Don't if I put this here. But..

Oct 2018
1,209
Adelaide south Australia
#2
Writers of historical fiction don't seem to bother about attempting era accurate English; too hard to be constantly accurate. They write in vernacular English, but seem to avoid obvious slang and neologisms.

Some examples; Christian Jacq, who wrote about ancient Egypt, Diana Gabaldon, who wrote the Outlander series, sent in the eighteenth century and Dennis Wheatley, who wrote 70 novels, some set in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Slightly more recent is the American author Frank derby, who set some of his novels in the ante bellum US south.

If you really want get a sense of spoken English in the fifteenth century, perhaps try reading some books books published at that time. Because they will be in the public domain, you may be able to get them from the Internet archive (see link)


Internet Archive: Digital Library of Free & Borrowable Books, Movies, Music & Wayback Machine

The second link is a short list of books written in the fifteenth century.

Best Books of the 15th Century (25 books)


There is a relatively trend in historical films and TV shows to have characters speak with say a broad cockney accent to indicate lower class or 'commom people"' especially noticeable in some recent shows set in Roman times
 
Jun 2010
3,336
Colorado Springs (PA at heart)
#3
Throwing in random terms or phrases you've been told on a forum isn't the answer. Research is. To avoid modern words, a dictionary will often note when a word first came into usage, but there are also books about the history of the English language. Also research how people addressed each other of certain ranks, what clothing people wore, what items were used and called at the time, what food was available, etc. Anachronisms aren't just in what words to use - it's also in the culture that you will undoubtedly need to reference.
 
Jun 2017
2,881
Connecticut
#4
I really want to write a very dark Richard The iii and Elizabeth Of York and Anne Neville and Henry Tudor story. I need to know some terms to use, so I don't sound to modern.
Given that Richard murdered Elizabeth's brother's and Henry killed him(and all with claims to throne) all this shouldn't be hard to manage. Virtually every male in this story except Henry of Tudor dies.

Like others have stated, the English from the time wouldn't be very recognizable. Shakespeare was only a century later though so guess that's a good point of reference.
 
Sep 2012
927
Prague, Czech Republic
#5
I don't think it's worth worrying about too extensively. As others have said, you are unlikely to be writing your entire story with the dialogue in period English - not only would it be extraordinarily difficult, but you'd produce something that's hard for anyone to read. The main thing is to avoid noticeably modern words. So you don't want your characters taking things 'offline'; since almost everyone is fully aware of the technological origins of that word and it would jerk them out of context and make your work look fake. 'Silhouette', on the other hand, is probably fine. Even though the word has a known historical origin which makes it unquestionably anachronistic in context, it would not feel that way to most readers, since the origin is old enough to have been forgotten.

Just my two cents.
 
Nov 2016
769
Germany
#6
I really want to write a very dark Richard The iii and Elizabeth Of York and Anne Neville and Henry Tudor story. I need to know some terms to use, so I don't sound to modern.
The challenge is perhaps not so much to pay tribute to the vocabulary of that epoch, but rather to present the thought and reasoning of the people of the time in a contemporary way, rather than anachronistically modern. This does not mean that they have to speak old-fashioned from today's point of view, but that the impression should be avoided that people from the 21st century are acting who happen to look like Elizabeth of York or Henry Tudor and speak old-fashioned, but think modern.

From a contemporary point of view, people didn't speak "old fashioned" in those days anyway, so this impression should be avoided in a modern novel. This mistake is often made. Of course, certain formulas should be reproduced in the salutation, etc., since they are characteristic of the thinking of that time.

I had to deal with this topic last year when I translated two English classics from the 18th century, ´Pamela´ by Samuel Richardson and ´Shamela´ by Henry Fielding, into German (now available as ebooks), and decided to make the language sound relatively modern, i.e. by no means old-fashioned.

So your project requires an extensive study of contemporary documents. Here are some links:

The Letters of Queen Elizabeth. To Queen Mary. 1554.

The Letters of Queen Elizabeth. To King Edward the Sixth, 1553.

Margaret Tudor to Henry VII

Tudor Letters

Henry VIII's Love Letters to Anne Boleyn - The Anne Boleyn Files

Letters and papers illustrative of the reigns of Richard III and Henry VII : Gairdner, James, 1828-1912 ed : Free Download, Borrow, and Streaming : Internet Archive

The Political Mentality of the English Gentry at the End of the Fifteenth century, New Europe College Yearbook 8 (2000-2001), 355-89
 
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Nov 2016
769
Germany
#8
For a start, Richard III, not Richard THE iii.
As understandable as your objection here is, for "Richard the III" there are several examples on the net, even on an honorable page about the "Royal Collection", which presents an engraving from about 1790, showing that "the III" was not unusual in former times. Of course, the spelling "iii" is definitely wrong.

1558559716786.png

- King Richard the III.

 
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Naomasa298

Forum Staff
Apr 2010
33,712
T'Republic of Yorkshire
#9
As understandable as your objection here is, for "Richard the III" there are several examples on the net, even on an honorable page about the "Royal Collection", which presents an engraving from about 1790, showing that "the III" was not unusual in former times. Of course, the spelling "iii" is definitely wrong.

View attachment 19873

- King Richard the III.

Shakespeare used "the" when writing the words out in full - "Richard the third" or !Henry the sixth". In modern usage, I've never seen "the" used with Roman numerals.
 

sparky

Ad Honorem
Jan 2017
4,507
Sydney
#10
That seems to be the correct protocol "the" followed by the numeration , no "the" followed by roman numeral
the numeration is not used much , the proper form at the time was the name only everybody knew who that was

Shakespeare used the numeration in his plays titles so I guess that was the usage of the time
it is still in use in British royal protocol
the use of roman numeral is a later shortcut
 

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