We love seeing the grand technological anachronisms in science fiction novels set in the past, such as Victorian or Edwardian-era steampunk or exaggerated Renaissance automata. But what if you want to keep the language in your historical novel accurate for the period? Here's a simple trick historical fantasy novelist Mary Robinette Kowal concocted to make sure the words that tumbled from her characters' lips were appropriate for the early 19th century.
When we spoke to the Milk and Honey author about her latest novel, Glamour in Glass, which is set in 1815, she told us that she composed a draft of her novel without a limited word list in mind, but afterward edited it to remove any anachronistic vocabulary. While she was still working on Glamour in Glass, however, she explained on her blog her system for flagging words that might not have existed during that time period: