Reference books

3flowers
Here’s Jo, in a real time crunch.

I’m another Wench with a November 1st deadline, and it’s a lethal one, as the book, A Lady’s Secret, has just been moved from June to March 2008. Everyone wants everything yesterday! Plus my publisher’s sending me to a managers’ meeting for Books-a-Million next week and there’s things I want to prepare for that.

There’s lots to do in the garden, too, but most of it’s going to have to wait. It’s definitely fall here now, though, so the Kids are a memory of summer.

But reference books. Always fun. I’m not going to list the books to hand, because though they’re mostly great (some odd ones sneak in there!) they’re classic references and I don’t use them all the time. Instead, I’ve tried to list the ones I’ve used in the past weeks. A different sort of sample.

That’s a very poor quality picture of the shelves to hand, with  my Aeron chair — bless it — and the back of my monitor. The big  window  spoiled the picture. I need to get another one. The facing wall is all bookcases. Happy sight.Office2

Now I’m at the end of the writing of this book. I’ve just done a big read through, which led to some scenes being cut but new ones being required, so these are different books to the ones I might read early in the process. For example, The Empress of Pleasure: The Life and Adventures of Teresa Cornelys, by Judith Summer (Penguin Viking) is one I read months ago but which has affected A Lady’s Secret. Sometimes I like to have books close to hand as if they’re giving off an ambience even when unopened.

Here’s the back copy for A Lady’s Secret. (No cover yet.)
The nun and the rake!<br>
When Robin Fitzvitry, the fun-loving Earl of Huntersdown, encounters a cursing nun in a French inn, he can’t resist the mystery. He offers to help Sister Immaculata reach England, expecting only amusement on the tedious journey home from Versailles. Petra d’Avernio is not exactly a nun, though she has spent years in an Italian convent with her widowed mother. Her mother’s death has left her in danger and she must find the only person who might protect her—her true father, an English lord who does not even know she exists. This gorgeous young aristocrat will be a dangerous ally, but she’s glimpsed her pursuers and must race to the coast. She will resist him, use him, and eventually escape him with virtue and secrets intact. She hopes….

You’ll see it’s not surprising that there are quite a few map books in the list.

Harrap’s Concise French Dictionary. (This gives phrases as well as simple words.)

1976/7 AA Members’ Handbook. This has 10 miles to the inch road maps of Britain, which is useful for a large scale view. It also has sentimental value as it’s the last one we used before emigrating.

Aaatlas
1998 AA Large Scale road map of Great Britain. (That’s a picture of a recent edition.) We bought this on a trip there in 2000, cheap because it was an old one, and I keep using it because the one I bought last year is much more poorly designed. This is a big book with 2.4 miles to the inch. It’s great for details, and also for names. It shows little villages and sometimes I get character names that are true to the area that way. Look for these from remainder houses. You can often get last year’s cheap.

Patterson’s Roads, 1829. This is a facsimile of a coaching guide. It’s well past my 1764 book date, but many of the basics about roads are still true.

The County Maps of Old England by Thomas Moule, and Town and City Maps of the British Isles, compiled by Ashley Bainton-Williams, both from Studio Editions. Some of these are Victoria, but I still find them useful. The county maps have topography.

So, too, do the maps in the 1950s edition of Chambers Encyclopedia, which often gives the answer, even in these internet days.

Slang Through The Ages, Jonathon Green.

Hoyles Games. (Many editions of this and related books, of course.)

Oxford Illustrated Dictionary.

The London Rich, Peter Thorold, St. Martin’s Press.

Penguin Dictionary of Historical Slang, Eric PatridgeDowns4

The Connoiseur’s Complete Guides.

(I also look at pictures a lot. This is a photo we took of the south downs in England.)

Argos Global Price Guide, 1995/6 This was a great cheap buy from a remainder place. It’s a huge book of antiques illustrated in full color. When I want inspiration for a pocket watch, ring, glassware, sword, I can generally find examples in this book.

Oh, and there’s also the OED, which my lovely local library makes available on line.

There you go, then.  That’s what I’ve been dipping into. If you’ve dipped into any non-fiction books recently, tell me what they are. They don’t have to be research, or even historical.

Jo 🙂

70 thoughts on “Reference books”

  1. Jo, one of my best research items is a stack of sales catalogs from Sotheby’s. I got dozens and dozens at a library book sale for 10 cents each, and they are chock full of quality photographs (many in color) of Regency and pre-Regency items, along with precise descriptions. A researcher’s paradise! My favorites are the decorated snuff boxes and the miniature portraits, but they also have furniture, china, paintings, etc.

    Reply
  2. Jo, one of my best research items is a stack of sales catalogs from Sotheby’s. I got dozens and dozens at a library book sale for 10 cents each, and they are chock full of quality photographs (many in color) of Regency and pre-Regency items, along with precise descriptions. A researcher’s paradise! My favorites are the decorated snuff boxes and the miniature portraits, but they also have furniture, china, paintings, etc.

    Reply
  3. Jo, one of my best research items is a stack of sales catalogs from Sotheby’s. I got dozens and dozens at a library book sale for 10 cents each, and they are chock full of quality photographs (many in color) of Regency and pre-Regency items, along with precise descriptions. A researcher’s paradise! My favorites are the decorated snuff boxes and the miniature portraits, but they also have furniture, china, paintings, etc.

    Reply
  4. Jo, one of my best research items is a stack of sales catalogs from Sotheby’s. I got dozens and dozens at a library book sale for 10 cents each, and they are chock full of quality photographs (many in color) of Regency and pre-Regency items, along with precise descriptions. A researcher’s paradise! My favorites are the decorated snuff boxes and the miniature portraits, but they also have furniture, china, paintings, etc.

