#TBT: You Can’t Get There From Here – Using Maps as Primary Historical Sources

August 27, 2015

This month on the blog I’m looking at tools historical writers use in research for their works in progress.  This week I’m going to talk about a topic that has plagued me since my first book, Son of a Duke.


Believe it or not, the world has not been exactly the same for the past two hundred years.  Not only has man made changes to the world, but nature changes everyday, too.  Did you know the Mississippi River has greatly changed its course over the past one hundred fifty years alone?  If I were to write a book set in 1850 Missouri, I would need to get a map of the Mississippi during that time period to be sure I didn’t plop my characters into the middle of the river.

Same goes for our spies in London.

Enter the book that all writers of historical fiction set in London should have –

London: A Life in Maps

Places are often defined by the classes who live in them, and no where was this more true than in historic London.  Because class plays such a large role in Regency romance, it was important for me to find a tool such as this book to understand how London developed based on class.  The high society of Mayfair, the working class of Bloomsbury (working class was considered lawyers and doctors back then because they had to “work” for a living), and the terrors of the City (what we might call downtown London).

We wouldn’t want our characters coming from the wrong district, would we?

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