This month’s Round Robin topic asks how can contemporary fiction keep up with our swiftly changing world, politically, socially, or technically. Or how do you keep your stories located in time?
It is a good question, but one that does not affect my writing. My genre is historical romance, so while I delve into the 19th century, I don’t worry so much about any of those topics. Politics a little, the social world a lot, and technicalities hardly at all.
The technicalities of the time were about the craft involved in producing furniture, of making the best clocks and carriages. There were theories on how to breed the best carriage horses or hunters. As Juliana Clifton discovers in His Ocean Vixen, weapons vary in weight and use depending on whether it is a rapier or cutlass. Beyond maybe creating an image of what a pair of Manton’s duelling pistols looked like, describing Captain Morris’s pistol crutches in Hester Dymock, or mapmakers’ instruments in Charlotte Gray, technicalities are not at the top of my list.
The social scene makes much more impact on my novels. The Regency era was well known for its strictures. From the correct time of day to visit friends and acquaintances and the length of the visit to the rules and regulations for riding and driving in Hyde Park, Society was rigid. Confusingly, morning calls were made between one and four o’clock in the afternoon. This was because the whole period before dinner was referred to as morning.
A visitor would send in a calling card via a footman. The caller would be invited to join her if the lady of the house was receiving visitors. Visits were usually no longer than thirty minutes, less if other visitors arrived and the first visitor would then leave. Each visit was long enough to be polite, and short enough not to outstay one’s welcome.
A lady could only venture out alone in a closed carriage. Other than that, she would travel in the company of a gentleman or chaperone. If a single lady happened to be found in the company of a single gentleman by chance, the most likely outcome would be a proposal of marriage to save the lady’s virtue and satisfy her parents.
Other than referring to battles and incidents during the Peninsular Wars, politics rarely rears its ugly head in my books. Politics has no place even in the two contemporary western romances I have written, nor will it in my current work in progress which is another contemporary romance. I will leave that to more skilled authors than myself. I am looking forward to reading what my fellow bloggers have to say. Find them here:
Connie Vines http://mizging.blogspot.com/
Dr. Bob Rich https://wp.me/p3Xihq-2QS
Anne Stenhouse http://wp.me/31Isq
Helena Fairfax http://www.helenafairfax.com/blog
Skye Taylor http://www.skye-writer.com/blogging_by_the_sea