World building is a facet of historical romance that’s often overlooked. Contextually, it’s assumed that even though what you’re reading is fictitious, it’s still happening in a past that doesn’t need much explanation because it’s grounded in something very real and researchable. It’s unlike the structure of world building in paranormal or sci-fi fiction because it’s expected to be easy to grasp.
While this is true, I’ve found through reading historical romances that there are extensive missing elements—like people of color.
It may seem like an inconsequential thing, but if you study the breadth of historical romances and put them all together as your basis of what the past could have actually been like, there’s an enormous chasm between what was and what’s on the page.
That’s why when I found Kerrigan Byrne’s Victorian Rebels series and began to read, I was so delightfully, pleasantly, and wholly enamored with the world Byrne presented us because it actually mimicked a world full of delightful color. Through her wealth of characters, she brings a sense of completeness to the world of her historicals.