    Reply
  5. Jo, one of my best research items is a stack of sales catalogs from Sotheby’s. I got dozens and dozens at a library book sale for 10 cents each, and they are chock full of quality photographs (many in color) of Regency and pre-Regency items, along with precise descriptions. A researcher’s paradise! My favorites are the decorated snuff boxes and the miniature portraits, but they also have furniture, china, paintings, etc.

    Reply
  6. Love the list, but what really struck me was “as if they’re giving off an ambiance even when unopened.”
    I do that too! I love to have certain books on my desk, in sight, depending on what I’m writing. It is as though they are a living thing.
    And Sherrie, what a great idea!

    Reply
  7. Love the list, but what really struck me was “as if they’re giving off an ambiance even when unopened.”
    I do that too! I love to have certain books on my desk, in sight, depending on what I’m writing. It is as though they are a living thing.
    And Sherrie, what a great idea!

    Reply
  8. Love the list, but what really struck me was “as if they’re giving off an ambiance even when unopened.”
    I do that too! I love to have certain books on my desk, in sight, depending on what I’m writing. It is as though they are a living thing.
    And Sherrie, what a great idea!

    Reply
  9. Love the list, but what really struck me was “as if they’re giving off an ambiance even when unopened.”
    I do that too! I love to have certain books on my desk, in sight, depending on what I’m writing. It is as though they are a living thing.
    And Sherrie, what a great idea!

    Reply
  10. Love the list, but what really struck me was “as if they’re giving off an ambiance even when unopened.”
    I do that too! I love to have certain books on my desk, in sight, depending on what I’m writing. It is as though they are a living thing.
    And Sherrie, what a great idea!

    Reply
  11. Oh, Nun on the Run. It sounds wonderful, Jo. I just finished Wildly Romantic, a biographical sketch of the Romantic poets Shelley, Byron, Wordsworth, Keats and Coleridge and how their lives intersected and echoed eachother. I’m not much for poetry, really, even if I was an English major, but it was fascinating to see how productive (and crazy) these men were at such young ages. The author included some of the poetry too, so it was a very satisfying read.

    Reply
  12. Oh, Nun on the Run. It sounds wonderful, Jo. I just finished Wildly Romantic, a biographical sketch of the Romantic poets Shelley, Byron, Wordsworth, Keats and Coleridge and how their lives intersected and echoed eachother. I’m not much for poetry, really, even if I was an English major, but it was fascinating to see how productive (and crazy) these men were at such young ages. The author included some of the poetry too, so it was a very satisfying read.

    Reply
  13. Oh, Nun on the Run. It sounds wonderful, Jo. I just finished Wildly Romantic, a biographical sketch of the Romantic poets Shelley, Byron, Wordsworth, Keats and Coleridge and how their lives intersected and echoed eachother. I’m not much for poetry, really, even if I was an English major, but it was fascinating to see how productive (and crazy) these men were at such young ages. The author included some of the poetry too, so it was a very satisfying read.

    Reply
  14. Oh, Nun on the Run. It sounds wonderful, Jo. I just finished Wildly Romantic, a biographical sketch of the Romantic poets Shelley, Byron, Wordsworth, Keats and Coleridge and how their lives intersected and echoed eachother. I’m not much for poetry, really, even if I was an English major, but it was fascinating to see how productive (and crazy) these men were at such young ages. The author included some of the poetry too, so it was a very satisfying read.

    Reply
  15. Oh, Nun on the Run. It sounds wonderful, Jo. I just finished Wildly Romantic, a biographical sketch of the Romantic poets Shelley, Byron, Wordsworth, Keats and Coleridge and how their lives intersected and echoed eachother. I’m not much for poetry, really, even if I was an English major, but it was fascinating to see how productive (and crazy) these men were at such young ages. The author included some of the poetry too, so it was a very satisfying read.

    Reply
  16. How fun! Thanks for sharing, and best of luck with your deadline.
    I do read certain books for research, but I also read history books just for fun.
    The one I started this week is: Anne Somerset’s Unnatural Murder: Poison at the Court of James I.
    Very fun. I can’t help but think that she could have written it with just a bit more narrative drive, but it’s still very interesting. I’m learning tons, and I really haven’t read much about Jacobean times.
    I’m also heading for a week long trip to northern England (northumbria, york and the lake country) the last week in October (lucky me!), and I used that as an excuse to buy a couple of history books I’ve been eyeing for more than a year but haven’t bought because I was trying to show restraint.
    Ah! Even in my poor days, I couldn’t keep to a book budget.
    Anyway, they are: Lita-Rose Betcherman’s Court Lady and Country Wife: Two Noble Sisters in Seventeenth-Century England and Helen Castor’s Blood and Roses: One Family’s Stuggles and Truimph During the Tumultuous Wars of the Roses.
    I’m trying to “beef up” on English historical periods I haven’t read much about lately so I can appreciate more the sights I’ll see at the end of October.

    Reply
  17. How fun! Thanks for sharing, and best of luck with your deadline.
    I do read certain books for research, but I also read history books just for fun.
    The one I started this week is: Anne Somerset’s Unnatural Murder: Poison at the Court of James I.
    Very fun. I can’t help but think that she could have written it with just a bit more narrative drive, but it’s still very interesting. I’m learning tons, and I really haven’t read much about Jacobean times.
    I’m also heading for a week long trip to northern England (northumbria, york and the lake country) the last week in October (lucky me!), and I used that as an excuse to buy a couple of history books I’ve been eyeing for more than a year but haven’t bought because I was trying to show restraint.
    Ah! Even in my poor days, I couldn’t keep to a book budget.
    Anyway, they are: Lita-Rose Betcherman’s Court Lady and Country Wife: Two Noble Sisters in Seventeenth-Century England and Helen Castor’s Blood and Roses: One Family’s Stuggles and Truimph During the Tumultuous Wars of the Roses.
    I’m trying to “beef up” on English historical periods I haven’t read much about lately so I can appreciate more the sights I’ll see at the end of October.

