In historical fiction it is important to be accurate and the only way to do so is to research the era. What is highly recommended by many writers is to write your story first. While writing your story, mark the parts that you’re not sure are correct and then do the research after you are done. This is to prevent you from from doing unnecessary research that may not be relevant to your work. You want to spend your time wisely!
To begin, the Victorian period formally begins in 1837 (the year Victoria became Queen) and ends in 1901 (the year of her death).
- 1000 Most Popular Victorian Names
- Victorian Era Names, A Writer’s Guide
- Victorian Darlings - British Baby Names
Society & Life
- Victorian Society
- The Victorians: Life and Death
- The Victorian Working Life
- A Woman’s Place in 19th Century Victorian History
- Victorian Occupations: Life and Labor in the Victorian Period
- Flirting and Courting Rituals of The Victorian Era
- Victorian Working Women
- Victorian Life
- Glimpses of Victorian Life
- Victorian Rituals & Traditions
- Victorian Etiquette
- Etiquette, Manners and Morals
- Victorian Britain - Children at Work
- Children in the Victorian Age
- Daily Life in the Victorian Era
- How the Mid-Victorians Worked, Ate and Died
- The House of Mourning - Victorian Mourning & Funeral Customs in the 1890s
- Ideals of Womanhood in Victorian Britain
- Etiquette of a Victorian Lady
- Going to School in Victorian Times
- History of Working Class Mothers in Victorian England
- Life of the Victorian Woman
- The Working Class and The Poor
- VictorianWomen’s Work
- Needlework, Knitting and Crohet
- Victorian Etiquette - Births and Christenings
- Victorian Ballroom Dancing Etiquette
- Ballroom Manners and Etiquette
- Sex & Sexuality in the 19th Century
- Victorian Homes and Gardens
- The Shops and Shopkeepers
- Victorian Christmas
- The History of British Winters
- Top Ten Pet Peeves, or Horse-Related Mistakes to Avoid in your Story
- Marriage in the Victorian Era
- Victorian Wedding Guide
- Victorian Technology
- History - Victorian Technology
- British Money
- Wages and Cost of Living in the Victorian Era
- Pricing and Money
- Victorian Money
- Cost of Living in Victorian England
- How Much Is That - Calculating Prices Throughout the Years
Entertainment & Food
- Victorian Menu - Cooking and Recipes
- A Time Traveler’s Guide to Victorian Era Tea Etiquette (PDF)
- The Victorian Pantry
- Victorian Era Food Recipes
- Victorians Food Facts - Cookbook
- Food, Recipes and Tea
- Victorian Tea Time Recipes - Sandwich and Cheese Straws
- Victorian Era Recipes
- Victorian Food, Party & Recipes
- Victorian Dinner Parties
- 19th Century Food and Drink
- What the Poor Ate
- The Arts in Victorian Britain
- Victorian Art, Literature and Music
- Music, Theater, and Popular Entertainment in Victorian Britain
- Victorian Entertainments - We Are Amused
- 19th Century Hobbies and Daily Activities
- Victorian Pastimes and Sports
- Victorian Fun and Games & Other Pastimes
- 19th Century British and Irish Authors
Hygiene, Health & Medicine
- Health and Hygiene in the Nineteenth Century
- Victorian Diseases and Medicine
- Health & Medicine in the 19th Century
- 19th Century Diseases
- Victorian Health
- Five Horrible Diseases You Might Have Caught in Victorian England
- Alcohol and Alcoholism in Victorian England
- A Look Back at Old-Time Medicines
- Victorian London’s Drug Culture
- Victorian - Medical Breakthroughs
- Victorian Hospitals
- Victorian - Baths and Washhouses
- Medicine and Health in Victorian Times
- The Victorian Revolution in Surgery
- Victorian Science and Medicine
- Victorian Health and Medicine
- Women’s Health
- Victorian View on Menstruation
- Reusable Menstrual Products
- Childbirth and Birth Control in the 19th Century
- British Maternal Mortality in the 19th and early 20th Centuries
- The Historical Horror of Childbirth
- Contraception: Past, Present and Future Factsheet
