OK, so I have a WIP. And it is the reason I’ve woefully neglected this blog for almost a week. It’s a historical set in the Regency, and its working title is Goddess of the Hunt – which I like primarily because it has a wicked-cool acronym. I’m a little off the word count for NaNoWriMo, but that’s okay. I’m trundling along best I can.

I’ve come across two major obstacles thus far.

A) Names. I suck at naming characters. Not to mention villages and estates. Jane Austen had it right – give everyone nice simple English names, like Jane, Elizabeth, George, John, Elinor, Anne, Frederick. Anyone who’s not important to the tale can simply be Lord B_____, who lives in the village of M_______, located in _____shire.

Since I suppose this technique will not fly with modern editors, I am forced to pull names out of the ether. Thank God for the Internet. There are two sites I found invaluable in coming up with names for my eight(!) characters:



Guppy’s List of English Local Surnames
This is a huge alphabetical list of surnames, with a notation as to the county of origin. Very helpful if you particularly want a Devonshire-ish name, for example. Click on “Distribution” in the top menu, and then “The study of English Local Surnames.”

My second issue:
B) I have foolishly devised a plot that involves hunting, fishing, and horseback riding, in large amounts. Have I ever been hunting? Nope. Have I ever been fishing? Nuh-uh. I have been on a horse – twice – but it wasn’t going very fast.

This is a substantially bigger problem than A.

Anyone else have helpful sites to share?

6 comments to “Anglo-Saxons and GOTHs”

  1. Alice Audrey
    · November 9th, 2006 at 2:24 pm · Link

    Oooh, these are nice. Thank you. Sure beats the online phone books. Ever try to read one in French?


  2. Sara
    · November 9th, 2006 at 4:39 pm · Link

    You might want to try backordering the March/April 1992 issue of The Regency Plume. It contains an article – AFTER THE FOX – by Margaret E. Porter, all about hunts, where held, famous hunt masters, dates, stables, hunting terms.


    All of the articles sound so fabulous, I think I’m going to start backordering all of them!

  3. Anonymous
    · November 10th, 2006 at 9:02 am · Link

    If if makes you feel any better, my WIP includes large doses of British horseracing, a topic about which I knew squat when I started writing. It’s amazing what you can learn through Google, LOL!

    The article Sara recommended sounds awesome, though. I need to the equivalent for the Jockey Club, I guess.

  4. LdyBlkny
    · November 12th, 2006 at 12:04 am · Link

    Tessa, those are such great sites! Love them. I’ve added them to my bookmarked pages. And I’m off to bookmark Sara’s page.

    Good luck on the naming!

  5. Lynne Simpson
    · November 14th, 2006 at 7:55 am · Link

    Yay, two more sites to add to my ever-growing list of research links. I tend to stick with simple names, too, even for fantasy stories. Not a big fan of umlauts and stuff like that. 😉

    Love that title, by the way!

  6. Lenora Bell
    · November 14th, 2006 at 8:48 am · Link

    Thanks for the links! I spent over an hour yesterday searching for information about exactly what type of shoes a well bred lady in 1860’s Victorian England would be wearing indoors. They obviously didn’t wear their boots inside, or did they? Sometimes research can be so frustrating. That surname site is great, though. I love the title of your WIP. Go, go, go!!