Research: the perils of doing it whilst tired

I’ve been concentrating a lot lately on Novel Project #4, which is set in London in the 1760s. There’s loads of reserach material to forge through, and I have to admit it is, at times, distracting.

Today I’ve been focusing on familiarising myself with 18th Century London – trying to work out what shops existed and where, what were the nice areas to live in and what were the not-so-nice, that sort of thing. Owing to this period holding an enduring fascination with readers and writers, there is a wealth of information available, which is fantastic.

You just have to make sure you’re reading it properly.

For example, the following paragraph, on a site describing the residents of Buckingham St since its establishment in the late 17th Century, gave me something of a start:

The “Lady Kilmurray” shown in the ratebooks of 1680–1 must have been an undertenant of Dearham’s. She was probably the daughter of Sir William Drury of Besthorpe, Norfolk, and the widow of Charles Needham, 4th Viscount Kilmorey, who had died in prison in 1660 for the second time.

On re-reading it, I worked out I’d missed a line, which rendered the paragraph somewhat more conventional:

The “Lady Kilmurray” shown in the ratebooks of 1680–1 must have been an undertenant of Dearham’s. She was probably the daughter of Sir William Drury of Beesthorpe, Norfolk, and the widow of Charles Needham, 4th Viscount Kilmorey, who had died in prison in 1660. Her second husband, Sir John Shaw, baronet, died in March, 1679–80, so that she was a widow for the second time.

Bridget, Viscountess Kilmorey, whose first husband had sounded so very interesting.

Bridget, Viscountess Kilmorey

And here’s her second husband, Sir John Shaw.
Sir John Shaw, Baronet

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