Elizabeth Hutchison Bernard


Delve into the STYLE AND SUBSTANCE of Historical Fiction—
thought-provoking sidebars for the curious reader!
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Style & Substance

Odd Tidbits and Occasional Musings from Elizabeth

Authors of a Favorite Era

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As an author of historical fiction, I love to read the work of other contemporary writers of historical novels—particularly those who have set their story in the Victorian or Edwardian eras, which happen to be my favorites. But I have found it perhaps even more enlightening to read the work of writers who actually lived in those eras. There is so much to be learned from the great classic authors whose work never goes out of style!

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About the Cover of The Beauty Doctor

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A number of people have asked about the portrait on the cover of my first work of historical fiction, The Beauty Doctor. When I discovered this painting, I knew immediately that this young woman was my Abigail! But, of course, she was someone else first.

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Those Marvelous Edwardian Hats!

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Hats were a big deal in the Edwardian era, often to the detriment of our innocent feathered friends. Merry Widow hats sometimes sported brims as wide as 18 inches and might well be crowned with whole stuffed birds.

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The Writer’s Dilemma: First- versus Third-Person POV

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This post is not just for writers, because the point of view (POV) from which a story is told has as much to do with preferences of readers as it does with what might come naturally to an author — and, ideally, even more to do with what a particular story suggests or demands. But many stories are quite adaptable to either general approach.

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Women Drivers in the Edwardian Era

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In the course of my research for The Beauty Doctor, historian Lauren Markewicz sent me information on an interesting little book, The Woman and the Car: A Chatty Little Handbook for All Women Who Motor or Who Want to Motor, written in 1909 by Dorothy Levitt. Not being terribly mechanically-minded, I am always a bit intimidated by scenes that require me to know a little something about how these old cars work!

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