The Victorian Zombie Valentines are here and are a great way to support the Victorian Dictionary Project!
Proceeds from the purchase of these cards will fund the publication of the Dictionary of Victorian Insults & Niceties.
I’ve started getting my store ready for Valentine’s day. Any requests or product suggestions?
This first card started out as an image of my cat, Timmy. The term, “fancy-man” first appeared in print in 1811. It was followed by the noun and adjective “fancypants,” a term used to refer to anything or anyone that is really fine, or pleasing, to behold.
We write historical fiction because it is easy to relate to situations from the past. Stories set in the past, whether closely related to something that actually happened, or not, speak to the present. Moreover, we tell our stories from the present. Feelings are timeless.
The human experience is timeless. In writing my novel, I related to my protagonist’s frustration with her love interest’s refusal to show as much interest in her as he had previously. The feeling I thought my readers could relate to was akin to waiting for a text message. The post was the 1890s equivalent to contemporary text messages. To convey the feeling correctly, I transposed that sense of frustration from repeatedly checking your iPhone to repeatedly checking the mail. The post came more frequently in 1890s London, so it was easier than I imagined, and I was happy with the result.
I want to help you tell your story. I don’t think I am better at telling stories than you are. You may have written more than I have, but I’ve been researching the Victorian era for over two years now.
My dictionary is much more than a collection of words. Words have contexts. The word ‘anthropoid’ carried different connotations in the latter part of the nineteenth century than it had in the first. ‘Deadlily’ sounds like a dead flower, but conveyed the sense of something more like a zombie to Victorians. These words provide layers of meaning. Some (not al) of your readers will get that and it will add richness to your text.
These words can also be fun and very specific.
I’m not creating this dictionary to make money. I would like to give it away for free as much as I possibly can. I would like to find ways for relevant historical society’s to use it as a fundraising tool. I want to help you write your stories. I want to hear your questions and feedback. If I can’t answer your questions, I will probably be able to find someone who can.
As I’ve been blogging about my research, and asking the internet my own questions, I’ve found support from academics and researchers all over the world, who have shared source material with me that I wouldn’t have been able to find anywhere else. I want to give back. If you are anything like me, you are my ideal reader.
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My original idea with the Dictionary of Victorian Insults & Niceties was to create an eBook that I would basically give away for free. It has since come to my attention that many people would prefer to pay for a hard copy. The fundraising process has been slow, and it has occurred to me that, if I offer what people are asking for, I might be able to raise more money and increase the distribution of the eBook.
For health reasons, I am terrified of entering into a crowdfunding nightmare that involves shipping out piles of books to my donors.
out-and-outer: a person or thing that is way beyond the norm: a person of determined, adventurous, or reckless character; a person or thing of great beauty
prezactly: precisely + exactly
Mittens the banjo cat is now available on a t-shirt, and proceeds support the Dictionary Project.