Boston in the late 1880s

When I read – and write – books, I love historical trivia. For me, it makes the story richer.

So, since my first “Love at Sea” book, The Earl’s Engagement, starts in Boston, Massachusetts, I wanted to make sure my city details were accurate. (Growing up in the Boston area, I was familiar with the modern streets of Boston… but not so sure what they were like, or even named, in earlier times.)

The first surprise was how little downtown Boston has changed in over a century. Here’s a map from 1885.

Boston Massachusetts 1885

So, when my hero and heroine were in Boston, most of the street names were the same as they are now. That made it easier for me to understand what kinds of businesses were in Boston… and where.

In my research, I learned that Filene’s department store opened in 1881 at 10 Winter Street in Boston.

And, by 1883, a sort-of circus (described as “sideshow freaks”) opened at 585 Washington Street. It was called Keith & Batchelder’s Dime Museum.

On the second floor, over their museum, the men created a vaudeville theatre. It opened daily at 10 AM and usually presented eight shows per day.

That theatre was run by Edward F. Albee II, whose grandson was noted playwright Edward Albee, famous for plays such as Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? and The Sandbox.

Then, when I researched pawnbrokers, I learned that the word was in use in that era, but some pawn shops were part of “collateral loan” institutions. (See the ad in the upper right corner of the following illustration.)

Collateral loans pawnshops

All of this makes writing historical fiction fascinating, and I hope my readers enjoy this kind of┬átrivia – and accuracy – as much as I do.

Love at Sea – Book 1, in progress

I posted this when I was working on my first “Love at Sea” romance…

I’m working on The Earl’s Engagement, the first book in my “Love at Sea” series.

Here’s how I’d describe it, for now:

A ship, a dilemma, and a dangerously attractive faux fiance

The Earl's EngagementLady Anne Travers’ family fortune has been┬álost to a bad investment. Ruin seems inevitable. So, she needs to win back wealthy Lord Owen Phipps, the cheating fiance she recently spurned.

When she hires handsome actor Michael Edgerton to play her faux fiance and make Owen jealous, sparks fly and nothing goes as planned.

As Anne, Michael, Owen, and Owen’s new fiancee sail back to England on the S.S. Oceanic, almost anything can happen… and it does.

Can Anne prevent financial disaster without compromising her own future happiness?

This is a short, sweet, Victorian romance set aboard a luxurious ocean liner.

You’ll find this book at Amazon, and it’s free to read in Kindle Unlimited.

Click here to read this book in Kindle