Arranging the seating (plus Chapter 13 is posted)
I spent most of my writing time today not actually writing. The scene I was writing involved a dinner which in turn involved me realizing that I could not write it until I had done a seating chart so that I knew where people were sitting and what the order of precedence was in going in to dinner. I wound up needing to elevate one gentleman from a Viscount to a Marquess in order to place him where I needed him at the table. It was significantly more complicated that I would have liked.
In fact, I had to do this in Shades of Milk and Honey as well for the dinner party at Lady FitzCameron’s.
You’ll note that there are a number of characters, like Sir Harrison, who don’t appear in the book. That’s because I needed some people just to pad out the table in order to get my principals in the right place. Sir Harrison, for instance, is a Baronet and can push Mr. Dunkirk down the ranking so that he sits next to Jane Ellsworth. It was unexpectedly complicated.
One of my primary resources for this is Laura A. Wallace’s excellent pages on English peerage and precedence. If you are writing anything set in the Regency I highly recommend these with the caveat that you have to actually read the entire site before deploying the information in there. She’s thorough, but things are tricksy. Yes, they are.