Now, I'm very excited about getting started on this series. I love the Victorian era, and I did a concentration on Victorian lit in college. I love the clothes, the politics, the fast-moving urban technology and development, the spiritualism, the novels, the popular arts, the strange fruits of colonialism, the gaslight, the whole business. I am of course also scared silly at the thought of having to do all that research, though Libba has kindly offered to lend me her research books. I've also bought an inordinate crapload of research books on my own, from A Victorian Household to The Victorian Visitors, to Leaves from a Victorian Diary, Slumming, The Victorians and their Reading, and a ton more. WHICH! — leads me to my Insane Reading Project.
I have decided that from the moment I finish final copyedits on City of Glass, I am going to read nothing but books — fiction and non — published in the Victorian era, or written later but set in the Victorian era for the next year. I have a fairly loose definition of this — my book is set around 1865 but the Victorian era stretched from 1837 to 1901, and I'll read anything set within those dates. I'll accept alternate history, too. ("The Difference Engine" would count.) Overviews of history with sections about the Victorian era are ok too. ( London: The Wicked City, and Gotham both count.) And I'll take anything set in London, New York, India, China, or Paris in and around that era, because the book series visits all those places.
And yet... I am still wondering how long it will take before I start going cross-eyed. I talked to an author at Vericon who said he'd done the same thing while writing his historical duology, and it had turned out to be a fabulous, immersive experience, but I have a feeling he may be much more disciplined than I am. But — I am looking forward to it nonetheless.
So, in short, if anyone has any recommendations for fiction, contemporary or otherwise, set in the Victorian era (mysteries, I've found, are especially helpful as they're often exhaustively detailed in terms of location and legal and social detail) — please let me know! Or nonfiction reference books you think might be helpful. I will read basically anything that sticks to my rules.
Any and all help appreciated!