    Reply
  18. How fun! Thanks for sharing, and best of luck with your deadline.
    I do read certain books for research, but I also read history books just for fun.
    The one I started this week is: Anne Somerset’s Unnatural Murder: Poison at the Court of James I.
    Very fun. I can’t help but think that she could have written it with just a bit more narrative drive, but it’s still very interesting. I’m learning tons, and I really haven’t read much about Jacobean times.
    I’m also heading for a week long trip to northern England (northumbria, york and the lake country) the last week in October (lucky me!), and I used that as an excuse to buy a couple of history books I’ve been eyeing for more than a year but haven’t bought because I was trying to show restraint.
    Ah! Even in my poor days, I couldn’t keep to a book budget.
    Anyway, they are: Lita-Rose Betcherman’s Court Lady and Country Wife: Two Noble Sisters in Seventeenth-Century England and Helen Castor’s Blood and Roses: One Family’s Stuggles and Truimph During the Tumultuous Wars of the Roses.
    I’m trying to “beef up” on English historical periods I haven’t read much about lately so I can appreciate more the sights I’ll see at the end of October.

    Reply
  19. How fun! Thanks for sharing, and best of luck with your deadline.
    I do read certain books for research, but I also read history books just for fun.
    The one I started this week is: Anne Somerset’s Unnatural Murder: Poison at the Court of James I.
    Very fun. I can’t help but think that she could have written it with just a bit more narrative drive, but it’s still very interesting. I’m learning tons, and I really haven’t read much about Jacobean times.
    I’m also heading for a week long trip to northern England (northumbria, york and the lake country) the last week in October (lucky me!), and I used that as an excuse to buy a couple of history books I’ve been eyeing for more than a year but haven’t bought because I was trying to show restraint.
    Ah! Even in my poor days, I couldn’t keep to a book budget.
    Anyway, they are: Lita-Rose Betcherman’s Court Lady and Country Wife: Two Noble Sisters in Seventeenth-Century England and Helen Castor’s Blood and Roses: One Family’s Stuggles and Truimph During the Tumultuous Wars of the Roses.
    I’m trying to “beef up” on English historical periods I haven’t read much about lately so I can appreciate more the sights I’ll see at the end of October.

    Reply
  20. How fun! Thanks for sharing, and best of luck with your deadline.
    I do read certain books for research, but I also read history books just for fun.
    The one I started this week is: Anne Somerset’s Unnatural Murder: Poison at the Court of James I.
    Very fun. I can’t help but think that she could have written it with just a bit more narrative drive, but it’s still very interesting. I’m learning tons, and I really haven’t read much about Jacobean times.
    I’m also heading for a week long trip to northern England (northumbria, york and the lake country) the last week in October (lucky me!), and I used that as an excuse to buy a couple of history books I’ve been eyeing for more than a year but haven’t bought because I was trying to show restraint.
    Ah! Even in my poor days, I couldn’t keep to a book budget.
    Anyway, they are: Lita-Rose Betcherman’s Court Lady and Country Wife: Two Noble Sisters in Seventeenth-Century England and Helen Castor’s Blood and Roses: One Family’s Stuggles and Truimph During the Tumultuous Wars of the Roses.
    I’m trying to “beef up” on English historical periods I haven’t read much about lately so I can appreciate more the sights I’ll see at the end of October.

    Reply
  21. What great lists! What terrible temptations! For me it’s not just the ambience of the unopened books, it’s the feeling that I actually POSSESS THE KNOWLEDGE in books I’ve bought but HAVE NOT READ. I know, I know… but there are so *many* books.
    I just read “Saint-Simon at Versailles,” which (in spite of being hard to follow because of the intricate geneology and the people with similar names) gave a rich “feel” for the period, and a really scary picture of Louis XIV. I particularly enjoy history as written by the eyewitnesses; they always manage somehow to convey a feel for the period that no historian can match.

    Reply
  22. What great lists! What terrible temptations! For me it’s not just the ambience of the unopened books, it’s the feeling that I actually POSSESS THE KNOWLEDGE in books I’ve bought but HAVE NOT READ. I know, I know… but there are so *many* books.
    I just read “Saint-Simon at Versailles,” which (in spite of being hard to follow because of the intricate geneology and the people with similar names) gave a rich “feel” for the period, and a really scary picture of Louis XIV. I particularly enjoy history as written by the eyewitnesses; they always manage somehow to convey a feel for the period that no historian can match.

    Reply
  23. What great lists! What terrible temptations! For me it’s not just the ambience of the unopened books, it’s the feeling that I actually POSSESS THE KNOWLEDGE in books I’ve bought but HAVE NOT READ. I know, I know… but there are so *many* books.
    I just read “Saint-Simon at Versailles,” which (in spite of being hard to follow because of the intricate geneology and the people with similar names) gave a rich “feel” for the period, and a really scary picture of Louis XIV. I particularly enjoy history as written by the eyewitnesses; they always manage somehow to convey a feel for the period that no historian can match.

    Reply
  24. What great lists! What terrible temptations! For me it’s not just the ambience of the unopened books, it’s the feeling that I actually POSSESS THE KNOWLEDGE in books I’ve bought but HAVE NOT READ. I know, I know… but there are so *many* books.
    I just read “Saint-Simon at Versailles,” which (in spite of being hard to follow because of the intricate geneology and the people with similar names) gave a rich “feel” for the period, and a really scary picture of Louis XIV. I particularly enjoy history as written by the eyewitnesses; they always manage somehow to convey a feel for the period that no historian can match.

    Reply
  25. What great lists! What terrible temptations! For me it’s not just the ambience of the unopened books, it’s the feeling that I actually POSSESS THE KNOWLEDGE in books I’ve bought but HAVE NOT READ. I know, I know… but there are so *many* books.
    I just read “Saint-Simon at Versailles,” which (in spite of being hard to follow because of the intricate geneology and the people with similar names) gave a rich “feel” for the period, and a really scary picture of Louis XIV. I particularly enjoy history as written by the eyewitnesses; they always manage somehow to convey a feel for the period that no historian can match.

    Reply
  26. >>>For me it’s not just the ambience of the unopened books, it’s the feeling that I actually POSSESS THE KNOWLEDGE in books I’ve bought but HAVE NOT READ.<<< So it's not just me! I'm really glad to know that. I've curtailed my fiction and non-fiction buying until I've Actually Read more of the books I already own. I spend too much time lately reading about books and not actually reading books.

    Reply
  27. >>>For me it’s not just the ambience of the unopened books, it’s the feeling that I actually POSSESS THE KNOWLEDGE in books I’ve bought but HAVE NOT READ.<<< So it's not just me! I'm really glad to know that. I've curtailed my fiction and non-fiction buying until I've Actually Read more of the books I already own. I spend too much time lately reading about books and not actually reading books.

    Reply
  28. >>>For me it’s not just the ambience of the unopened books, it’s the feeling that I actually POSSESS THE KNOWLEDGE in books I’ve bought but HAVE NOT READ.<<< So it's not just me! I'm really glad to know that. I've curtailed my fiction and non-fiction buying until I've Actually Read more of the books I already own. I spend too much time lately reading about books and not actually reading books.

    Reply
  29. >>>For me it’s not just the ambience of the unopened books, it’s the feeling that I actually POSSESS THE KNOWLEDGE in books I’ve bought but HAVE NOT READ.<<< So it's not just me! I'm really glad to know that. I've curtailed my fiction and non-fiction buying until I've Actually Read more of the books I already own. I spend too much time lately reading about books and not actually reading books.

    Reply
  30. >>>For me it’s not just the ambience of the unopened books, it’s the feeling that I actually POSSESS THE KNOWLEDGE in books I’ve bought but HAVE NOT READ.<<< So it's not just me! I'm really glad to know that. I've curtailed my fiction and non-fiction buying until I've Actually Read more of the books I already own. I spend too much time lately reading about books and not actually reading books.

    Reply
  31. I have to be very careful in my nonfiction reading because reading say Michelle’s POISON AT THE COURT OF JAMES I (and the title alone is likely to suck me in) could start totally inappropriate ideas flowing, and before I knew it, I’d be writing historicals in a universe I don’t know and probably can’t sell. But gee, the research would be fun! Someday, when I’m old and gray…
    Great post, Jo. I, too, like the idea of a book sitting there inspiring me, although usually what it does is tempt me to open it rather than getting any writing done.

    Reply
  32. I have to be very careful in my nonfiction reading because reading say Michelle’s POISON AT THE COURT OF JAMES I (and the title alone is likely to suck me in) could start totally inappropriate ideas flowing, and before I knew it, I’d be writing historicals in a universe I don’t know and probably can’t sell. But gee, the research would be fun! Someday, when I’m old and gray…
    Great post, Jo. I, too, like the idea of a book sitting there inspiring me, although usually what it does is tempt me to open it rather than getting any writing done.

    Reply
  33. I have to be very careful in my nonfiction reading because reading say Michelle’s POISON AT THE COURT OF JAMES I (and the title alone is likely to suck me in) could start totally inappropriate ideas flowing, and before I knew it, I’d be writing historicals in a universe I don’t know and probably can’t sell. But gee, the research would be fun! Someday, when I’m old and gray…
    Great post, Jo. I, too, like the idea of a book sitting there inspiring me, although usually what it does is tempt me to open it rather than getting any writing done.

    Reply
  34. I have to be very careful in my nonfiction reading because reading say Michelle’s POISON AT THE COURT OF JAMES I (and the title alone is likely to suck me in) could start totally inappropriate ideas flowing, and before I knew it, I’d be writing historicals in a universe I don’t know and probably can’t sell. But gee, the research would be fun! Someday, when I’m old and gray…
    Great post, Jo. I, too, like the idea of a book sitting there inspiring me, although usually what it does is tempt me to open it rather than getting any writing done.

    Reply
  35. I have to be very careful in my nonfiction reading because reading say Michelle’s POISON AT THE COURT OF JAMES I (and the title alone is likely to suck me in) could start totally inappropriate ideas flowing, and before I knew it, I’d be writing historicals in a universe I don’t know and probably can’t sell. But gee, the research would be fun! Someday, when I’m old and gray…
    Great post, Jo. I, too, like the idea of a book sitting there inspiring me, although usually what it does is tempt me to open it rather than getting any writing done.

    Reply
  36. I need more map books — so I wouldn’t have to get out of my (sadly) non-Aeron chair to peer at the large maps of England and of 1818 London on the walls.
    My public library also has the OED online — what a blessing.
    The book I can’t do without having near to hand is one that no Regency writer but myself seems interested in, THE DANDY: BRUMMELL TO BEERBOHM, by Ellen Moers. I think its lack of popularity stems from its going beyond the Regency — but for me that’s its brilliance; it’s the history of a century of attitude, in all its intricacy and changes through time.

    Reply
  37. I need more map books — so I wouldn’t have to get out of my (sadly) non-Aeron chair to peer at the large maps of England and of 1818 London on the walls.
    My public library also has the OED online — what a blessing.
    The book I can’t do without having near to hand is one that no Regency writer but myself seems interested in, THE DANDY: BRUMMELL TO BEERBOHM, by Ellen Moers. I think its lack of popularity stems from its going beyond the Regency — but for me that’s its brilliance; it’s the history of a century of attitude, in all its intricacy and changes through time.

