There are lots of things I enjoy about writing historical fiction. In terms of plot, I appreciate the social constrictions of earlier times, because they provide so many opportunities for complications.
I love research. I can happily dive into sources, drawn from one fascinating fact to another until I surface hours later with a treasure trove of material. There’s so much to learn!
The clothes are great, too. Gloves and cloaks and bonnets. Ballgowns and walking dresses. Half boots and dancing slippers.
But if I have to pick one favorite thing it’s the language, particularly in the Regency period where I hang out, with a huge shout-out to Georgette Heyer for showing us the way in this regard. Who could resist the phrases?
A stupid or silly person can be — bacon-brained, beef-witted, bird-witted, a chucklehead, a fatwit, a nincompoop, a rattleplate, a slowtop, or scatter witted.
They called gin blue ruin, Flash of Lightning, Old Tom, and Stark Naked. The latter presumably because of the state in which you might find yourself after a drinking bout. And the wonderful terms they had for those who’d overindulged — drunk as a wheelbarrow, in your cups, castaway, disguised, eaten Hull cheese, foxed, jug-bitten, properly shot in the neck, tap-hackled, and top-heavy. And if you tried to lie about your condition, you were telling bouncers or Canterbury tales or plumpers, cutting shams, or pitching the gammon.