If you have any questions about any of the historical background of the book, feel free to comment or e-mail me! I love talking about this stuff. This is only a partial bibliography with some of my favorite sources.
1. The English Town, 1680-1840: Government, Society and Culture by Rosemary Sweet. I cannot express how much I love this book. I couldn’t have constructed Lively St. Lemeston without it. This book has detailed info on everything.
2. The Folklore of Sussex by Jacqueline Simpson. A wonderful compendium of Sussex folk culture, organized by subject and–extra helpfully for me‐by holiday and time of year.
3. A Glossary of the Provincialisms in Use in the County of Sussex by William Durrant Cooper. Originally compiled in 1834, I used this to try to give my book a sense of place.
4. Freshest Advices: Early Provincial Newspapers in Britain by R.M. Wiles. An invaluable resource, I relied on it heavily to create Phoebe’s first husband’s family business.
5. The Complete Confectioner; or, HOUSEKEEPER’S GUIDE: To a simple and speedy Method of understanding the whole ART OF CONFECTIONARY; The various ways of PRESERVING and CANDYING, dry and liquid, All Kinds of Fruit, Nuts, Flowers, Herbs, &c. And the Method of keeping them FRESH AND FINE ALL THE YEAR ROUND; THE DIFFERENT WAYS OF CLARIFYING SUGAR; With Directions for making Fruit Pastes, Bomboons, Pastils, Compotes, Fruit Ices, Cream Ices, Marmalades, Jellies, Jams, Cakes, Puffs, Biscuits, Tarts, Custards, Cheesecakes, Sweetmeats, Fritters, Creams, Syllabubs, Blanc-mange, Flummeries, Ornaments for grand Entertainments, Dragees, Syrups of all Kinds, Nicknacks and Trifles for Deserts, Strong Cordials, Oils, Simple Waters, Milk Punch that will keep 20 Years, and ALL SORTS OF ENGLISH WINES. ALSO, THE ART OF MAKING ARTIFICIAL FRUIT, with the Stalks in it, so as to resemble the natural Fruit. TO WHICH ARE ADDED, SOME BILLS OF FARE FOR DESSERTS FOR PRIVATE FAMILIES, by Hannah Glasse and Maria Wilson, 1800. Exactly what it says on the tin. The husband Nick’s mother has picked out for Phoebe runs a confectionery, and this book helped me with that setting.
5. “Women, Electoral Privilege and Practice in the Eighteenth Century,” by Elaine Chalus, in Women in British Politics, 1760–1860: The Power of the Petticoat, ed. Kathryn Gleadle and Sarah Richardson (a great book), and
6. “‘That epidemical Madness’: women and electoral politics in the late eighteenth century,” also by Elaine Chalus, in Gender in Eighteenth-Century England: Roles, Representations and Responsibilities, ed. by Hannah Barker and Elaine Chalus.
Elaine Chalus’s work in general is a must for anyone interested in women’s participation in politics in this period. That first article actually gave me the idea for this book by quoting Lady Susan Keck’s 1754 letter to her political agent instructing him to ensure that a marriage took place: “I send you my Bridegroom and Bride I desire you will instantly take out a Licence and Marry them forthwith; you are to pay everything; This makes the Bridegroom a Voter therefore never see my face if they are not married.”
7. Byron’s Romantic Celebrity: Industrial Culture and the Hermeneutic of Intimacy by Tom Mole. A fascinating look at how Byron constructed his own celebrity, and how contemporary fans reacted to him in ways he facilitated and in ways he didn’t expect. I read a lot about Byron for this book and got very fond of him, but this was my favorite source.
8. Electoral Behavior in Unreformed England: Plumpers, Splitters, and Straights, by John Phillips.