    Reply
  38. I need more map books — so I wouldn’t have to get out of my (sadly) non-Aeron chair to peer at the large maps of England and of 1818 London on the walls.
    My public library also has the OED online — what a blessing.
    The book I can’t do without having near to hand is one that no Regency writer but myself seems interested in, THE DANDY: BRUMMELL TO BEERBOHM, by Ellen Moers. I think its lack of popularity stems from its going beyond the Regency — but for me that’s its brilliance; it’s the history of a century of attitude, in all its intricacy and changes through time.

    Reply
  39. I need more map books — so I wouldn’t have to get out of my (sadly) non-Aeron chair to peer at the large maps of England and of 1818 London on the walls.
    My public library also has the OED online — what a blessing.
    The book I can’t do without having near to hand is one that no Regency writer but myself seems interested in, THE DANDY: BRUMMELL TO BEERBOHM, by Ellen Moers. I think its lack of popularity stems from its going beyond the Regency — but for me that’s its brilliance; it’s the history of a century of attitude, in all its intricacy and changes through time.

    Reply
  40. I need more map books — so I wouldn’t have to get out of my (sadly) non-Aeron chair to peer at the large maps of England and of 1818 London on the walls.
    My public library also has the OED online — what a blessing.
    The book I can’t do without having near to hand is one that no Regency writer but myself seems interested in, THE DANDY: BRUMMELL TO BEERBOHM, by Ellen Moers. I think its lack of popularity stems from its going beyond the Regency — but for me that’s its brilliance; it’s the history of a century of attitude, in all its intricacy and changes through time.

    Reply
  41. Jo here.
    Maggie wrote, “but it was fascinating to see how productive (and crazy) these men were at such young ages.”
    One of my pet peeves is the way we tend to discount young people today, as if everyone’s half-baked until they’re 30 plus. Except in sports. There society expects too much of teenagers!
    Pam wrote, “THE DANDY: BRUMMELL TO BEERBOHM, by Ellen Moers.”
    Interesting. I’ve heard of that but not read it. I have a multivolume set of old books called, I think, The Age of the Dandy, which I really should read cover to cover instead of dipping into.
    Mind you, that applies to a lot of the books on my shelves, especially the facsimile 1792(?) Encyclopedia Britannica. Got great stuff from there on medicine for The Rogue’s Return.
    Another book I forgot, but which I referred to this morning, is a big Kings and Queens of England one. It’s great because it gives all the details of their children for when one wants to know, for example, exactly when and where George III’s children were born.
    Embarrassing to have the queen at court round about the time she was lying in! Or the birth happen with no notice being paid. We got a day off school when the queen had a baby. Yay, queen!
    That’s also where the chronologies in the Annual Registers come in useful.
    Jo

    Reply
  42. Jo here.
    Maggie wrote, “but it was fascinating to see how productive (and crazy) these men were at such young ages.”
    One of my pet peeves is the way we tend to discount young people today, as if everyone’s half-baked until they’re 30 plus. Except in sports. There society expects too much of teenagers!
    Pam wrote, “THE DANDY: BRUMMELL TO BEERBOHM, by Ellen Moers.”
    Interesting. I’ve heard of that but not read it. I have a multivolume set of old books called, I think, The Age of the Dandy, which I really should read cover to cover instead of dipping into.
    Mind you, that applies to a lot of the books on my shelves, especially the facsimile 1792(?) Encyclopedia Britannica. Got great stuff from there on medicine for The Rogue’s Return.
    Another book I forgot, but which I referred to this morning, is a big Kings and Queens of England one. It’s great because it gives all the details of their children for when one wants to know, for example, exactly when and where George III’s children were born.
    Embarrassing to have the queen at court round about the time she was lying in! Or the birth happen with no notice being paid. We got a day off school when the queen had a baby. Yay, queen!
    That’s also where the chronologies in the Annual Registers come in useful.
    Jo

    Reply
  43. Jo here.
    Maggie wrote, “but it was fascinating to see how productive (and crazy) these men were at such young ages.”
    One of my pet peeves is the way we tend to discount young people today, as if everyone’s half-baked until they’re 30 plus. Except in sports. There society expects too much of teenagers!
    Pam wrote, “THE DANDY: BRUMMELL TO BEERBOHM, by Ellen Moers.”
    Interesting. I’ve heard of that but not read it. I have a multivolume set of old books called, I think, The Age of the Dandy, which I really should read cover to cover instead of dipping into.
    Mind you, that applies to a lot of the books on my shelves, especially the facsimile 1792(?) Encyclopedia Britannica. Got great stuff from there on medicine for The Rogue’s Return.
    Another book I forgot, but which I referred to this morning, is a big Kings and Queens of England one. It’s great because it gives all the details of their children for when one wants to know, for example, exactly when and where George III’s children were born.
    Embarrassing to have the queen at court round about the time she was lying in! Or the birth happen with no notice being paid. We got a day off school when the queen had a baby. Yay, queen!
    That’s also where the chronologies in the Annual Registers come in useful.
    Jo

    Reply
  44. Jo here.
    Maggie wrote, “but it was fascinating to see how productive (and crazy) these men were at such young ages.”
    One of my pet peeves is the way we tend to discount young people today, as if everyone’s half-baked until they’re 30 plus. Except in sports. There society expects too much of teenagers!
    Pam wrote, “THE DANDY: BRUMMELL TO BEERBOHM, by Ellen Moers.”
    Interesting. I’ve heard of that but not read it. I have a multivolume set of old books called, I think, The Age of the Dandy, which I really should read cover to cover instead of dipping into.
    Mind you, that applies to a lot of the books on my shelves, especially the facsimile 1792(?) Encyclopedia Britannica. Got great stuff from there on medicine for The Rogue’s Return.
    Another book I forgot, but which I referred to this morning, is a big Kings and Queens of England one. It’s great because it gives all the details of their children for when one wants to know, for example, exactly when and where George III’s children were born.
    Embarrassing to have the queen at court round about the time she was lying in! Or the birth happen with no notice being paid. We got a day off school when the queen had a baby. Yay, queen!
    That’s also where the chronologies in the Annual Registers come in useful.
    Jo

