How to Use Class in Historical Settings, Part 1

Forget equality: people used to be much more limited by class and status. Here are some ideas for using class in fiction & games (pt. 1).

Alternate History: Picking Out the Threads

Alternate history: love reading it (here are book suggestions), and love writing it. History plus alternate timelines plus a measure of fantasy if needed or desired: what’s not to love? This is Part I of a series looking at why a writer might choose this approach, and how it can incorporate “historical fact” into the “alternate” part of the equation.

Back in Time With Living History: the PBS “House” Projects

PBS’ “House” series of history documentaries take modern people back to live in earlier eras. These shows are a terrific study of human behavior and radical displacement in time and space. They might even be the next best thing to time travel.

Of Things Victorian: the Lillian Story

I’m working on a prequel to an American historical story cycle. The prequel involves a Victorian Englishwoman, and has led me to some interesting byways of research in Victoriana. This posts discusses the synopsis of the Lillian story, and points to some Victorian resources I find interesting.

My Favorite 19th Century Housekeeping Guides

Two 19th century cookbooks and housekeeping guides are my go-to resources, not only for research but also for practical use in cooking.

How to Use Class in Historical Settings, Part 2

Developing class consciousness in a fictional world lets a writer see the boundaries that, if broken, will create conflict. (Part 2 of 3)

Sleepy Hollow’s Big History Error

The TV show Sleepy Hollow loses huge credibility as they hang a big plot point on blithely mangled English language eras.

Draw Blood, Break a Curse: Killing an English Witch in 1875

Long after witch hunts were a thing of the past, an old Englishwoman was killed for being a witch in 1875. How? Why? Some past events and beliefs revisited.

How to Use Socioeconomic Class in RPGs, Part 1

Socioeconomic class boosts adventure and immersion in RPGs. Here are three character aspects to consider when playing up class.