In less than a month November is here, and for me and many others that means NaNoWriMo is coming. I’m starting to get nervous – research is going slow, and I honestly don’t want to rush it or burden myself too much. I’m no Superwoman and I never will be – I need my sleep and I need to do other things apart from work every once in a while. I don’t want my writing to feel like a chore, but some parts of writing are more difficult to get through. I feel like I’ve bought too many research books at once, so just looking at the research shelf stresses me out…
But I’ve read about half of the first book now and I’ve learned so many things. Some parts of 18th century life are very hard to understand (like giving babies physical punishment ><) but there are so many things that are similar. I love imagining what people’s lives were really like back then. History is so fascinating!
Right now this book is what keeps me company in the evenings – “English Society In The 18th Century” by Roy Porter. Such an interesting read! I’m underlining everything, or pretty much everything. I’ve always loved history , and the 18th century has been my favourite era ever since I was six or so. It’s such an interesting mix of old and new, of things we recognise and things that are foreign to us.
As always, what pains me the most about this century (and all centuries before the 20th) is how hard life must have been for people. The life expectancy was 37 years, Porter writes (in 1700, I think?), and a lot of children never lived past five years of age. He writes that parents of that time weren’t very affectionate with their children and that putting distance between themselves and their offspring might have been a way of protecting themselves from too much grief if the child died. That’s foreign to us today, in the rich part of the world, but it’s still harsh reality for parents in many poor countries. And it’s only been a hundred years or so in my own country, since people were starving and children dying here as well.
There are so many stories to tell and so much I’d like to use in my story, but I can’t fit everything in there. And naturally, since I’m writing romantic fiction I can’t be historically correct about everything. No missing teeth or unwashed bodies here. 😉
So far, Porter has also mentioned roast beef about five times and written about how it was the favourite dish of the Brits and how the country squires feasted on roast beef and beer. I guess I need to mention someone somewhere wolfing down roast beef, to make things more authentic. My boys do need to eat every now and then, after all.