    Reply
  45. Jo here.
    Maggie wrote, “but it was fascinating to see how productive (and crazy) these men were at such young ages.”
    One of my pet peeves is the way we tend to discount young people today, as if everyone’s half-baked until they’re 30 plus. Except in sports. There society expects too much of teenagers!
    Pam wrote, “THE DANDY: BRUMMELL TO BEERBOHM, by Ellen Moers.”
    Interesting. I’ve heard of that but not read it. I have a multivolume set of old books called, I think, The Age of the Dandy, which I really should read cover to cover instead of dipping into.
    Mind you, that applies to a lot of the books on my shelves, especially the facsimile 1792(?) Encyclopedia Britannica. Got great stuff from there on medicine for The Rogue’s Return.
    Another book I forgot, but which I referred to this morning, is a big Kings and Queens of England one. It’s great because it gives all the details of their children for when one wants to know, for example, exactly when and where George III’s children were born.
    Embarrassing to have the queen at court round about the time she was lying in! Or the birth happen with no notice being paid. We got a day off school when the queen had a baby. Yay, queen!
    That’s also where the chronologies in the Annual Registers come in useful.
    Jo

    Reply
  46. Jo, the new book sounds great! I’ll be looking forward to it.
    Recent nonfiction reads, research division: I just finished RITES OF PEACE: THE FALL OF NAPOLEON AND THE CONGRESS OF VIENNA, by Adam Zamoyski, and I’m in the middle of TACTICS AND THE EXPERIENCE OF BATTLE IN THE AGE OF NAPOLEON, by Rory Muir.
    On the non-research front, I read FOUR QUEENS: THE PROVENCAL SISTERS WHO RULED EUROPE (Nancy Goldstone), because it looked interesting and my knowledge of 13th century Europe is pretty sketchy. Also ARE WE ROME? THE FALL OF AN EMPIRE AND THE FATE OF AMERICA (Cullen Murphy), which wasn’t supposed to be research but ended up giving me a great idea for how to get past a sticky point in my alternate history WIP.

    Reply
  47. Jo, the new book sounds great! I’ll be looking forward to it.
    Recent nonfiction reads, research division: I just finished RITES OF PEACE: THE FALL OF NAPOLEON AND THE CONGRESS OF VIENNA, by Adam Zamoyski, and I’m in the middle of TACTICS AND THE EXPERIENCE OF BATTLE IN THE AGE OF NAPOLEON, by Rory Muir.
    On the non-research front, I read FOUR QUEENS: THE PROVENCAL SISTERS WHO RULED EUROPE (Nancy Goldstone), because it looked interesting and my knowledge of 13th century Europe is pretty sketchy. Also ARE WE ROME? THE FALL OF AN EMPIRE AND THE FATE OF AMERICA (Cullen Murphy), which wasn’t supposed to be research but ended up giving me a great idea for how to get past a sticky point in my alternate history WIP.

    Reply
  48. Jo, the new book sounds great! I’ll be looking forward to it.
    Recent nonfiction reads, research division: I just finished RITES OF PEACE: THE FALL OF NAPOLEON AND THE CONGRESS OF VIENNA, by Adam Zamoyski, and I’m in the middle of TACTICS AND THE EXPERIENCE OF BATTLE IN THE AGE OF NAPOLEON, by Rory Muir.
    On the non-research front, I read FOUR QUEENS: THE PROVENCAL SISTERS WHO RULED EUROPE (Nancy Goldstone), because it looked interesting and my knowledge of 13th century Europe is pretty sketchy. Also ARE WE ROME? THE FALL OF AN EMPIRE AND THE FATE OF AMERICA (Cullen Murphy), which wasn’t supposed to be research but ended up giving me a great idea for how to get past a sticky point in my alternate history WIP.

    Reply
  49. Jo, the new book sounds great! I’ll be looking forward to it.
    Recent nonfiction reads, research division: I just finished RITES OF PEACE: THE FALL OF NAPOLEON AND THE CONGRESS OF VIENNA, by Adam Zamoyski, and I’m in the middle of TACTICS AND THE EXPERIENCE OF BATTLE IN THE AGE OF NAPOLEON, by Rory Muir.
    On the non-research front, I read FOUR QUEENS: THE PROVENCAL SISTERS WHO RULED EUROPE (Nancy Goldstone), because it looked interesting and my knowledge of 13th century Europe is pretty sketchy. Also ARE WE ROME? THE FALL OF AN EMPIRE AND THE FATE OF AMERICA (Cullen Murphy), which wasn’t supposed to be research but ended up giving me a great idea for how to get past a sticky point in my alternate history WIP.

    Reply
  50. Jo, the new book sounds great! I’ll be looking forward to it.
    Recent nonfiction reads, research division: I just finished RITES OF PEACE: THE FALL OF NAPOLEON AND THE CONGRESS OF VIENNA, by Adam Zamoyski, and I’m in the middle of TACTICS AND THE EXPERIENCE OF BATTLE IN THE AGE OF NAPOLEON, by Rory Muir.
    On the non-research front, I read FOUR QUEENS: THE PROVENCAL SISTERS WHO RULED EUROPE (Nancy Goldstone), because it looked interesting and my knowledge of 13th century Europe is pretty sketchy. Also ARE WE ROME? THE FALL OF AN EMPIRE AND THE FATE OF AMERICA (Cullen Murphy), which wasn’t supposed to be research but ended up giving me a great idea for how to get past a sticky point in my alternate history WIP.

