I was recently rereading bits of Pride and Prejudice and the dialog is absolutely brilliant. How can I learn to write dialog that sounds like it is from this general era? For example are there any lists of words that I should try to substitute or differences in the grammatical constructs used? Your best bet is to read a lot of the literature written in that time period.
Those authors have an advantage over you - they lived then and knew how people spoke. When writing a historical piece an etymology dictionary is your best friend. It'll tell you if the word you want to use was in use back then and if not, when it came into usage.
But you're going to want to do a lot of research into classes in that time period. An upperclassman wouldn't speak the same as a lowerclassman.
But reading a lot of books from that era can help you get a pretty good feel for things. Literature can often be the best forms of history. I wouldn't try to imitate exactly the style of dialogue in the era of Austen unless you are planning on imitating everything about the historical era very well. As Ralph Gallagher said , Austen and others have an advantage over you - they were just writing how they spoke or heard others around them speak. If you manage to only get part of the whole historical ethos - some of the words and a bit of the dress with anachronisms from our own time thrown in - your readers will be continuously jilted out of the story.
It is possible to write historical fiction using the languages of our own day. No one would write a work of historical fiction set in Chaucer's time and attempt to use his language because readers would largely not understand it. Instead the language would be modernized. If you can't do the Romantic era perfectly, you might be best off doing the same. It is possible for dialogue written in modern English or any language to be brilliant.
What matters is an ear for cadences, for apt words, for truths about life as they really are. Whether you write in Middle, Romantic, Victorian, or modern English, it's what you say that matters. They are quite interesting Thank you "Tea Drinker" for your kind offer but I will, for the time being, be working on other projects.
Your letters and ephemera would be interesting if they had a specific identifiable "theme" that could be used in an article, such as everyday life in the 19th century, emigration, local history, family history and the like where the content could be drawn together in a particular and cohesive theme. Best wishes from New Zealand. Personal family archives and artefacts Various Internet Resources. Posted by Don at Art of Letter Writing. Lawrence Bottorff 1 March at Don 1 March at Anonymous 15 March at Don 15 March at That is, from the 18th century, people upper class people tended to have more free time, and thus, were able to sit down and read such books as Clarissa , or Tom Jones , or other lengthy novels.
This culture bloomed throughout the 19th century, wherein novels began to appear both in long forms, but also in newspapers.
Industrialization created a sort of schedule, a normalcy that was new to this society. People were able to keep up with the chapters spread out throughout the months' editions of the newspaper, the same way we today keep up with weekly tv shows. Because this was a growing market, the "pay by word" system became a thing in England: The start of the 20th century saw a reaction against the pedantry and over intellectualism of the Victorians.
WWI furthered this cause. No longer was there room in literature for the escapism that the Victorian texts provided. The world underwent such a horror that had to be faced and dealt with, not hidden behind stories.
Post-WWI literature therefore became more succinct Hemingway being the epitome of this. Of course, this is all very generalized - and there was still escapism being produced Fantasy and early sci-fi and still some wordy authors.
I don't think your assessments of contemporary literature are wholly accurate. There is a great mishmash of work out there today - maybe not reaching the level of Dickens' works when it comes to wordiness, but certainly not as condensed as you make it seem. There are two overly-general strands of books out there: Postmodernism and its residues exist in the second category. Some of the more mainstream literature of today fall into the first. I wrote a poem on a leaf and it blew away Interesting observations, Charles Darnay.
I think the one thing that stands out from me is this: Modern writing has a lot of abbreviations slang and swearing. Language has change and so the content is less and less impressive. Last edited by cacian; at Originally Posted by astrum. Originally Posted by cacian. Last edited by islandclimber; at Originally Posted by islandclimber.
My mid 19th century Coromandel Wood "Writing Slope" We shall also need our writing slope which normally holds all our writing requisites in various compartments. The general design of writing slopes had changed very little since the late 18th century, the Novelist Jane Austen having a very similar one which still survives, being preserved at the .
Oct 01, · It's part of romanticizing the past, but the truth is, if you read 19th century essays, you will find complaints that the English language is dying and people are becoming lazy in writing and speech. I wrote a poem on a leaf and it blew away.
Writing 19th century upperclass English dialog up vote 13 down vote favorite I was recently rereading bits of Pride and Prejudice and the dialog is absolutely brilliant. Guidelines for writing 19th century letters. Letters are written on small, folded pieces of plain white, blue, or blue-lined paper. Paper sizes can be foolscap or smaller.
Late-nineteenth-century writers moved toward a new style called “realism” practiced by authors such as Flaubert, Dostoevsky, Tolstoy, Maupassant, and Ibsen. Realists sought a truthful portrayal of contemporary life, a “slice of life,” from an objective viewpoint. 19th Century newspapers and handwritten records (such as the census) can be hard to read. If you are having difficulty deciphering the handwriting or type, read through the issue of a newspaper or page in the census to see if other words on the page can give you clues to the editor’s or census taker’s writing style.