Marion Hearfield is the author of William Cowle of Stroud: Life in a Victorian Town. She and her husband maintain a web site here. I discovered Marion when I wanted to know how milk was sold in London in the 18th century. I knew milkmaids trundled about with yokes over their shoulders, but I didn't know exactly how the milk got from the cows (wherever they were stabled) to the milkmaids. Mrs. Hearfield's article told me, and it linked me to extra information for good measure. So charmed was I by her lucid and slightly sassy style that I emailed to thank her. She wrote back, and a sporadic trans-Atlantic correspondence began. When I discover information or a web site I think she'll find interesting (such as this one about period slang), I share. When I want advice about anything English, Marion shares her 2 cents. We're an ocean apart, but if we were next-door neighbors, I know that dear lady would be the recipient of raspberries and tomatoes from my garden.
The second Englishwoman who'd score tomatoes and raspberries if we lived closer is Lucy Inglis, who blogs here. Ms. Inglis is the author of Georgian London: Into the streets, which I had to buy a hard copy of when she said about her book "the ordinary people were my quarry." My mother taught history, and that was her interest too--not just the battles or the politics, but what people blew their noses with and how shoes were repaired. My mentor, University of Kansas historian Calder Pickett, was the same way. The inside jacket flap of Ms. Inglis's book says it is about "the men and women who called London their home, from dukes and artists to rent boys, dog-nappers and hot-air balloonists." The book is divided into geographical neighborhoods of London, and it offers page after page of evidence that the more things change, the more they stay the same. In Georgian London, for example, the vast majority of urban poor were single mothers. And if you think the phenomenon "Crazy Cat Lady" is new, check out chapter 4. The book lavishly quotes from source documents--AND it includes pictures.
These two ladies' scholarship, love of history, and effortless style make research fun. Thanks, you two. More resources to come.