    Reply
  51. Susan,
    Do you recommend Rites of Peace? I was looking at it with great interest yesterday at Borders.
    Patricia – Poisin at the court of James I – is really covering some super cool stuff.
    From the back cover:
    In the autumn of 1615 the Earl and Countess of Somerset were detained on suspicion of having murdered Sir Thomas Overbury. The arrest of these leading court figures created a sensation. The Countess of Somerset was both young and beautiful. The Earl of Somerset was one of the riches and most powerful men in the kingdom. Unnatural Murder is at once a story rich in passion and intrigue and a murder mystery.
    Back to me: some of the neat things covered: how Somerset got to be so “powerful” – he was one of King James I’s “favorites” and the king showered titles and money on him. The countess had to divorce her first husband to be able to marry Somerset, and the details of that divorce are fascinating. Basically, the implication in the papers was that “witchcraft” made her first husband impotent with her but not other women.
    Now, I’m going to go look up that dandy book.

    Reply
  52. Susan,
    Do you recommend Rites of Peace? I was looking at it with great interest yesterday at Borders.
    Patricia – Poisin at the court of James I – is really covering some super cool stuff.
    From the back cover:
    In the autumn of 1615 the Earl and Countess of Somerset were detained on suspicion of having murdered Sir Thomas Overbury. The arrest of these leading court figures created a sensation. The Countess of Somerset was both young and beautiful. The Earl of Somerset was one of the riches and most powerful men in the kingdom. Unnatural Murder is at once a story rich in passion and intrigue and a murder mystery.
    Back to me: some of the neat things covered: how Somerset got to be so “powerful” – he was one of King James I’s “favorites” and the king showered titles and money on him. The countess had to divorce her first husband to be able to marry Somerset, and the details of that divorce are fascinating. Basically, the implication in the papers was that “witchcraft” made her first husband impotent with her but not other women.
    Now, I’m going to go look up that dandy book.

    Reply
  53. Susan,
    Do you recommend Rites of Peace? I was looking at it with great interest yesterday at Borders.
    Patricia – Poisin at the court of James I – is really covering some super cool stuff.
    From the back cover:
    In the autumn of 1615 the Earl and Countess of Somerset were detained on suspicion of having murdered Sir Thomas Overbury. The arrest of these leading court figures created a sensation. The Countess of Somerset was both young and beautiful. The Earl of Somerset was one of the riches and most powerful men in the kingdom. Unnatural Murder is at once a story rich in passion and intrigue and a murder mystery.
    Back to me: some of the neat things covered: how Somerset got to be so “powerful” – he was one of King James I’s “favorites” and the king showered titles and money on him. The countess had to divorce her first husband to be able to marry Somerset, and the details of that divorce are fascinating. Basically, the implication in the papers was that “witchcraft” made her first husband impotent with her but not other women.
    Now, I’m going to go look up that dandy book.

    Reply
  54. Susan,
    Do you recommend Rites of Peace? I was looking at it with great interest yesterday at Borders.
    Patricia – Poisin at the court of James I – is really covering some super cool stuff.
    From the back cover:
    In the autumn of 1615 the Earl and Countess of Somerset were detained on suspicion of having murdered Sir Thomas Overbury. The arrest of these leading court figures created a sensation. The Countess of Somerset was both young and beautiful. The Earl of Somerset was one of the riches and most powerful men in the kingdom. Unnatural Murder is at once a story rich in passion and intrigue and a murder mystery.
    Back to me: some of the neat things covered: how Somerset got to be so “powerful” – he was one of King James I’s “favorites” and the king showered titles and money on him. The countess had to divorce her first husband to be able to marry Somerset, and the details of that divorce are fascinating. Basically, the implication in the papers was that “witchcraft” made her first husband impotent with her but not other women.
    Now, I’m going to go look up that dandy book.

    Reply
  55. Susan,
    Do you recommend Rites of Peace? I was looking at it with great interest yesterday at Borders.
    Patricia – Poisin at the court of James I – is really covering some super cool stuff.
    From the back cover:
    In the autumn of 1615 the Earl and Countess of Somerset were detained on suspicion of having murdered Sir Thomas Overbury. The arrest of these leading court figures created a sensation. The Countess of Somerset was both young and beautiful. The Earl of Somerset was one of the riches and most powerful men in the kingdom. Unnatural Murder is at once a story rich in passion and intrigue and a murder mystery.
    Back to me: some of the neat things covered: how Somerset got to be so “powerful” – he was one of King James I’s “favorites” and the king showered titles and money on him. The countess had to divorce her first husband to be able to marry Somerset, and the details of that divorce are fascinating. Basically, the implication in the papers was that “witchcraft” made her first husband impotent with her but not other women.
    Now, I’m going to go look up that dandy book.

    Reply
  56. Jo here.
    Susan wrote: “On the non-research front, I read FOUR QUEENS: THE PROVENCAL SISTERS WHO RULED EUROPE (Nancy Goldstone), because it looked interesting and my knowledge of 13th century Europe is pretty sketchy”
    I have this one on my TBR pile because this is the period I’m playing with for medievals, one day, when I catch up.
    Who says women in medieval times had no power?
    Jo

    Reply
  57. Jo here.
    Susan wrote: “On the non-research front, I read FOUR QUEENS: THE PROVENCAL SISTERS WHO RULED EUROPE (Nancy Goldstone), because it looked interesting and my knowledge of 13th century Europe is pretty sketchy”
    I have this one on my TBR pile because this is the period I’m playing with for medievals, one day, when I catch up.
    Who says women in medieval times had no power?
    Jo

    Reply
  58. Jo here.
    Susan wrote: “On the non-research front, I read FOUR QUEENS: THE PROVENCAL SISTERS WHO RULED EUROPE (Nancy Goldstone), because it looked interesting and my knowledge of 13th century Europe is pretty sketchy”
    I have this one on my TBR pile because this is the period I’m playing with for medievals, one day, when I catch up.
    Who says women in medieval times had no power?
    Jo

