History Hoydens


Historical Romance Writers Dishing the Dirt on Research

27 November 2006

Primary Sources

While reading memoirs, journals, and letters may require a great deal of winnowing to get to what’s really going to be of value to you as a writer, I’m a firm believer that there is no greater resource if one wants to really understand the mindset of the people about whom we write (plus I get such wonderful ideas from these kinds of sources *GRIN*).

A few of my favorites:

Reminiscences of Captain Gronow

The Complete Memoirs of Jacques Casanova

The Letter-Bag of Lady Elizabeth Spencer-Stanhope

Have any favorites to share?


Blogger The Pink Spyder said...

Ah! I'm so excited to have found you guys thanks to your guest blogger Cynthia's announcement. I write and read historical romance (starting a paranormal historical after the first of the year). What a great resource this is!

8:36 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Welcome Pink Spyder. The more the merrier.

9:14 AM  
Blogger Celia May Hart said...

Hey there -- I enjoyed the Capel Letters (1814-1817) -- they were in Brussels pre-Waterloo and so they have loads of gossip about what went on then.

I scored a three volume set of "the Journal and Correspondence of the Miss Berry" pubbed 1866 -- found it in one of the second hand bookshops in Denver the year RWA National was there and begged to spend the beaucoup dollars on it. Have only read bits and pieces though.

I have the Creevey Papers, which I haven't read. I also have the Farington Diary (he belonged to the Royal Academy during the Georgian/Regency era) and *yawn*. However, if one is into the minutiae of the workings of the Royal Academy, it'd be interesting.

10:47 AM  
Blogger Lynna Banning said...

Primary Sources: I highly recommend Mary Chesnut's "A Diary from Dixie," her own Civil War memoir. Also the diaries kept by women coming out west on the Oregon Trail.

11:04 AM  
Blogger Kathrynn Dennis said...

I love the eyewitness to history accounts!

Lady Spencer Stanhope wrote:

Miss Drummond [7] looked very well and Miss Glyn quite pretty--the great Hoop suits her figure.

Heh-heh...not sure if that was meant to be a compliment to Miss Glynn or not. ;-)


1:40 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My old pc died before I had a chance to save all my research links. :(
I'll add these and any more your readers suggest to my new list. Thanks!


3:36 PM  
Blogger Angie said...

OOh! Consuelo Vanderbilt Balsan's The Glitter and the Gold(one of the richest American heiresses), Seventy Years Young by Daisy Fingall (covers late Victorian Ireland), The Reminisces of Lady Randolph Churchill(Winston Churchill's mother)...and scores more! The Victorian & Edwardian eras are filled with memoirs and diaries published all the way into the 50s!

2:52 AM  

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