In a previous blog on another blogspot, I tickled the reader with my at the time work in progress. I spoke of research and how it affected the story. I would have loved to use Margaret Cavendish, Duchess of Newcastle. She is considered the first to have written science-fiction with her novel, The Description of a New World, Called The Blazing World where her heroine is kidnapped from a beach by an admirer, and put aboard ship. The ship blows off course and jettisons to the arctic where all the men die. (Hmm, did she dislike men?) One would think the ship careening through time and space would be the start of science-fiction, but no. The ship continues through a crack in the ether to a new dimension, which is where the science-fiction truly begins. You can still find this novel on amazon.
This book was not published until 1668, and my work is written within the confines of 1663. Margaret was also the only woman to be allowed to visit the Royal Society. If I could have, Celia (my heroine) would have palled around with her, and gone to the Society for a lecture or see an experiment. As it is, I have Celia dressed as a lacky, who accompanies a viscount, to see an experiment regarding the blood/oxygen flow through the heart and lungs of a dog. This experiment actually took place, and is documented in The History of the Royal Society published in 1667. I admit to fudging a bit here, but to compile and publish a good size tome takes time. The experiment did not document a date, so I decided the experiment on the dog could have taken place in 1663.
Research was the biggest part of the process, but it always yields good things. Whoever said reality is better than fiction was correct. Little tidbits of information lead to more detail, and in reality (ha, pun intended), it can make a good story.
For instance, I ended up having to hang someone in The Barbers. This started with a comment re: a silken halter for a quicker kill instead of hemp rope, and could be used by a man or woman of wealth. This led to the study of the justice system in Early Modern England. Did you know someone convicted of murder did not have a proper defense? No lawyers entered the courtroom during a murder trial unless they were in the gallery - watching. The guilty party was forced to show innocence, and the witnesses or the victims had to show the culprit's guilt. It made the courtroom a free-for-all. Then, of course, hanging was jolly fun where a great portion of the local populace watched while they drank and ate, and cheered those on the hanging tree, dancing the Tyburn Jig.
Are we not a blood thirsty species?
|Child fastened to womb|
If you are interested in my other works, please see: http://www.amazon.com/Katherine-Pym/e/B004GILIAS