DESTINATION TRUTH: RESEARCHING THE HISTORICAL ROMANCE NOVEL by Kathryne Kennedy
One of my favorite shows on TV is SyFy channel’s Destination Truth with Joshua Gates. If you’re unfamiliar with the show, it’s about a guy who travels to all sorts of exotic locations to find out the truth about monsters reportedly living there. The host, Josh Gates, is tall and adorable…brave almost to the point of insanity…has a wicked sense of humor…perfect hero material…sorry, got distracted. Anyway, Josh never seems to uncover proof of the actual monster (I’ll keep rooting for him), but his journeys are amazing, and he always discovers all kinds of other, interesting things (like a headless chicken corpse with human feet, an enormous unidentified footprint, ghostly images, disembodied voices and even scarier mundane things. Like quicksand. Alligators. Poisonous snakes…)
Shivering aside, what does Destination Truth have to do with researching a historical romance novel?
The similarities are mind-boggling.
So let’s start by comparing an episode of Destination Truth with one of my historical research topics. Let’s say, Josh’s search for evidence of the Yeti with my search for historical…panties. (Trust me, it’s going to be tougher than it sounds. Victorian underwear wasn’t too difficult, but Georgian underwear had me tearing my hair out.)
Destination Truth: Search for the elusive yeti/panty
Rumors of the Yeti have reached Josh at his headquarters. A huge ape-like creature similar to the Sasquatch, living somewhere in the Himalayas. Josh packs up his crew and travels thousands of miles to the Far East. The search is on.
Rumors of corsets, stays, and chemises reach the author. But what of panties? This information is critical to the author for her love scenes. Author props up her feet next to her computer and brings up the Google screen. The search is on.
Josh interviews people, looking for reliable witnesses who have seen the Yeti, in order to determine the best place to set up an investigation. He hikes through a valley where sightings have occurred, but finds nothing more exciting than a grazing cow.
Author types in ‘Georgian Underwear’, scanning through the results, looking for reliable websites. The first one looks promising, but on further investigation author comes up empty-handed. The rest of the sites aren’t even related to author’s search.
Josh continues his search, and gets lucky. Some evidence is found of the creature, but Josh can’t determine if it’s genuine. They are frustrated in their attempts to acquire some evidence for testing from the artifact. They are told that because others believe it to be genuine, so must they.
Author expands her search to ‘Georgian Clothing’ and gets lucky. Results have turned up some reputable websites, but further investigation only leads her from one link to another, frustrating the author. She’s tempted by the Wikipedia result, but is aware that the general populace updates the site’s information.
After four days of hiking with nary a Yeti in sight, Josh and his team split up, and start hunting in earnest.
After Googling several combinations of word searches with nary a panty in sight, author decides to branch out her search to the library and bookstore.
The journey through the Himilayas is arduous but amazing, and the hunt reveals fascinating plant and animal life, with exciting discoveries and perilous adventures.
The journey through the library is arduous but amazing, with hundreds of books on Georgian costume to pour through, revealing discoveries of clocked stockings and brocade waistcoats. Although most of the books at the bookstore deal with general English social history, the author lives new adventures through historical biographies. But no mention of panties. Author goes to Amazon and searches for out-of-print books that may have an answer…and is overyjoyed! She orders the Handbook of English Costume in the Eighteenth Century, a detailed look at clothing.
One of Josh’s sherpa guides finds an enormous footprint! Josh is overjoyed! His team spreads out, looking for more evidence, but unfortunately, find none. They take a plaster cast of the print and bring it back to headquarters amid much acclaim.
Author receives her Amazon order. She removes a book from the wrapping titled, Handbook of English Costume in the Seventeenth Century. They sent her the wrong book! But after searching through it, author finds no reference to panties anyway.
Josh brings the plaster castings to a professional for examination. It is estimated that a 300-400 pound creature made the prints. They are ruled out as a hoax and are called a ‘significant discovery’. Is this definitive proof of the Yeti, then? Alas, it seems to be unclear.
Author has garnered enough information by now to deduce that panties were ‘most likely’ not worn prior to the drawers of the Victorian era, but alas, she lacks definitive proof. Indeed, historians seem unclear as well, for if panties were worn, no clear evidence of them remains.
