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    Book recommendations for background reading

    I’m not sure if I’m in the right area to ask this but admins please move it if it’s wrong.

    I am researching my Victorian families and trying to add context to their stories in my mind. I wondered if anyone has any book recommendations that would be useful. Ideally, I would like to read some fiction that sheds light on the social and historical background to the second half of the 19th century rather than straightforward history books. For example, a while ago I read lots from the Edwardian Detective series by Edward Marston which just gave a nice flavour of everyday conditions during the start of WWI and the manners and social expectations of the time. So, something like that set at anytime between 1850-1900 would be interesting to read.

    Any thoughts?
    Main research interests.. CAESAR (Surrey and London), GOODALL (London), SKITTERALL, WOODWARD (Middlesex and London), BARBER (Canterbury, Kent) and CHEESEMAN (Kent).

    #2
    I know you asked for fiction (I don't really read historical fiction as inaccuracies and the imposition of modern idioms and attitudes annoy me) so I'm going to recommend Lisa Picard's Victorian London, which has lots of chatty snippets about life at the time. I gave mine away due to lack of space, I shall have to get the Kindle version.

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      #3
      If you want background material on specific Victorian occupations the Society of Genealogists have a range of paperbacks "My Ancestor was a .... " which are advertised on their website. They are "taster books", but an easy read.

      I sometimes have a problem with "historical" fiction, because that's what it is, FICTION, and only as good as the historical research carried out by the writer. It might be a riveting tale, but totally inaccurate.
      My friend was very keen on the Inspector Pitt series by Anne Perry, set in Victorian times.
      Janet in Yorkshire



      Genealogists never die - they just swap places in the family tree

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        #4
        I agree about the 'fiction' element which is why I thought I would ask rather than just pick something off the internet. But even a fictional work can give a flavour of the times. I will have a look at your suggestions.

        I did spend a while on my local library website but it turns out that, at the moment, you can’t order specific titles, just rather vague categories such as cooking, or history. God knows what you might get!
        Main research interests.. CAESAR (Surrey and London), GOODALL (London), SKITTERALL, WOODWARD (Middlesex and London), BARBER (Canterbury, Kent) and CHEESEMAN (Kent).

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          #5
          Try these - the author does a lot of background research.

          https://emilyorgan.com/penny-green-v...ystery-series/

          The author's FB page:

          https://www.facebook.com/emilyorganwriter
          Caroline
          Caroline's Family History Pages
          Do not do to others what angers you if done to you by others. Socrates

          Comment


            #6
            May be something here too

            https://www.familytreeforum.com/foru...l-for-research

            I have made some recommendations on the Kindle thread as well.
            Caroline
            Caroline's Family History Pages
            Do not do to others what angers you if done to you by others. Socrates

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              #7
              Non-fiction: A Visitor's Guide to Victorian England by Michelle Higgs is worth getting hold of. For some reason it is in enormous print but usefu lnoen theless

              As a child and growing up, I learned most of my history from historical novels. They aren't all great literature but who cares.
              Caroline
              Caroline's Family History Pages
              Do not do to others what angers you if done to you by others. Socrates

              Comment


                #8
                I bought this a few years ago when I was working on some of my Irish who ended up in the East End of London from the 1840s and had similar motivation to you - wanted to get a feel for their everyday lives. Unfortunately, I haven’t got round to reading it yet!

                Judith Flanders The Victorian House: Domestic Life from Childbirth to Deathbed, HarperCollins, ISBN 0-00-713188-7

                There are more suggestions, both fiction and non-fiction, on her Wikipedia page:
                https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Judith_Flanders

                Christine
                Researching:
                HOEY (Co Fermanagh, other Ulster counties and Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada) BANNIGAN and FOX (Ballyshannon, Co Donegal, Ireland and Portland, Maine, USA) REYNOLDS, McSHEA, PATTERSON and GOAN (Corker and Creevy, Ballyshannon, Co Donegal, Ireland) DYER (Belfast and Ballymacarrett) SLEVIN and TIMONEY (Co Fermanagh) BARNETT (Ballagh, Co Tyrone and Strangford, Co Down)

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                  #9
                  Lots of suggestions, thank you.

                  I can feel an Evernote list coming on
                  Main research interests.. CAESAR (Surrey and London), GOODALL (London), SKITTERALL, WOODWARD (Middlesex and London), BARBER (Canterbury, Kent) and CHEESEMAN (Kent).

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