Writing Historical Novels

Anyone who has ever embarked on researching their family history will tell you that it is like an itch you can’t leave alone. It is time consuming but fascinating. You discover all manner of things you didn’t know about your forebears. Many – more than you might think – had children before they were married. Sometimes it was even encouraged. Aristocrats might like to be sure the line would be preserved with healthy sons, but the poorer end of the social scale wanted to be sure they would have grandchildren to look after them in old age, at a time when the horror of the workhouse loomed.

You might discover, as I did, that Great Aunt Sarah was the mother of three boys and yet had never married. You find yourself wondering if they all had the same father and if they did why their parents didn’t marry. Was the man already…

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