Q:I'm writing a novel about the cotton mills in Manchester, England, during the 1850s, and I'm fairly sure there were people of colour in the area at that time, but I can't find any mention of them. Would it be historically accurate to include POCs and if so, do you have any resources about them in that setting/time period? Any help is DEEPLY appreciated, I'm stuck! Thanks :)
shout out to all the black english majors who already knew this
This explains why people wanna attack my grammar errors when I hit them with logical reasoning… “You might have a point, but no one will take you seriously because of your grammar! FIX IT!”
Q:I'm considering writing a novel of a female Robin Hood, and was wondering if it could be historically accurate to write her as being half-Asian? The story would take place in the 12th century in England. Do you have any information on Asian people living in England at that time?
Of course. Asia and Europe aren’t even a separate landmass, after all.
Here are some links to give you a broader perspective on the kinds of people who would have been in Medieval England, Europe overall, how and why they got there, and how long they would have been there for.
Western Europe via Venice (trade gateway)
Black and Asian Performance in British History (V&A Museum)
P.S. Asian people in Medieval European art are usually “marked” that way via clothing, not physical characteristics.
P.P.S. There’s a good bit of evidence that a character like the one you describe would not have necessarily been perceived as physically “other” or “different” by Medieval English society; but you’re writing for people reading this story now. Probably keep that in mind.
Also, an Asian woman as a Robin Hood type character would make a fascinating story and a lot of sense! Many Asian nations/regions have a long tradition of women warriors.
- Khutulun, Wrestler Princess
- Queen Sondok
- Queen Manduhui
- The Trung Sisters
- Lady Hö’elün
- Shagrat Al-Durr
- Empress Chabi
- Sorghatani Beki
- The Great Khanum (and eight princesses)
- The Katuns (Queens) of Mongolia
One more fun thing: Trotula of Salerno, who revolutionized Medieval medicine by and for women, synthesizing knowledge flowing out of Asia and the Middle East regarding medicine and specifically gynecology. In Medieval Europe, some of the most well-known people of color were physicians, because African and Asian medicine was pretty revered.
It all depends on what kind of story you want to tell. You can have some pretty epic Merry Men and Women, too!
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