- History of Contraception in America, 19th Century Artifacts
- Dressing the Victorian Woman
- Victorian Hats
- Victorian Jewelry
- Victorian Hairstyles & Headdresses
- Hair of the Nineteenth Century
- How to Dress for Travel in 1852
- Victorian Men’s Clothing
- How to Dress Like a Victorian Man from the 1860s
- How to Dress Victorian
- Victorian Era Fashion
- Royal Fashion
- Victorian Fashion
- Boy’s 1860s Fashions
- Dressing the Victorian Girl of the 1890s
- Victoria’s Real Secret — The Victorians Knew Underwear
- How to Undress a Victorian Lady in Your Next Historical Romance
- Early Victorian Undergarments; Part 1, luxurious silk hose, colorful stockings, & socks
- Early Victorian Undergarments; Part 2, Chemises and camisoles
- Early Victorian Undergarments; Part 3, Pantalettes, pantalets, drawers, and bloomers
- Victorian Ladies Shoes & Boots
- Victorian Swimwear
- Victorian Men and Woman Swim Wear
- Victorian Language
- The Language of Flowers
- Victorian London - Words and Expressions
- A Dictionary of Victorian Slang (1909)
- Victorian Slang
- 19th Century Swears
- Victorian Slang - Lower Class and Underworld
- Cliches and Saying of the Victorian Era
- The Dictionary of Victorian London
Justice & Crimes
- How Safe Was Victorian London?
- Crime and the Victorian Household
- Danger inside the Train: Crime on Victorian Railways
- Railway Mania
- How Widespread Were Concerns About Prostitution?
- Fallen Women
- The Great Social Evil: Victorian Prostitution
- Sexual Violence in Nineteenth Century England
- Victorian Poisoners
- Crime and the Victorians
- Victorian Crime
- Victorian Crime & Punishment
- Victorian Women Criminals’ Records Show Harsh Justice of 19th Century
- Sentences and Punishments
- Types of Punishments - Hanging
- Types of Punishments - Imprisonment
- Victorian Children in Trouble with the Law
- Child Prisoners in Victorian Times
- Victorian Crime
- Victorian-era Serial Killers
- The Development of a Police Force
- The Metropolitan Police
- A Work-Life History of Policemen in Victorian and Edwardian England (PDF)
- How The Victorians Cracked Crime
- Tracking a 19th-Century Serial Killer
(via formerly-thebookhangover)06 16 2014
A Beginner’s Glossary of Terms for Swords
- Arms of the Hilt
Part of the sword hilt extending on each side from the cross guard (or quillons) toward the blade and having the form of a small arc. The arms of the hilt are known to have been in use from the 15th century but they had probably made their appearance in the 14th, protecting the forefinger when it gripped the ricasso. They represented an important step in the development of the guard. In the swords of the 16th and 17th centuries the arms of the hilt served as a support for loops and rings of the guard, as well as for bars of the counterguard.
An arrangement of bars, plates, and rings that form a “cage” around the sword hilt, creating a protected guard (or “basket”) around the wielder’s hand.
The cutting and/or thrusting part of edged weapons, excluding the hilt.
- Blade Length (BL)
A unit of measurement representing the length of a weapon’s actual blade; generally measured from the tip to the end of the guards.
A term applied to an unsharpened sword or dagger that has had its edges rounded for safe sparring activities.
A raised piece on the pommel of swords, daggers and knives, to which the tip of the tang of the blade was peened. It usually formed part of the pommel, but could also be a separate piece; it was sometimes made of a different material. Since the 19th century the button on military weapons has had a threaded hole inside to be screwed onto the threaded end of the tang.
- Center of Gravity (CoG) or Point of Balance
The Point of Balance on a sword is simply the point on which the center of gravity is located. In other words, it’s the spot along the blade’s length that has equal mass on either side of it. The PoB will vary widely between sword types and their intended functions.
