Blast From the Past: On Writing Historical Fiction: Forms of Address

crown-304855_1280A text-only version of this post appeared in my GoodReads blog on September 7, 2012.


Hello, everyone. I decided that I would undertake another series of posts, this time on writing historical fiction.

This first post has to do with forms of address. If you are going to include peers of the realm in your story, you should know how people would properly address them. Luckily, in this age of the internet, this is a simple enough thing to learn.

A great source for UK peerage forms of address is at this link, which puts everything in a convenient chart. It’s based on a 1932 reference, which is perfect for use in historical fiction.

Now, forms of address in other places are different (obviously). In France, forms of address depend on whether or not we are talking about the “ancien regime,” the Revolution, the new Republic, etc. Nobility and Titles in France is a great place to start, as it helps you understand how the country’s nobility is structured. Forms of address are greatly simplified, as shown here.

The easiest way to search is to use “forms of address+country” as your string; you’ll find all manner of fascinating information, and your story will be the richer for it.

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