    Reply
  59. Jo here.
    Susan wrote: “On the non-research front, I read FOUR QUEENS: THE PROVENCAL SISTERS WHO RULED EUROPE (Nancy Goldstone), because it looked interesting and my knowledge of 13th century Europe is pretty sketchy”
    I have this one on my TBR pile because this is the period I’m playing with for medievals, one day, when I catch up.
    Who says women in medieval times had no power?
    Jo

    Reply
  60. Jo here.
    Susan wrote: “On the non-research front, I read FOUR QUEENS: THE PROVENCAL SISTERS WHO RULED EUROPE (Nancy Goldstone), because it looked interesting and my knowledge of 13th century Europe is pretty sketchy”
    I have this one on my TBR pile because this is the period I’m playing with for medievals, one day, when I catch up.
    Who says women in medieval times had no power?
    Jo

    Reply
  61. Michelle, I enjoyed Rites of Peace, though I found it tough going at first, trying to keep my Austrians, Prussians, and Germans straight. I wished the author had included a name list like you find at the front of epic fantasies and Marcus Didius Falco novels! However, that was exactly why I was reading the book–I don’t know as much about the countries other than Britain and France who were players in the Napoleonic Wars, and now that I’m writing alternate history, I feel like I need that big picture perspective to build my altered world. But after 50 pages or so the personalities came to life for me, and it was a good read.
    Jo, I thought Four Queens was a little dry, but I’d like to learn more about the oldest sister, the one who was Queen of France. She must have been as tough as can be to survive all she experienced accompanying her husband on crusade.

    Reply
  62. Michelle, I enjoyed Rites of Peace, though I found it tough going at first, trying to keep my Austrians, Prussians, and Germans straight. I wished the author had included a name list like you find at the front of epic fantasies and Marcus Didius Falco novels! However, that was exactly why I was reading the book–I don’t know as much about the countries other than Britain and France who were players in the Napoleonic Wars, and now that I’m writing alternate history, I feel like I need that big picture perspective to build my altered world. But after 50 pages or so the personalities came to life for me, and it was a good read.
    Jo, I thought Four Queens was a little dry, but I’d like to learn more about the oldest sister, the one who was Queen of France. She must have been as tough as can be to survive all she experienced accompanying her husband on crusade.

    Reply
  63. Michelle, I enjoyed Rites of Peace, though I found it tough going at first, trying to keep my Austrians, Prussians, and Germans straight. I wished the author had included a name list like you find at the front of epic fantasies and Marcus Didius Falco novels! However, that was exactly why I was reading the book–I don’t know as much about the countries other than Britain and France who were players in the Napoleonic Wars, and now that I’m writing alternate history, I feel like I need that big picture perspective to build my altered world. But after 50 pages or so the personalities came to life for me, and it was a good read.
    Jo, I thought Four Queens was a little dry, but I’d like to learn more about the oldest sister, the one who was Queen of France. She must have been as tough as can be to survive all she experienced accompanying her husband on crusade.

    Reply
  64. Michelle, I enjoyed Rites of Peace, though I found it tough going at first, trying to keep my Austrians, Prussians, and Germans straight. I wished the author had included a name list like you find at the front of epic fantasies and Marcus Didius Falco novels! However, that was exactly why I was reading the book–I don’t know as much about the countries other than Britain and France who were players in the Napoleonic Wars, and now that I’m writing alternate history, I feel like I need that big picture perspective to build my altered world. But after 50 pages or so the personalities came to life for me, and it was a good read.
    Jo, I thought Four Queens was a little dry, but I’d like to learn more about the oldest sister, the one who was Queen of France. She must have been as tough as can be to survive all she experienced accompanying her husband on crusade.

    Reply
  65. Michelle, I enjoyed Rites of Peace, though I found it tough going at first, trying to keep my Austrians, Prussians, and Germans straight. I wished the author had included a name list like you find at the front of epic fantasies and Marcus Didius Falco novels! However, that was exactly why I was reading the book–I don’t know as much about the countries other than Britain and France who were players in the Napoleonic Wars, and now that I’m writing alternate history, I feel like I need that big picture perspective to build my altered world. But after 50 pages or so the personalities came to life for me, and it was a good read.
    Jo, I thought Four Queens was a little dry, but I’d like to learn more about the oldest sister, the one who was Queen of France. She must have been as tough as can be to survive all she experienced accompanying her husband on crusade.

    Reply
  66. Je here.
    Re Patterson’s Roads, someone asked me how to find it. Unfortunately, the copy I have is a spiral bound facsimile I bought a loooooooooong time ago from some people who called themselves Odd Facts Unearthed.
    Jo

    Reply
  67. Je here.
    Re Patterson’s Roads, someone asked me how to find it. Unfortunately, the copy I have is a spiral bound facsimile I bought a loooooooooong time ago from some people who called themselves Odd Facts Unearthed.
    Jo

    Reply
  68. Je here.
    Re Patterson’s Roads, someone asked me how to find it. Unfortunately, the copy I have is a spiral bound facsimile I bought a loooooooooong time ago from some people who called themselves Odd Facts Unearthed.
    Jo

    Reply
  69. Je here.
    Re Patterson’s Roads, someone asked me how to find it. Unfortunately, the copy I have is a spiral bound facsimile I bought a loooooooooong time ago from some people who called themselves Odd Facts Unearthed.
    Jo

    Reply
  70. Je here.
    Re Patterson’s Roads, someone asked me how to find it. Unfortunately, the copy I have is a spiral bound facsimile I bought a loooooooooong time ago from some people who called themselves Odd Facts Unearthed.
    Jo

    Reply

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