- Center of Percussion
The Center of Percussion of a blade is the measured value along its length that produces the least amount of vibration upon hitting a target. It’s the area able to deliver the most efficient, powerful blow and is often called the blade’s “sweet spot”.
Also called inner guard, a system of rings, loops, and bars in a sword guard that was developed in c.1500 to protect the inner side of the hand and body. Bars or branches of the counterguard usually joined the knuckle-guard and arms of the hilt.
- Cross (Cross-guard)
A part of the furniture of edged weapons, positioned crosswise to the blade and the grip. As the simplest form of guard, it has been known since antiquity. In some swords of the 16th to 18th centuries, cross guards were extended forward and backward to form the fore and rear quillons. Cross guards can also be seen on some staff weapons, on which they served the same purpose of protecting the hand.
A term describing a sword with a simple cross-guard, that when inverted point up, forms the profile of a crucifix.
The sharpened cutting portion of a weapon’s blade.
- False Edge
In single-edged weapons, a sharpened portion of the back near the point; it is also called the back edge. It served both for better thrusting penetration and for cutting strikes carried out from the same position of the sword (without turning the hand).
A ring or cap reinforcing the grip of an edged weapon or the shaft of a pole arm. The term is also often applied to scabbard bands.
- Finger Ring (Finger Guard)
The portion of a sword’s guard that is a semi-circular bar laying in the plane of the blade, attached to the root of the quillons and curved round to touch, or nearly touch, the edges of the blade. Finger rings are also called the Arms of the Hilt.
The upper third of the blade, ending in the point. The division of the blade into forte, terzo, and foible is attributed to the Italian school of fencing, which enjoyed a fine reputation in the 16th and 17th centuries.
The lower third of the blade of a sword, nearest the hilt, which is the strongest section of a blade and does most of the parrying.
The grooves running lengthwise on some blades of edged weaponry, designed to both lighten and make flexible the weapon. Compared with the various other structural modifications made to blades, the fuller appeared relatively late and only after considerable technological advances had been made in metalworking. In the Bronze Age there were opposite forms, with various angling and ribbing methods designed to reinforce the blade.
During the “barbarian” migrations, we find swords with blades having a wide, shallow groove running down both faces. At a later stage the first signatures or marks of the craftsman appeared in these grooves. Through the centuries the fuller became an even more integral part of the blade until, in the 16th and 17th centuries, it also became a demonstration of the craftsman’s skill.
A generic word used to describe the accessories and fittings on various types of weapons. It refers, in particular, to everything built onto the tang of any edged weapon to facilitate its use and any decorative mounts on the handle, blade, or scabbard. It is also used in a general sense, when referring to attachments, fittings, and accessories of armor.
The part of edged weapons that is gripped by the hand. In the Stone Age it was made by rounding off and smoothing the part held, then binding it with leather or fabric. In the Bronze Age, because of the greater possibilities offered by this metal, the grip became markedly different from the rest of the weapons and added some sort of protection for the hand.
From the late Middle Ages, the wooden shaft was predominately used, covered with colored fabrics, sheets of decorated precious metal, polished leather, or twisted and braided wire. In order to provide a firm hold, the grip almost invariably had a spindle-like form, was fairly rounded, and trimmed and grooved.
In edged weapons, a device or a part designed to protect the user’s hand.
The whole of the grip and the guard in a bladed weapon, generally consisting of the pommel, grip, and cross guard.
- Knuckle-guard (or Knuckle-bow)
An important part of the hilt of swords and sabers in the form of a bow extending from the cross guard toward the pommel. As can be adduced from several English swords, it appeared no later than the mid-15th century, first as an extension of the cross guard strongly bent upward to protect the hand from cutting blows. Later the knuckle-guard became a central piece of the sophisticated system of side bars forming the guard of swords and rapiers.
Although it gradually lost its importance with the introduction of light thrusting smallswords in the second half of the 17th century, some examples of this weapon preserved the knuckle-guard as a traditional pattern up to the 20th century. In most types of military swords and sabers, the knuckle-guard has always retained its role of protecting the hand from cuts, and it is still a feature of fencing sabers and of swords of historic form worn with full dress uniforms.
