My WIP takes place in England during August, 1882. It’s AU in that there is a very prevalent if illegal community of magic-practitioners. Everything else is the 1882 of our history.
Like telephones. There’s a scene where my heroine must call London from Yorkshire. Panic – when did the telephone come into common use? After 1882? Before? That year? Would they have been in the country, as opposed to cities?
The telephone was invented by Alexander Graham Bell (1847-1922) and first exhibited at American Centennial Exhibition in Philadelphia in June 1876. Telephones did not appear in England until the following year, when W H Preece, electrician to the Post Office, brought two telephones back from a visit to America and, although he himself remained sceptical as to their usefulness, demonstrated them to the British Association.
OK, phew. Good. And all for one 8-worded sentence. Check!
Railroads… Forgetting the earlier versions, even the 18th century ones, I’m talking about the ones we’re familiar with now. The ones powered by coal or wood. The ones I KNOW were in use by 1882, but not entirely sure where. Did they go to Leeds? Was that a main station, or merely a by-pass? Yup, they were.
But then there was the whole ‘newer’ invention of electric trolleys. Ack!
OK, OK, forget that…a vague mention of trains will do just fine. Check!
But that brings me to the electricity portion of my story. The turnover from gas lamps to electric bulbs.
My WIP takes place at a country manor, not a London townhouse. Would they have bulbs there, or still use gas lamps? And why did I have to set my story in the country? What’s wrong with London?
Yes. Bulbs for the rich and titled were in use. Check!
I won’t even go into the pain-in-the-*ss research that went into Victorian Mourning/Funeral Rites. And I don’t just mean a person’s mourning – I mean the house’s mourning. It’s unbelievable. Still, I Check! it off my list.
The Writer’s Guide to Everyday Life in Regency and Victorian England from 1811-1901 by Kristine Hughes
Sigh…ok, so far not so bad. I’ve managed not to get lost in the research, had found what I needed, wrote it down and saved the sites do I could find them again should I need them, and haven’t gone insane.
And I still have 5 chapters to go.