Researching the period

For an historical story to work effectively, the right monarch must be on the throne and costumes, furnishings, vehicles, dialogue, attitudes and behaviour must all reflect the right period.

Romantic etiquette through the ages is a complex area. In order to write believable historical fiction, it is essential that the author understands and is thoroughly conversant with the conventions and rules of the period.

Employing the language of fans, for example, is one method by which a heroine could embark on a romantic liaison with a potential suitor. Like every other language, however, you have to know it to speak it.

You also need to know who would be deemed an unsuitable marriage partner and who would be considered an excellent catch according to the conventions of the time. Methods of overcoming parental opposition, schemes for bettering themselves or plans for eloping must all be workable within the context of the historical setting you have chosen.

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