That moment when you realise there was no direct train between London & Edinburgh in 1846….

from BLACK’S IRON HIGHWAY FROM LONDON TO EDINBURGH, 1850

… and it totally messes up your story.

Well, a little anyway.

Thanks to the somewhat belated realization that perhaps I should check whether there was indeed a direct train from London to Edinburgh in 1846 or whether my heroine is sitting in a horrible anachronism, I had some digging to to earlier this afternoon. And this is what I ‘ve found:

The Great Northern Railway, that is, the line between Newcastle and Edinburgh, was opened either in late 1850 or at some point in 1851 (a guidebook from 1851 mentions that new connection), so in 1846 my heroine wouldn’t have been able to take a train on that line. As to the Berwick-Edinburgh connection, I couldn’t quite figure out when exactly this was opened (it was at some point in the late 1840s). So in the end, I decided that my heroine would take the train to Newcastle and from there the stagecoach to Edinburgh. (Grrr….)

In other news, the revisions of A TANGLED WEB are all finished; I just need to type up all my edits. I’m not yet quite happy with the prologue (should I ditch Tennyson’s “Lady of Shalott” or not?), but I hope I’ll be able to iron this out tomorrow morning. Then I’ll just need to Americanize the whole manuscript before I can send it off to my copy editor. Wheee!