When should you set your story?

New England has so many interesting time periods, in which to place a story.   In Herman Melville’s Moby Dick, the whale ship Pequod sets sail from early 19th century Nantucket, providing interesting insights into both one man’s soul and into New England’s whaling industry of the time.  The Civil War gets attention too, maybe more so in the US South, but Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women gives readers a window into Concord, Massachusetts during the conflict.  Then, there’s Make Way for Ducklings, written by Robert McCloskey and set in early 1940’s Boston at the Public Garden.  A Separate Peace also takes place in the early 1940’s, in New Hampshire.  Then, there’s the period I find myself most drawn toward – the late Victorian years.  Henry James based his novel, the Bostonians, during the 1870’s.  And, then there’s the way back.  Nathaniel Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter comes to mind.  It too is set in Boston, but 300 years earlier, in the 1640’s.  What is your favorite New England time period to read about?  To write about?

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