I hope you enjoyed my research journey. And a big thank you to Romance Junkies for having me here to share today! My newest release, My Unfair Lady, features a Victorian heroine who wears silk drawers with a drafty slit. In my upcoming Georgian Fantasy release, The Fire Lord’s Lover, my heroine doesn’t wear any panties. :} I’ll be checking in all day today to respond to your comments, so take a moment to say hi, to tell me about your favorite TV show, or anything else on your mind. I love to hear from readers! Oh, and don’t forget to leave your email address in your comment, as I will be giving away a copy of My Unfair Lady today to one lucky commenter.
Wishing you all my best,
My Unfair Lady
By Kathryne Kennedy
$6.99 US/MM Paperback
Purchase from publisher: http://www.sourcebooks.com/
Purchase from Amazon: http://astore.amazon.com/kathkennauth-20
For multiple links to purchase from your favorite 0n-line retailer: http://www.kathrynekennedy.com/
He created the perfect woman…
The impoverished Duke of Monchester despises the rich Americans who flock to London, seeking to buy their way into the ranks of the British peerage. So when railroad heiress Summer Wine Lee offers him a king’s ransom if he’ll teach her to become a proper lady, he’s prepared to rebuff her. But when he meets the petite beauty with the knife in her boot, it’s not her fortune he finds impossible to resist…
For the arms of another man
Frontier-bred Summer Wine Lee has no interest in winning over London society—it’s the New York bluebloods and her future mother-in-law she’s determined to impress. She knows the cost of smoothing her rough-and-tumble frontier edges will be high. But she never imagined it might cost her heart…
Thank you so much. I will send you my information.
I love DESTINATION TRUTH! It has such a wry sense of huimor. Josh is great. It seems to be on hiatus though
When I watch it, I have a nagging sense I’m watching a low-budget horror movie about to unfold. Is there anything creepier than the Island of the Dolls (except maybe the suicide woods?)
In print now!
An undercover agent, a beautiful space pirate, with the fate of t he galaxy at risk, love may not be enough…
I am so grateful for whoever thought to put together the random number site, because it makes it so easy to pick a winner without prejudice (I always want everyone to win!) So without further ado, here’s the winner of an autographed copy of MY UNFAIR LADY:
Random Integer Generator
Here are your random numbers:
29 Timestamp: 2009-12-08 15:31:09 UTC
Congrats to Linda Henderson, the 29th commenter! Linda, please send an email to email@example.com with your mailing address so I can send it to you. (Yes, this one comes direct from me, so it’s autographed.:)
My sincere appreciation to all of you that left such charming comments. They mean more to me than you can know.
With my warmest wishes,
Hi Eva! Very kind of you to let me know you loved the Relics series, and that my new book is on your list. Thx for taking the time to comment!
Destination Truth sounds fascinating, I’d love to watch it but we don’t see it here where I live.
I love your Relics of Merlin series and I’m looking forward to your next release. And this new book of yours sounds wondrful, it is on my Christmas wish list!
eva.silkka at gmail.com
Excessive thanks, Linda!
I enjoy reading historicals and your book sounds great. I will look forward to reading it.
seriousreader at live dot com
Hi Stacey! All great shows. So glad you enjoyed my post!
Martha, that’s so great to hear! Thanks so much for letting me know. :}
Quilt Lady: I love to hear that you switch around with your books! I’m sure many authors are very grateful, including myself. :}
Hi Kathryne, your new book sounds fabulous! My husband is a big SyFy nut. He watches that station all the time. I watch some of it. I big into the medical shows myself. Like Greys Anatomy, Mercy, although I do watch NCIS, Bones, Ghost Whisper. As far as books go I read them all. Love to switch around.
ghurt110 AT bellsouth DOT net
Fascinating!! My favorite shows are CSI, NCIS, and NCIS Los Angeles. That’s the only time I watch tv!!
BTW, the book looks really great. I will be putting it on my to buy list.
Thats Funny I like that show two.and taps,bones,NCIS ,Heros,and a lot more.I lve your story about pantys.
Thank you for such a wonderful comment, Chris!
I loved reading your blog! Who knew that finding out about historical panties would be such hard work! Historicals are my favorite genre and I would love to win your book! Thanks so much for the chance!
