Along with the line edits and the revisions, much of the work I’ve been doing on my manuscript for the past couple weeks is checking for historical accuracy – making certain that this item or that detail was appropriate for the setting of my story.
I did a lot of this research while writing my first draft, of course, but I didn’t make a record of it. Now it’s been so long since I wrote the first draft, I find myself repeating the research, just to make sure. (Lesson learned for next time!)
For example, I can tell you with certainty that cupcakes were an innovation of early nineteenth century Americans and valued for the time they saved in baking. Originally they were baked in – what else? – teacups, although later in the 1800’s ramekins were used.
While researching what a young lady of means might wear as a wedding dress in 1867, I came across this fascinating article, originally printed in Godey’s Lady’s Book in 1866 — Dress Under Difficulties: American Civil War Fashions in the South During the Blockade. It seems that making a dress from the household curtains was not so far off the mark.
The article appears at The Ladies Treasury, an online magazine devoted to Victorian and Edwardian fashion. There are other fascinating articles on this site that I would love to read … when my revisions are finished.