In staff weapons, the langet consisted of an iron strap, usually straight but sometimes zigzag shape, extending from the socket down the wooden part of the shaft and attached to it by nails or screws. There were usually two langets, in line either with the cutting edges or with the flat faces of the head. They carried out the dual task of increasing the strength of the attachment of the head to the staff and of protecting the most exposed part from blows.
In hafted combat weapons, therefore, the other two sides of the wood were sometimes protected by “false langets,” with one end fitted into the socket or into a square ring under the socket, thus protecting the other two sides of the wooden staff. In sabers, and less often, in other swords, the langets are extensions of the cross guard going symmetrically from its center into the grip and over the shoulder of the blade, on both faces of the blade.
In most cases, there is a small space between the blade and langets, which tightly fit the locket of the mouth of the scabbard, thus preventing an accidental unsheathing. There is a possibility that strong langets were also used by experienced swordsmen to stop and catch an opponent’s blade at a sliding lateral strike.
- Overall Length (OL)
A unit of measurement representing the complete length of a weapon from tip to end.
- Pas D’ane
A term of French origin, used fairly widely but incorrectly since the 19th century to describe the arms of the hilt. In the 17th century, it was used to describe one of the oval shells forming the sword guard.
A term referring to the sharp tip or end of a sword blade at the opposite end of the hilt.
The end of the grip in swords and daggers, which served either to give a better hold on the weapon or to balance it.
- Port or Side Ring
Also called ring guard or port, a part of the guard of swords and daggers for protecting the hand during parrying actions, first seen in the 15th century and particularly widely used in the 16th and 17th centuries. The side ring was positioned at the center of the cross guard, at right angles to the blade. It was made of a solid piece of steel welded or brazed to the cross guard and was sometimes fitted, for additional protection of the fingers, with an openwork metal plate.
Occasionally a smaller side ring was placed inside another, both meeting at the cross guard. In other types, one side ring projected from the cross guard and the other from below it, both being linked by the arms of the hilt. The latter construction is frequently found on rapiers and two-handed swords.
- Quillon (or Quillon)
An extended cross guard of swords and daggers designed in the 16th century to parry or entangle the opponent’s blade. The quillons extended from a base, the quillon block, below the grip, and were either straight, recurved in S-Form, or bent toward the blade (especially in parrying daggers). In some types of hilts the forward quillon was curved toward the pommel, serving as a knuckle-guard.
- Quillon Block (or Quillon Block)
Part of the guard of edged weapons consisting of a small block of metal with the tang passing through it, acting as a support for the shoulder of the blade and the base of the cross guard. This feature was absent throughout most of the Bronze Age, appearing in antiquity as an intermediate element between the grip and the blade, being slightly broader than the latter. With the appearance of quillons and other elements of the guard, its form and function became more defined; in fact, the quillons extended from it, as did the knuckleguard and the arms of the hilt. The quillon block was also called the ecusson.
The unsharpend section of the blade near the hilt and usually within the guards in front of the quillons. One purpose of the ricasso was to allow a user to curl a finger over a quillon, allowing for better point control. Often times, longer swords would have an extended ricasso, allowing the gripping of an entire hand onto the blade past the cross guard for more leverage.
A rigid sheath made of wood, metal, or leather-often cuir-bouilli (hardened leather)—used to enclose and carry the blade of an edged weapon, both to protect the wearer and to keep the blade clean and sound. In the protohistoric period, it was often made with plaques of cast bronze; later it was made with small wooden plaques that were covered with leather or fabric and then fitted with bindings and metal mounts.
The edged weapon has always been something of a status symbol, and the scabbard was therefore of great importance to keep the weapon in good order. The ways in which scabbards have been made down the ages vary a great deal, but they have been generally simple for weapons of war, and richly decorated and ornate for weapons carried by leaders and royalty, and for presentation and ceremonial weapons.
