much (20th century classes are different bc of world wars and communism). One country dominating a region is not limited to Europe. Latin America seemed to be limited to Mexico, Cuba (all the lefties loved it), perhaps a southern cone coutnry and then the home country of the teacher. 🙂
    I’m rambling, but I don’t think a strong preference for certain time periods is limited to just historical romances. I think the same trend can be found in mainstream historicals and even in history itself.
    Loretta – Were you able to find many secondary sources on Albania in English for your Albanian stories???
    -Michelle

    Reply
  28. I really don’t have a time/place that I *LOVE* but I do have one that I don’t. For some reason US Westerns don’t hold any appeal for me. I think it was due to poor choices in the ones that I read and not the time period itself. But it’s left me with no desire to read more.
    I like books set in Wales too, since my father was born there. However, if you want them in Cymraeg — pob hwyl!

    Reply
  29. I really don’t have a time/place that I *LOVE* but I do have one that I don’t. For some reason US Westerns don’t hold any appeal for me. I think it was due to poor choices in the ones that I read and not the time period itself. But it’s left me with no desire to read more.
    I like books set in Wales too, since my father was born there. However, if you want them in Cymraeg — pob hwyl!

    Reply
  30. I really don’t have a time/place that I *LOVE* but I do have one that I don’t. For some reason US Westerns don’t hold any appeal for me. I think it was due to poor choices in the ones that I read and not the time period itself. But it’s left me with no desire to read more.
    I like books set in Wales too, since my father was born there. However, if you want them in Cymraeg — pob hwyl!

    Reply
  31. Oh, I wouldn’t want books set in Wales to be written actually IN Welsh, since literary Welsh is pretty hard work even for many fluent speakers, and the poor author would have to put up with a pretty small print-run.
    I just cringe when the writer of a story placed in a Welsh setting uses Welsh names and expressions, and makes fairly basic and crude errors of spelling, gender and mutation.

    Reply
  32. Oh, I wouldn’t want books set in Wales to be written actually IN Welsh, since literary Welsh is pretty hard work even for many fluent speakers, and the poor author would have to put up with a pretty small print-run.
    I just cringe when the writer of a story placed in a Welsh setting uses Welsh names and expressions, and makes fairly basic and crude errors of spelling, gender and mutation.

    Reply
  33. Oh, I wouldn’t want books set in Wales to be written actually IN Welsh, since literary Welsh is pretty hard work even for many fluent speakers, and the poor author would have to put up with a pretty small print-run.
    I just cringe when the writer of a story placed in a Welsh setting uses Welsh names and expressions, and makes fairly basic and crude errors of spelling, gender and mutation.

    Reply
  34. I’m very picky when it comes to medieval, Scottish, or Viking romances, because so few of them feel realistic to me.
    because he/she would be bound to get something wrong…
    a lot of medieval romances seem to fall short with me – they don’t seem to really reflect the time period.
    I think these kinds of things are key to why Regency settings are so popular. The “world” is well established and well known. Collectively, the authors who pen this world have established a certain shared idea of time and place, which is no less a construct than that of Thieves’ World, but they have done so with a strong enough historical background that the reading public knows their expectations are going to be fulfilled.
    I also think there’s something to be said for the dual facts that it’s far enough in the past to feel like something of a fantasy (pre-photography is key to this, IMO) but it’s modern enough not to be totally alien.

    Reply
  35. I’m very picky when it comes to medieval, Scottish, or Viking romances, because so few of them feel realistic to me.
    because he/she would be bound to get something wrong…
    a lot of medieval romances seem to fall short with me – they don’t seem to really reflect the time period.
    I think these kinds of things are key to why Regency settings are so popular. The “world” is well established and well known. Collectively, the authors who pen this world have established a certain shared idea of time and place, which is no less a construct than that of Thieves’ World, but they have done so with a strong enough historical background that the reading public knows their expectations are going to be fulfilled.
    I also think there’s something to be said for the dual facts that it’s far enough in the past to feel like something of a fantasy (pre-photography is key to this, IMO) but it’s modern enough not to be totally alien.

