When doing research I like primary sources, and I often glance at newspapers of the time of my books. If you wonder how, my local library has a subscription to the Times Archive online, which includes other papers, including a database of 19th century British ones. Check out your own library's online resources. They're wonderful and accessible from at home.
Though most of the content of these papers is of little interest they do give a flavour of the time and occasional items are enlightening. I've been particularly intrigued lately as the calendar for 1817, the year of my work in hand, The Viscount Needs a Wife, was the same as 2015. So recently I was reading and writing about events in December 1817 whilst living through the same days in 2015.
My book is still in December and we're now into 2016, but the days are marching in sync, so I thought I'd look at today, Friday January 8th, 1818 in the Morning Post. The Morning Post was published in London from 1772 onwards. It changed over time, but it was fairly lightweight. Most of the content was advertisements, some British news, and social gossip. Sometimes the list of fashionable parties was long, but on this date there are only a few, some connected to Twelfth Night on the 6th. (As always, click to enlarge.)