The random—and not so random—musings of a quirky Regency romance writer.
No one with that many people in her head can possibly be normal...

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

~Regency Wednesday~ Miles vs. Kilometers

The following is a crossover post (July 31, 2011) from my Heartless blog

Usage des Nouvelles Mesures 1800One of my beta readers questioned why I used miles instead of kilometers in Heartless. Her question actually floored me; it was something I'd never really thought about. I knew miles to be the unit of measurement used during the Regency but I wasn't sure when kilometers came into use in Britain. 

So I decided to look it up.

The metric system was created in France in 1790 and adopted by the French government in 1795, though the common people weren't required to use it until 1840. (Strange that they'd be worrying about units of measure in the midst of the French Revolution, but humans ever were odd creatures.) According to Wikipedia, "...the United Kingdom announced its metrication program in 1965..."* This definitely would not allow me to use kilometers in a Regency.

*For more info on the metric system, check out the article called History of the Metric System at Metric! Metric!; A Brief History of Measurement Systems (PDF located at; Wikipedia article History of the metric system  

♥Happy reading, writing, and blogging!!♥

There's a jukebox in my head. It's currently playing
♫♪ Fiona Apple ~ Slow Like Honey


Sharon E. Cathcart said...

Oddly enough, I know the reason why it matters. Feet, yards, etc., were originated based on the measurements of the *monarch.* The size of the monarch's foot, for example. It wasn't entirely standardized for a long time. A yard was the length of the monarch's arm, from shoulder to fingertip. The revolutionaries decided that they wanted a standardized, 10-based measurement that did not rely on royalty in any way, shape or form. However, it was actually under Richard III that certain weights and measures became more standardized for the English, with the familiar 12" representing a foot and so on.

Jaimey Grant said...

Oh duh, that makes perfect sense. I even knew the monarch part of how it all came about. For some reason, I could not figure out why anyone would pause to worry about units of measurement during an uprising. Thanx for taking the time to share. :O)


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