    Reply
  36. I’m very picky when it comes to medieval, Scottish, or Viking romances, because so few of them feel realistic to me.
    because he/she would be bound to get something wrong…
    a lot of medieval romances seem to fall short with me – they don’t seem to really reflect the time period.
    I think these kinds of things are key to why Regency settings are so popular. The “world” is well established and well known. Collectively, the authors who pen this world have established a certain shared idea of time and place, which is no less a construct than that of Thieves’ World, but they have done so with a strong enough historical background that the reading public knows their expectations are going to be fulfilled.
    I also think there’s something to be said for the dual facts that it’s far enough in the past to feel like something of a fantasy (pre-photography is key to this, IMO) but it’s modern enough not to be totally alien.

    Reply
  37. Sorry, operator error! 🙂 I fought Welsh and Welsh won. It’s a very hard language to learn, and after that it mutates.

    Reply
  38. Sorry, operator error! 🙂 I fought Welsh and Welsh won. It’s a very hard language to learn, and after that it mutates.

    Reply
  39. Sorry, operator error! 🙂 I fought Welsh and Welsh won. It’s a very hard language to learn, and after that it mutates.

    Reply
  40. Michelle asked about the sources I used for my Albanian books. If people seem interested, I might do a whole post on this but to answer Michelle quickly: Yes, I had plenty of material. Byron & his friend Hobhouse traveled in Albania and the latter wrote an account of the journey. Colonel Leake did a military survey in the early 1800s and that book was in a nearby library, too. I used some later works as well, because Albania was so isolated for so long that it was basically the same place pre WWII as it was in medieval times–and it’s still that way in a few places. So Edith Durham was as valuable as Hobhouse or Leake, though she was writing almost a century later. As with my research for the Egypt book, the sources give the English slant–but that’s perfect, since my characters are English. I also had several books written in English by Albanians, which helped fill in the blanks. And I lucked out in having visiting Albanian cousins to talk to through interpreters. My father, who’d been there during WWII, had lots of useful information. I can’t speak for other eastern European nations but there seemed to be no dearth of material on Albania–but it does take more than the usual amount of digging to find it.

    Reply
  41. Michelle asked about the sources I used for my Albanian books. If people seem interested, I might do a whole post on this but to answer Michelle quickly: Yes, I had plenty of material. Byron & his friend Hobhouse traveled in Albania and the latter wrote an account of the journey. Colonel Leake did a military survey in the early 1800s and that book was in a nearby library, too. I used some later works as well, because Albania was so isolated for so long that it was basically the same place pre WWII as it was in medieval times–and it’s still that way in a few places. So Edith Durham was as valuable as Hobhouse or Leake, though she was writing almost a century later. As with my research for the Egypt book, the sources give the English slant–but that’s perfect, since my characters are English. I also had several books written in English by Albanians, which helped fill in the blanks. And I lucked out in having visiting Albanian cousins to talk to through interpreters. My father, who’d been there during WWII, had lots of useful information. I can’t speak for other eastern European nations but there seemed to be no dearth of material on Albania–but it does take more than the usual amount of digging to find it.

    Reply
  42. Michelle asked about the sources I used for my Albanian books. If people seem interested, I might do a whole post on this but to answer Michelle quickly: Yes, I had plenty of material. Byron & his friend Hobhouse traveled in Albania and the latter wrote an account of the journey. Colonel Leake did a military survey in the early 1800s and that book was in a nearby library, too. I used some later works as well, because Albania was so isolated for so long that it was basically the same place pre WWII as it was in medieval times–and it’s still that way in a few places. So Edith Durham was as valuable as Hobhouse or Leake, though she was writing almost a century later. As with my research for the Egypt book, the sources give the English slant–but that’s perfect, since my characters are English. I also had several books written in English by Albanians, which helped fill in the blanks. And I lucked out in having visiting Albanian cousins to talk to through interpreters. My father, who’d been there during WWII, had lots of useful information. I can’t speak for other eastern European nations but there seemed to be no dearth of material on Albania–but it does take more than the usual amount of digging to find it.