- Shell Guard
A type of the sword guard, often round or oval in shape. It appeared in the early 17th century and was used in various swords, such as the Pappenheimer or the Walloon sword. By 1630 it had assumed the hemispherical shape and was widely used in Spanish and Italian swords. Shell guards were also fitted to smallswords and to various hunting and naval weapons.
The stem of the blade, which extends into the handle and serves to attach the hilt. Its form varies depending on the system that joins the handle to the blade. If pointed, the tang is driven in like a nail, a very simple system still used for tool handles (e.g., files, chisels, etc.). In order to achieve a stronger join, the tang is usually shaped like a tapering cylinder that slightly exceeds the length of the handle and is peened onto the pommel or button. In the 19th century the end of the tang was often threaded, and the button was screwed onto it.
The middle section of a blade, between the forte and the foible.
- Turk’s Head
A modern nickname for rings made of twisted-wire braid sometimes used to finish off both ends of the grip of swords and daggers. It is so called because of its resemblance to a turban, a type of headdress typical of some Moslem peoples.
A form of covering and finishing the grip of a weapon, consisting of twisted or braided wire spun round the handle. Often the wire was of alternating types (iron, bronze, copper, etc.) or alternating patterns (twisted clockwise, counter-clockwise, straight, etc.), forming complex visual patterns. Wire wrapping was employed both to increase the security of a weapon’s grip as well as of a means of decoration.
6 WRITING TIPS FROM JOHN STEINBECK
- Abandon the idea that you are ever going to finish. Lose track of the 400 pages and write just one page for each day, it helps. Then when it gets finished, you are always surprised.
- Write freely and as rapidly as possible and throw the whole thing on paper. Never correct or rewrite until the whole thing is down. Rewrite in process is usually found to be an excuse for not going on. It also interferes with flow and rhythm which can only come from a kind of unconscious association with the material.
- Forget your generalized audience. In the first place, the nameless, faceless audience will scare you to death and in the second place, unlike the theater, it doesn’t exist. In writing, your audience is one single reader. I have found that sometimes it helps to pick out one person—a real person you know, or an imagined person and write to that one.
- If a scene or a section gets the better of you and you still think you want it—bypass it and go on. When you have finished the whole you can come back to it and then you may find that the reason it gave trouble is because it didn’t belong there.
- Beware of a scene that becomes too dear to you, dearer than the rest. It will usually be found that it is out of drawing.
- If you are using dialogue—say it aloud as you write it. Only then will it have the sound of speech.
"If there is a magic in story writing, and I am convinced there is, no one has ever been able to reduce it to a recipe that can be passed from one person to another. The formula seems to lie solely in the aching urge of the writer to convey something he feels important to the reader. If the writer has that urge, he may sometimes, but by no means always, find the way to do it. You must perceive the excellence that makes a good story good or the errors that makes a bad story. For a bad story is only an ineffective story."
For history buffs — the National Archives in the UK have digitised the diaries of hundreds of soldiers from World War I, and have made them available online.
(via thewritingcafe)01 25 2014
The call and the pressure for representation did not begin with tumblr communities, but I can help you relieve this pressure:
- Step One: When people call for diversity and representation for an underrepresented group of people, pay attention. Don’t get defensive. Don’t use a :/ in response as if characters of color are inferior or as if someone wanting representation is a bad thing.
- Step Two: Research POC in fiction, research problematic portrayals, research what not to do, research why representation is important, research harmful tropes. and read blogs written by POC that are about POC in the media and in fiction.
- Step Three: Write characters of color. Keep your research in mind when writing.
- Step Four: If you make mistakes, learn from them. It’s okay to mess up as long as you correct your mistakes and respond to criticisms of your mistakes in a professional, calm, and respectful way. Keep writing.
- Step Five: Don’t expect praise.
- Step Six: For lgbt+ characters, well-written female characters, and for writing cultures or religions other than your own, repeat steps 1-5.
- Step Seven: By following these steps, you are bettering yourself as a writer, as a reader, and as a person. Writing should not be a chore.
When you stop seeing the act of writing POC as a chore or as a burden and when you realize the importance of representation, the pressure will be lifted.