By Cheryl Bolen
Researching Historic Great Britain:
Complete Guide to A to Z Bibliographies,
Museums, Reference Libraries, Local Contacts
Published, 1998 (second edition)
First, a disclaimer: I am not acquainted with
Kristine Hughes, and I have nothing to gain by touting her reference
Hughes's reference has been updated, according to
her website, and is now available as a CD at the author's website for
$24. I purchased my paper copy at the 1998 Beau Monde conference in
Anaheim for $20. I may have to spring for a "searchable" CD because I've
found this volume a handy reference.
Hughes is probably more well known for her hardback
Writer's Digest book Everyday Life in Regency and Victorian England
For the most part, the volume reviewed here is a
100-plus page book that is little more than a bibliography, but Hughes
has painstakingly divided the reference bibliographies into categories,
such as periods of English history, architecture, banking and currency,
children, commerce, crime (with punishment and courts), customs,
diaries, interiors, fashion, food, peerage, servants, and publishing.
Also, language, London, maps, marriage and
medicine, military, royalty, painters, sexuality, society, sports,
theatre, transportation and travel.
The section on diaries—of special interest to this
reviewer—also gives bibliographical information on various books of
letters and correspondence.
In addition to the bibliography, there is a section
on querying the experts. It lists contact information for various public
entities throughout Britain. Libraries in the major cities are listed,
too. My copy of Researching Historic Great Britain is outdated
because websites were not deemed necessary in 1998. I'm assuming her
revised edition on the CD is up to date in that respect.
She also has listings for museums throughout Great
Britain, ranging from postal museums to ones dedicated to smuggling
history. There is also a lengthy list of regimental museums. In all,
encapsulated information on nearly 400 museums is given. Again, my copy
does not include websites, but most website names should correspond to
the property's name.
Who knew there was a museum dedicated to the
Metropolitan Police Thames Division dating to 1798?
The last section of the book is a dictionary-type
peerage. Those not fortunate enough to have their own Burke's (as I am)
will enjoy browsing through the list of thoroughly English surnames,
which is most helpful for our works in progress.—Reviewed by
Cheryl Bolen, whose out-of-print Regency-set historical are now
available as eBooks at amazon, Barnes & Nobel and all digital formats.