Woops, I missed a couple:
Hi Armenia! Men did wear drawers, they held them up with string ties, the same way women held up their hoop petticoats. But I think you made a great point about comfort! Women held up their stockings with ribbons tied around the top…can you imagine how their circulation must have been cut off? Great comment!
Hi Cherie! That’s so great to hear! Thx so much for telling me. :}
Hi Amy! The thing is, even historians aren’t sure of many things. A lot of research is based on photos & personal letters, and there’s not always a clear answer in those. My best advice is to not use details that you can’t document. There is no evidence that Georgian women wore panties, so that’s what I go with (even though common sense says they must have had some kind of protection…). Thx for commenting!
Hi Lindy! Thanks for the lovely comment!
Hi Lisa G! You rock!
I must say I am looking forward to reading your latest release. I really have enjoyed your Relics of Merlin series so far.
Kathyrn, I can’t imagine wearing panties during that time period. With no elastic I’m sure it was impossible for anything to stay up without ties. And to deal with all the fabric from a gown and attempt to take off panties to go to the bathroom.
I love historicals and your book sounds like a lovely read.
armiefox at yahoo dot com
That was so funny! I haven’t read you work yet but I now have it on my to buy list!
Love the comparison, and the book sounds terrific! :>]
I have encountered my own dificulties with reasearching historical tidbits. Why is it those specific little details that only show up in your story briefly cause the most problems?
I worry about the best way to handle those details when I really can’t find the confirmation I’m are looking for. Any tips?
Hi Laska! Great to see you here! Yes, I would *love* to travel back in time–err, as long as I didn’t have to stay there. I like good healthcare. :}
Hi Mariska: I’m so glad you enjoyed it! I laughed while I wrote it, so it’s good to know it tickled you, too. :}
Hahahaha ! ‘panties’ part make me laugh 🙂
romance and historical are new things for me. this book sounds great to make me more fall in love with romance 🙂
uniquas at ymail dot com
I think that show sounds great, I might try to pick up on it. If only you could go back in time…then you would find out for sure if panties exsited back then!
LOL. I’m grateful for your interest, Pam. :}
OMG I am a repeating fool! But seriously I am very interested
Hmmmmmmmmm I loved the video. I am not one for historicals but this premise has me intrigued. Who says a proper Lady can’t carry a knife ………….Oh I am intrigued
Love & Hugs,
Hi Maureen: It makes it fun, though. :} Thx a million for your comment!
I enjoyed your post. I think it’s funny that you have no definitive panty answer. It’s interesting that there are things we will never know about what happened in different time periods.
Hi Margay! That’s music to my ears. :}
Geez, Billie Jo, I promised not to over-indulge this year. Just the sound of what you’re cooking is killing me. ;} Happy Holidays to you, as well!
LOL Kathryne! No eating until all of it is baked…LOL
Plus I still have to make a pie, cheesecake and “special punch” Hee Hee
Sure you don’t want to help…I promise to feed you a gourmet meal and a lovely dessert afterwards?
As it happens, Destination Truth is one of my favorite shows and My Fair Lady is one of my favorite movies, so I guess I’m destined to read this book!
Hi Billie Jo! So great to meet you! You sound like my kind of gal. :} Hmm, seven diff types of cookies? You know, I could surely help you eat them. LOL. Thx for your wonderful comment!
I have not read your work yet and love the premise of your new book. I will also have to watch this show. I love these kind and had not heard of it.
LOL on the panties. There are still modern day women who don’t wear the elusive panties…..LOL I personally, think the women of the past were a lot freer in some aspects then the modern day woman who is pressured into the “norm”.
Happy writing! I am off to the grocery store to buy all the ingredients to make 3 doz of 7 different types of cookies for this weekend. OY Do you want to come over and help me bake? LOL
Hi Donna! Thanks for reading and stopping by to leave a comment. Great to hear from you!
Too Funny, Kathryne. Like you, I find it very frustrating. I have a costume book FROM England, brought to me by a friend who traveled there, but alass it only describes outter garments … nothing about what the ladies did to keep their nether regions warm or protected. However, if I find anything about panties that I think might interest you, I’ll pass it on posthaste!