    Reply
  43. That’s great that there were so many sources on Albania. I may be over-generalizing based on my experience trying to find secondary sources on Lithuanian/Polish immigration to the States.
    Was Albania more interesting to the traditional, adventurous regency man because of its proximity to Greece?
    -Michelle

    Reply
  44. That’s great that there were so many sources on Albania. I may be over-generalizing based on my experience trying to find secondary sources on Lithuanian/Polish immigration to the States.
    Was Albania more interesting to the traditional, adventurous regency man because of its proximity to Greece?
    -Michelle

    Reply
  45. That’s great that there were so many sources on Albania. I may be over-generalizing based on my experience trying to find secondary sources on Lithuanian/Polish immigration to the States.
    Was Albania more interesting to the traditional, adventurous regency man because of its proximity to Greece?
    -Michelle

    Reply
  46. Michelle, Albania was interesting because it was a mystery. It drove people crazy: They could see it from Italy but knew so little about it. This was why Colonel Leake’s survey was so important–it was the first one that was done. Adding to the intrigue, the language was nothing like Greek, the natives a different people altogether. Meanwhile, Greece was very familiar, because every educated gentleman studied the classics. So I think it was the unfamiliarity, the adventure, and the very real danger that attracted people. But that immigration question is something altogether different. That isn’t what I was researching, so I can’t say how much info is available.

    Reply
  47. Michelle, Albania was interesting because it was a mystery. It drove people crazy: They could see it from Italy but knew so little about it. This was why Colonel Leake’s survey was so important–it was the first one that was done. Adding to the intrigue, the language was nothing like Greek, the natives a different people altogether. Meanwhile, Greece was very familiar, because every educated gentleman studied the classics. So I think it was the unfamiliarity, the adventure, and the very real danger that attracted people. But that immigration question is something altogether different. That isn’t what I was researching, so I can’t say how much info is available.

    Reply
  48. Michelle, Albania was interesting because it was a mystery. It drove people crazy: They could see it from Italy but knew so little about it. This was why Colonel Leake’s survey was so important–it was the first one that was done. Adding to the intrigue, the language was nothing like Greek, the natives a different people altogether. Meanwhile, Greece was very familiar, because every educated gentleman studied the classics. So I think it was the unfamiliarity, the adventure, and the very real danger that attracted people. But that immigration question is something altogether different. That isn’t what I was researching, so I can’t say how much info is available.

    Reply
  49. Pat asked… “So tell me what attracts you, as a reader, to a particular time period or country?”
    This response is not nearly as educated as the ones above, but here it is.
    I can’t help to think that the reason why I like books set in Medieval and Regency periods is all Walt Disney’s fault. “Some day my prince will come…” He looked rather English to me. Cinderella’s ball. The one who awakened Sleeping Beauty. And let’s not forget the grand castle from Beauty and the Beast. Of course there’s also Peter Pan, the very English Wendy and the swashbuckling Captain Hook. Set where? When?
    I was highly influenced by these stories and my sixth grade History teacher, Mr. Hellmann. He loved the medieval time period. And thus, so did I.
    –the littlest wenchling

    Reply
  50. Pat asked… “So tell me what attracts you, as a reader, to a particular time period or country?”
    This response is not nearly as educated as the ones above, but here it is.
    I can’t help to think that the reason why I like books set in Medieval and Regency periods is all Walt Disney’s fault. “Some day my prince will come…” He looked rather English to me. Cinderella’s ball. The one who awakened Sleeping Beauty. And let’s not forget the grand castle from Beauty and the Beast. Of course there’s also Peter Pan, the very English Wendy and the swashbuckling Captain Hook. Set where? When?
    I was highly influenced by these stories and my sixth grade History teacher, Mr. Hellmann. He loved the medieval time period. And thus, so did I.
    –the littlest wenchling

