Congratulations! We had 10 commenters last week (one who sent via Facebook because of difficulties posting here), and a total of 20 books up for grabs, which means everyone won! Emily W, jewel allure, Kim Ellis, Diane Spigonardo, Chemystress (Patricia Z), Miss Monica, Daisy, Jennie Coleen561, QNPoohBear, and Chris Heidegger, please e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org to let me know which of the books you’d like, first come, first served. (I know QNPoohBear wants a copy of Ballrooms and Blackmail, and Chris would like The Husband Campaign.) I will also need physical addresses for those of you who want one of the paperbacks. For those choosing e-books, I will let you know how you can get a copy for free.
Be patient with me--I’m about to go on 6 unexpected days of travel with limited access to e-mail, but I’ll respond as soon as I can, and I’ll send out all the books when I return, around November 20.
In the meantime, I wanted to share an online resource that might help you visualize life in early nineteenth century England. Whether you love reading books or writing books or both, it helps to be able to locate the action. In nineteenth century London, where was fashionable Bond Street in relationship to the famous ladies club Almack’s and could you get from one to the other in a pinch? Would the number of curves near Kensington Palace have slowed down someone racing a mail coach? What was the fastest way to get out of town when chased by an angry father?
For answers to these questions and more, try the MOTCO database, a collection of antique maps and prints of London, the Thames, and other parts of Britain. Maps cover London and its environs in 1746, 1799, 1830, and 1862. The helpful folks at MOTCO have even indexed them by place names so you can pinpoint exact locations you’ve heard about.
Among the maps, one of my personal favorites is Richard Horwood’s 1799 map of London, Westminster, and Southwark, which claims to “shew” every house in the town. The gigantic map is laid out at 26 inches to a mile and set up online in a total of 32 squares. I printed them out on 14- by 11- inch paper and had my youngest son put them together like a puzzle. The resulting map was over five feet long and resided on the wall of my entry way for several years while I plotted various stories.
When you have a mother who writes historical novels, you never know what’s going to end up on your walls or on your shelves.