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Russia in the 1500s

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Divia
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Russia in the 1500s

Post by Divia » Tue July 31st, 2012, 4:12 pm

Its a scary thought for me, and one I never thought I would take. For the moment I am leaving the world of hoop skirts, mourning etiquette and the Civil War. It's a time period I studied for 10 years. Now I am turning towards Russia 1500s.

I have an idea knocking about in my head and talked to someone who's opinion I trust very much. He is a published author and said that my idea sounded great.

I wont lie. I am getting a little sad. It seems taht Victorian Era novels don't sell and HF for YA is an even harder sell. While this is still HF I think it might have an easier go of things.

The problem is I'm not finding a lot of information on this time period, which I know was one of change for the country. Does anyone have any books that could help? I have one, but thats it.

Suggestions?

Websites?
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annis
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Post by annis » Tue July 31st, 2012, 7:36 pm

The Cambridge History of Russia might give you a useful overview.
Vol 1 covers the development of Russia from the early days through to the 17th century and can be read online here:

http://www.cultorweb.com/eBooks/Storia/ ... me%20I.pdf

What is the timing and setting of your proposed novel? Are the characters noble, peasants or other? Those details will determine the specific areas you need to focus on - e.g. if it's set at the court of Ivan the Terrible you might want start with a biography of Ivan himself.
Last edited by annis on Sat August 4th, 2012, 1:29 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Divia
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Post by Divia » Thu August 2nd, 2012, 4:27 pm

the court.

Thanks for the book suggestion :)
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MLE (Emily Cotton)
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Interest in HF: started in childhood with the classics, which, IMHO are HF even if they were contemporary when written.
Favourite HF book: Prince of Foxes, by Samuel Shellabarger
Preferred HF: Currently prefer 1600 and earlier, but I'll read anything that keeps me turning the page.
Location: California Bay Area

Post by MLE (Emily Cotton) » Thu August 2nd, 2012, 5:06 pm

Divia, I doubt Dorothy Dunnett would be your cup of tea -- she's very wordy, and likes to twist things up so that if you aren't paying attention, you miss her point -- but the fifth book in the Lymond series, Ringed Castle, is set in the court of Ivan IV (the terrible). For all her literary abstractions, Dunnett was an astute historian, so I would tend to trust her portrayal of Russia at the time.

The book from my college course on my shelves is called A History of Russia by Nicholas Riasanovsky. A clunky ponderous tome, but very thorough, with lots of maps. You can probably find one used, it is commonly assigned as a college text.

DanielAWillis
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Pay attention to dates

Post by DanielAWillis » Fri August 3rd, 2012, 11:08 pm

Russia in 1501 and Russia in 1599 were vastly different places and facing different issues, both as a country, and as a people. So the setting of your story will need to reflect the Russia of that time period.

Also, this century went a long way to solidifying the concept of the Russias (plural) and was also when the title "Tsar of All the Russias" was created.

The end portion of the century was consumed by the "Time of Troubles," which would have significant bearing on an story set in the royal court.

Having said all of that, I hope you will keep us aprised of your progress. Russian HF is some of favorite (and was the setting of first novel).
Daniel A. Willis
Author: Chronicle of the Mages series
www.DanielAWillis.com

annis
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Post by annis » Sat August 4th, 2012, 1:28 am

There is an old biography, Ivan the Terrible by Kazimierz Waliszewski (translated into English by Lady Mary Loyd) which is available at the Internet Archive- you can choose your format
http://archive.org/details/ivanterrible00loydgoog

Part One has a bit of stuff about Russia in the C16th that might be of interest- Habits and Customs talks a bit about dress and so on.
There is a section in Pt 4 about the court of Ivan as well.

You can read this book as a Wiki Source document, but is a bit hard to follow in places
http://en.wikisource.org/wiki/Ivan_the_Terrible

As far as women's clothing goes- you might be some ideas from this Pinterest page- not secifically 16th century, but traditional costume didn't appear to change too dramatically over the centuries. As Russia became more Europeanised (from the 17th century on), aristocrats were more likely to go for fashions similar to those worn elsewhere in Europe and only wear traditional costume on special occasions.

You might find Sofya la Rus's Notes on Women's Clothing in Muscovite Rus of use too, though not super easy to read:
http://www.strangelove.net/~kieser/Russia/KWCmosc.html

Otherwise portraits can be useful - there are a few around of Ivan's many wives- he just about rivalled Henry VII for playing a deadly game of all-change with his consorts! (See list under Ivan's portrait on his Wiki page)

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