    Reply
  51. Pat asked… “So tell me what attracts you, as a reader, to a particular time period or country?”
    This response is not nearly as educated as the ones above, but here it is.
    I can’t help to think that the reason why I like books set in Medieval and Regency periods is all Walt Disney’s fault. “Some day my prince will come…” He looked rather English to me. Cinderella’s ball. The one who awakened Sleeping Beauty. And let’s not forget the grand castle from Beauty and the Beast. Of course there’s also Peter Pan, the very English Wendy and the swashbuckling Captain Hook. Set where? When?
    I was highly influenced by these stories and my sixth grade History teacher, Mr. Hellmann. He loved the medieval time period. And thus, so did I.
    –the littlest wenchling

    Reply
  52. The perfectly-named historical novelist Sharon Kay Penman has used medieval Wales as a background in a couple of her books:
    http://www.sharonkaypenman.com/herebedragons.htm
    http://www.sharonkaypenman.com/reckoning.htm
    The only one of her books I’ve read is THE SUNNE IN SPLENDOR, the story of the House of York, focusing on Richard III. I found it well researched and brilliantly written.
    As for the popularity of Scotland and Ireland, I would add the gorgeous scenery and the wonderful music.
    Robert Neill wrote a number of historicals with different backgrounds. The best known, THE ELEGANT WITCH (aka MIST OVER PENDLE), deals with the Lancashire witch trials during the reign of James I. She has another set over a century later, in the same general area, dealing with witchcraft and the Jacobite rising of 1745.
    As for Westerns, I remember one time-travel one where the heroine wound up in San Francisco on the eve of the Great Earthquake. She spent a lot of time convincing the hero that it wouldn’t kill him to bathe more than once a week…
    I think Caleb Carr’s THE ALIENIST and THE ANGEL OF DARKNESS are brilliant re-creations of turn-of-the-century New York City–perhaps TOO brilliant; unless you are passionately fond of the smell of horse dung!
    The two places and periods I’d like to set a story that might be considered out of the common would be Hungary in the days of Elizabeth Bathory, the “Blood Countess” who was one of the inspirations for Bram Stoker’s DRACULA; and the pilgrimage from Athens to Eleusis in Imperial Roman times.
    I’d also like to base a story on the Tichborne Claimant (inspiration for the Duke of Plaza-Toro in some ways), but set it in an interplanetary empire.
    Kalen, I’ve never thought Thieves’ World was that well realized–because I could never figure why any honest businessman would stay there! There’d be no one for the thieves to rob but other thieves!

    Reply
  53. The perfectly-named historical novelist Sharon Kay Penman has used medieval Wales as a background in a couple of her books:
    http://www.sharonkaypenman.com/herebedragons.htm
    http://www.sharonkaypenman.com/reckoning.htm
    The only one of her books I’ve read is THE SUNNE IN SPLENDOR, the story of the House of York, focusing on Richard III. I found it well researched and brilliantly written.
    As for the popularity of Scotland and Ireland, I would add the gorgeous scenery and the wonderful music.
    Robert Neill wrote a number of historicals with different backgrounds. The best known, THE ELEGANT WITCH (aka MIST OVER PENDLE), deals with the Lancashire witch trials during the reign of James I. She has another set over a century later, in the same general area, dealing with witchcraft and the Jacobite rising of 1745.
    As for Westerns, I remember one time-travel one where the heroine wound up in San Francisco on the eve of the Great Earthquake. She spent a lot of time convincing the hero that it wouldn’t kill him to bathe more than once a week…
    I think Caleb Carr’s THE ALIENIST and THE ANGEL OF DARKNESS are brilliant re-creations of turn-of-the-century New York City–perhaps TOO brilliant; unless you are passionately fond of the smell of horse dung!
    The two places and periods I’d like to set a story that might be considered out of the common would be Hungary in the days of Elizabeth Bathory, the “Blood Countess” who was one of the inspirations for Bram Stoker’s DRACULA; and the pilgrimage from Athens to Eleusis in Imperial Roman times.
    I’d also like to base a story on the Tichborne Claimant (inspiration for the Duke of Plaza-Toro in some ways), but set it in an interplanetary empire.
    Kalen, I’ve never thought Thieves’ World was that well realized–because I could never figure why any honest businessman would stay there! There’d be no one for the thieves to rob but other thieves!

