Fact & Fiction: about my research
I wrote the first two writing girl books while I was in graduate school, studying early 19th century British literature. One class in particular was absolutely invaluable to my research: The Economy of Print Media. Basically, we studied the cheap, “trashy”, real stuff that people were actually reading: periodicals, railway novels, and, of course, newspapers.
For this class I did a semester-long research project on 1820’s newspapers. At the end of the term, I handed in a fictional version of a typical issue of a 1820’s newspaper. For it I combined true articles and my own made up stories. You can read this issue of The London Weekly. (it’s heavily footnoted, as one cannot get through grad school without them).
For the articles, I swear by the British Periodicals online database and the c19-19th century index of periodicals. Both are probably only available via colleges and universities. But if you can get access to them, go for it!
Here are some books that I found invaluable as I was working on this research project and the Writing Girl novels. The links go to google books, if available, so your further reading is free!
- Scandal! A Scurrilous History of Gossip: Exactly as it sounds. Delightful.
- Victorian Print Media: A collection of essays and first person stories from 19th century publishing.
- The Reading Nation in the Romantic Period: I could not have graduated from grad school without this amazing work about who read what and under what circumstances and more.
- London: The Biography: Everything you ever needed to know about London and much, much, much more.
- Dangerous Estate: The Anatomy of Newspapers. For the title alone, I had to get it.