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Friday, June 14, 2013

The Writer's Guide to Everyday Life in Colonial America








            This hardcover book, published in 1997 and written by Dale Taylor for the Writer’s Digest Series, gives a thorough and honest overview of times in colonial America from 1607 to 1783, at the end of the American Revolution. I emphasize overview, because that is just what it is—it covers so many topics for each of the thirteen colonies that it doesn’t get into too much historical depth of the people or events of this period. For the person who is interested in writing an historical novel set in this time period, it makes an excellent resource for building an authentic world; the research is dependable and well done.
            Taylor covers regional overviews for government, religion, every day life in the home, society, trades and businesses. He does mention notable leaders in some instances, and why this country offered such favorable conditions for the nation's growth. The book is generously illustrated with pictures of the period, and is a factual resource for the Early American history lover.           
            Writers of an early American novel—or of several other historical eras—might want to begin their research with a Writer's Guide to Everyday Life book. This series includes many historically accurate books of periods from the Middle Ages up through the Prohibition and WWII. Interesting as they are however, they do read like a high school level text book.
            FYI: I’d recently heard from someone interested in writing about World War I who was unable to find enough information on the subject, and though I’d expected to find a book written about the time period in this series, there were none. 
           You may find The Writer's Guide to Everyday Life in Colonial America and other books from the series on Amazon. My rating: 4 of 5 stars.                

11 comments:

  1. Thank you for sharing this resource, Pat. I'd never heard of it. I put it on my wish list!

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  2. Hi Carla!

    Hope you get your wish--it makes for a pretty good foundation for this time period. On a further note: the way some of these topics are addressed is by a title, then anywhere from a paragraph or two to several pages on a topic, depending on how much information the author could find on the subject. Ex. he does even list witchcraft under religions; albeit just a few paragraphs :)

    Another ex.-- a lot more on fabrics (more than you might want to know--lol!, and even how they were made/or where they imported them from.

    Thanks for stopping in!

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    1. Great! I like the info on fabrics. That would have come in handy with this last novel I wrote.

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  3. Pat, I had never heard of this resource either! Thank you for the review. Adding it to my list, as well!

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  4. I have one in this series but I'll be looking for the Colonial version. Sounds great!

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  5. It seems to be one of the more popular ones in the series; I'd like to get the Medieval and Regency period copies as well.

    Thank your for stopping in ladies!

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  6. I have this book in my permanent collection. A great resource!

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  7. Hi Lori--

    Isn't it great how you can just be reading along on a particular subject and all of a sudden it becomes the "core" for an idea, and then you have the characters jump in--and voila-- You have a story!

    Thank you all for your comments ladies. Blessings on your writing adventures!

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  8. Even it your aren't interested in writing about this period in our history, a lot of people just want to know. This publication seems to be the perfect resource.

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  9. What a helpful resource. Thanks Pat.

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  10. I have this book and I love it! It's such a great resource! :)

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