    Reply
  54. The perfectly-named historical novelist Sharon Kay Penman has used medieval Wales as a background in a couple of her books:
    http://www.sharonkaypenman.com/herebedragons.htm
    http://www.sharonkaypenman.com/reckoning.htm
    The only one of her books I’ve read is THE SUNNE IN SPLENDOR, the story of the House of York, focusing on Richard III. I found it well researched and brilliantly written.
    As for the popularity of Scotland and Ireland, I would add the gorgeous scenery and the wonderful music.
    Robert Neill wrote a number of historicals with different backgrounds. The best known, THE ELEGANT WITCH (aka MIST OVER PENDLE), deals with the Lancashire witch trials during the reign of James I. She has another set over a century later, in the same general area, dealing with witchcraft and the Jacobite rising of 1745.
    As for Westerns, I remember one time-travel one where the heroine wound up in San Francisco on the eve of the Great Earthquake. She spent a lot of time convincing the hero that it wouldn’t kill him to bathe more than once a week…
    I think Caleb Carr’s THE ALIENIST and THE ANGEL OF DARKNESS are brilliant re-creations of turn-of-the-century New York City–perhaps TOO brilliant; unless you are passionately fond of the smell of horse dung!
    The two places and periods I’d like to set a story that might be considered out of the common would be Hungary in the days of Elizabeth Bathory, the “Blood Countess” who was one of the inspirations for Bram Stoker’s DRACULA; and the pilgrimage from Athens to Eleusis in Imperial Roman times.
    I’d also like to base a story on the Tichborne Claimant (inspiration for the Duke of Plaza-Toro in some ways), but set it in an interplanetary empire.
    Kalen, I’ve never thought Thieves’ World was that well realized–because I could never figure why any honest businessman would stay there! There’d be no one for the thieves to rob but other thieves!

    Reply
  55. Thieves’ World was, for me, really well done for the first few books, then new writers were added to the mix and they declined to follow the preordained rules (like no killing off other writer’s characters; or bringing in aliens!!!).
    What I meant to bring up, more than to simply bring to light an old sci-fi world, was the idea of a group of writers who share a universe that readers have come to love. “The Regency” as used by most of the romance writing community is not necessarily an accurate rendering of the time period. It is a Disneyfied, Heyeresque playground where the ground rules (which are often bent and sometimes jettisoned altogether) are established by historic facts but the playing field has been widened by what I think is a now well-established mythos.
    On the Welsh thing I must second all things Sharon Kay Penman. Those books are pure gold (nobody gets me to root for both sides, all the while KNOWING that it will end badly for everyone, quite like Penman).

    Reply
  56. Thieves’ World was, for me, really well done for the first few books, then new writers were added to the mix and they declined to follow the preordained rules (like no killing off other writer’s characters; or bringing in aliens!!!).
    What I meant to bring up, more than to simply bring to light an old sci-fi world, was the idea of a group of writers who share a universe that readers have come to love. “The Regency” as used by most of the romance writing community is not necessarily an accurate rendering of the time period. It is a Disneyfied, Heyeresque playground where the ground rules (which are often bent and sometimes jettisoned altogether) are established by historic facts but the playing field has been widened by what I think is a now well-established mythos.
    On the Welsh thing I must second all things Sharon Kay Penman. Those books are pure gold (nobody gets me to root for both sides, all the while KNOWING that it will end badly for everyone, quite like Penman).

