Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Title of Nobility and The Peerage

Research...gotta love it...NOT!

Why is it that almost all historical romances have Lord this and Countess that? Is it because here in the states, we don't have a royal family, or nobles? I'll admit it, I am guilty of fantasizing about being descended from some royal line (I'm NOT, of course).

That being said, I spent hours upon hours yesterday doing research. The whole peerage thing gives me a headache. So many rules, so many titles.

I miss the days of 8th grade Creative Writing class. Back then, You could simply write things about Duke Whatshisname and Duchess Youknowwho. Not now...oh noooooooo, it must be His Grace, So and So, the Duke of Whatever, or The Honorable Whoever, Earl of Somewhere.

Now, I do realize that you can take a certain creative license, if you will, while writing. But who wants to write a book that a reader takes one look at and says, "Now that is historically inaccurate, Duke Whatever was a flamer who never had kids". UGH. So I did take certain facts, and did take some creative license, and voila, four Advils later, I have characters that I think have believable, if not a bit vague, lineage's.

I'm sure that if an editor gets hold of this one day, I may have serious issues, but I have spent enough time away from revising and I WILL start plugging away again today.

Chapter 9, here I come, armed with a cool lineage, and the arrival of one Thorina Beauclerk , Duchess of St. Albans...poor woman was widowed in 1787 when her 28 year old husband took ill, George Beauclerk, 4th Duke of St Albans.

Sound believable? The only part I made up was Thorina...that particular Duke did actually die at 28, in 1787, unmarried with no children, and the title became extinct (who knew titles were endangered?).

COOL, huh?


Merrymags said...

The important thing when using titles or honorifics is that they're used correctly. You have, for the most part, a more sophisticated consumer who will have some idea of how titles should sound if not actually work. Though not all readers will know, if you are attempting to be taken seriously and do not want to be one of the hoi polloi, then you need to be perfect when using titles. Two authors that know the usage of titles are Mary Balogh and Jo Beverley. Jo Beverley goes into it at some length on her website -- I haven't checked Mary Balogh's for any discussion on titles.

What are you using as your reference material(s)?


Half-Past Kissin' Time said...

Your kind of writing is not my usual fair, but I admire you. It's very difficult to write, I'm certain. So...I'm going to read it (when I can devote more time to it). Keep up the hard work; it will pay off.

Are you aware of If not, you should check it out. I had to make a movie of a Web 2.0 tool, and I chose Bookglutton. They actually posted my movie on their blog, and that tells you all about it (plus, it's funny). Let me know if you want the address. Bookglutton is an on-line reader, and I'm thinking of it for you because it allows you to read the classics, but it also allows writers to post their own work for others to read and comment. (When I was last there, you needed Firefox to view it.)

Thank you for your sweet and funny comments on my blog; your personality shines through, as does your wit. I appreciate the visits :)

Skeeter said...

It is COOL dear. Send me more. I love it!!!