Justine: Map Freak

Oatland Park (#61) from Patterson's 24 Miles Around London (1791).

Oatland Park (#61) from Patterson’s 24 Miles Around London (1791).

I’m not sure whether it comes from my dad or my love of history (probably both), but I love looking at maps…especially old maps. Before I started writing, I never really had a reason to purchase old maps, but now that I’m knee-deep in the Regency, my map passion has taken on a life of its own.

In London this past fall, I purchased (and Jilly bought for me — thank you!) a couple of interesting things from Stanfords. One was Patterson’s 24-miles Around London (1791). Want to know where the Rt. Hon. Wm. Pitt lived? Near Holwood Hill in Kent. Where was HRH the Duke of York’s estate? In Surrey, south of Houndslow Heath, along the Thames (it was called Oatland Park). I’m finding it incredibly invaluable for naming estates, neighbors, towns, etc.; finding out what local landmarks are nearby (Woolwich Marsh); and other things that I hope will add to the realism of my story. Continue reading

Justine: How Far Will I Go For My Book? About 5,200 Miles.

I just returned from eight days in Bath and London doing research for my Regency WIP. I’ve read a lot of Regencies; I think I have a pretty good handle on a lot of the social conventions, dress, forms of address, etc. of the time, but there’s nothing like walking in the shoes of your literary forebears (á la Jane Austen) to get a feel for what life looked like to people who lived 200 years ago. Continue reading