    Reply
  57. Thieves’ World was, for me, really well done for the first few books, then new writers were added to the mix and they declined to follow the preordained rules (like no killing off other writer’s characters; or bringing in aliens!!!).
    What I meant to bring up, more than to simply bring to light an old sci-fi world, was the idea of a group of writers who share a universe that readers have come to love. “The Regency” as used by most of the romance writing community is not necessarily an accurate rendering of the time period. It is a Disneyfied, Heyeresque playground where the ground rules (which are often bent and sometimes jettisoned altogether) are established by historic facts but the playing field has been widened by what I think is a now well-established mythos.
    On the Welsh thing I must second all things Sharon Kay Penman. Those books are pure gold (nobody gets me to root for both sides, all the while KNOWING that it will end badly for everyone, quite like Penman).

    Reply
  58. Good question, Pat! 🙂
    While I have certain favorite settings, for me it’s more the book, rather than the time & place. A good writer can make me interested in just about anything. I think that’s why a book like Arthur Golden’s Geisha novel was so fascinating — I knew NOTHING about that “world”, but he made it incredibly vivid. (Of course, he forgot to put characters in that world, but he had pre-war Japan down perfectly.)
    But in general, if the story’s there, I’m along for the ride….

    Reply
  59. Good question, Pat! 🙂
    While I have certain favorite settings, for me it’s more the book, rather than the time & place. A good writer can make me interested in just about anything. I think that’s why a book like Arthur Golden’s Geisha novel was so fascinating — I knew NOTHING about that “world”, but he made it incredibly vivid. (Of course, he forgot to put characters in that world, but he had pre-war Japan down perfectly.)
    But in general, if the story’s there, I’m along for the ride….

    Reply
  60. Good question, Pat! 🙂
    While I have certain favorite settings, for me it’s more the book, rather than the time & place. A good writer can make me interested in just about anything. I think that’s why a book like Arthur Golden’s Geisha novel was so fascinating — I knew NOTHING about that “world”, but he made it incredibly vivid. (Of course, he forgot to put characters in that world, but he had pre-war Japan down perfectly.)
    But in general, if the story’s there, I’m along for the ride….

    Reply
  61. Kalen, have you read the Liadek shared-universe books? A much more enjoyable world than Thieves’ World–and much more civilized: it has art critics, maritime lawyers, and many cats.

    Reply
  62. Kalen, have you read the Liadek shared-universe books? A much more enjoyable world than Thieves’ World–and much more civilized: it has art critics, maritime lawyers, and many cats.

    Reply
  63. Kalen, have you read the Liadek shared-universe books? A much more enjoyable world than Thieves’ World–and much more civilized: it has art critics, maritime lawyers, and many cats.

    Reply
  64. What draws me to a particular period? The clothes. *G* Which is why I love the late Victorian/Edwarian era. And I actually *like* the “modernity” of the periods because it allows my heroes and heroines to do such much _more_ in terms of their outlooks, their travels, their experiences, etc than in the periods prior. But I do have a soft spot for the 1850s and the Restoration era. But don’t get me started on France.
    RE: English resources for research. I agree. When it comes to researching for novels set outside of Great Britiain, the library has a much smaller section, and the antiquarian books are MUCH more expensive.

    Reply
  65. What draws me to a particular period? The clothes. *G* Which is why I love the late Victorian/Edwarian era. And I actually *like* the “modernity” of the periods because it allows my heroes and heroines to do such much _more_ in terms of their outlooks, their travels, their experiences, etc than in the periods prior. But I do have a soft spot for the 1850s and the Restoration era. But don’t get me started on France.
    RE: English resources for research. I agree. When it comes to researching for novels set outside of Great Britiain, the library has a much smaller section, and the antiquarian books are MUCH more expensive.

    Reply
  66. What draws me to a particular period? The clothes. *G* Which is why I love the late Victorian/Edwarian era. And I actually *like* the “modernity” of the periods because it allows my heroes and heroines to do such much _more_ in terms of their outlooks, their travels, their experiences, etc than in the periods prior. But I do have a soft spot for the 1850s and the Restoration era. But don’t get me started on France.
    RE: English resources for research. I agree. When it comes to researching for novels set outside of Great Britiain, the library has a much smaller section, and the antiquarian books are MUCH more expensive.

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