Note: This blog is a reprise from the archives. Enjoy.
We are truly lucky to live in an era where information is available at our fingertips, quite literally. I’ve used Youtube and other online video as a wonderful tool to help me in my research.
How does one do historical research using video, you might ask? There’s a treasure trove of it out here from documentaries that are no longer available by any other means, to period recreations to tourist videos.
For example, in my current work in progress, Violette, a Rushbearing festival and the events surrounding it are key to the opening of the novel. I’ve never participated in a Rushbearing so I did a lot of research and downloaded some authentic period books to read up on it. But I wanted to know more about the “Morris Dancers” that were often mentioned as part of the celebration.
Easy. With the mighty Internet gods smiling favorably upon me, I hit across many recent tourist videos featuring current Morris dancers in England and period recreations. I was able to get a sense enough of what they do, what they wear, the steps of their dances, etc. in order to write the description for the scene in which they appear. Wonderful!
I’m so spoiled. Though I love the library, I love the convenience of not having to leave my cozy home more. I don’t know how past historical authors did it so well before the Internet. And on TYPEWRITERS, no less!
Some fun stuff I’ve run across recently:
Supersizers : The Regency part 1: Food
Pay close attention to the mention of Yorkshire Pudding at 8:15 ! My British grandmother used to make this for us and I loved it.
Because I’m enjoying this so much, I’m embedding all of them!
Part 2: Breakfast and the Prince Regent
Favorite quote from this part: “You are one club foot away from going the full Byron.”
Part 3: Bath
“Stilton cheese with optional maggots.”
Part 4: “Snout me up!”
“Every time we have someone around, you swap testicles and then I have to stab the poor blighter at dawn!”
Part 5: Swords at Dawn
“After 10 pints, then maybe… but not right now!”
“I’ll fart myself into a pauper’s grave!”
Part 6 The Grand Ball
“You want to keep your flap buttoned, or she’ll be at you.”
“I cant marry a man with a wig!”
“Using a hog’s tongue, I’m on a mission to flirt my way into marriage”
And, now for something completely different:
Secrets of the Manor House, a documentary published on PBS last week. Magnificent details about life in an English Country Seat.