Little Details

A Fact-Checking Community for Writers

Christmas Markets in US
zen cat
I found this link too late to be of any help with an earlier post but it might help for future reference.

http:// /articles/ americas-best-christmas-markets

Cities listed are:

There are two listed in NYC: Union Square and Bryant Park
Washington, D.C.
Bethlehem, PA
San Francisco
Read more...Collapse )

[ANON POST] Telling a kid that Dad is dating their Godmother (UK, 1980s)
Searched: "how to introduce a new partner" + "the child already knows"; "how to tell a child you're dating" + "their godparent"/"a friend"/"someone known"/"someone they know"

Setting: UK, early 1980s.

I've read a load of stuff on introducing children to a new partner which has been very useful, but everything that comes up only talks about introducing a stranger. I can't find anything that advises how to handle discussing new relationships with children when the new partner is someone the child already knows, in this case the child's godmother.

Background details: Mum and Dad of Eve divorced shortly after their daughter's birth because Dad found out Mum was cheating. (Paternity of Eve was unknown until post-birth tests.) Mum remarried when Eve was 2yrs old, to the person she cheated on Dad with, and had two other children when Eve is 3 and then 7. Dad has never had a serious relationship since the divorce, and very few casual ones that he's never mentioned to Eve (though the idea of Dad having a girlfriend isn't completely foreign because Dad's sister has been trying to convince Dad to get one for years). Pre-story, custody is jointly split--school term time with Mum, holidays and every other weekend with Dad. However, Dad is a live-in teacher at a boarding school that Eve starts attending at the beginning of the story, and (as already discussed when they decided Eve would attend the school) this changes the custody arrangement so that she will now spend school holidays with Mum.

The Story: Eve is 11. Dad (32) is dating Eve's godmother Lucy, someone he's been friends with since late teens. Eve has always had a close relationship with her godmother; how is this likely to affect how she handles learning about the relationship? I understand a common fear is "I won't have so much time with Dad"; is this likely to be exacerbated/reduced at all given the circumstances? Could Eve be afraid Lucy will stop being the cool godparent and react negatively, not wanting the dynamics between them to change?

All the sites recommend not introducing a new partner until you're sure it's a close, longterm deal, but how might this change when Eve already knows the partner in question? Dad still has major trust issues from Mum's affair, and is a naturally distrustful person anyway, so it's going to take a long time (1yr+) before he stops constantly worrying that the relationship is going to fail. Should they wait to tell Eve until it reaches that point, or tell her after a few months (when Lucy is sure it's going to work, and Dad's hopeful but still wary)?

Another thing sites advise is, after having told the child, introduce the new partner on a short outing. Obviously Eve doesn't need introducing to Lucy as such, but after Dad's told her about the relationship should Eve then have a visit/trip out with her godmother where they might discuss the relationship away from Dad, or should her next interaction be with Dad+Lucy together?

Fencing calluses?
Hi all!

I have an experienced fencer (she's in her early twenties, and has been fencing since she was about thirteen - or maybe earlier), and I just realized she has no calluses or other permanent markings from her fencing (she's probably had several bruises or injuries over the years, but she doesn't get injured very often anymore). Basically, I just had a soldier remark on how smooth her hands are (he thinks she's a boy who just joined the army).

Should she have calluses on her hands (or feet) from fencing, using fencing equipment, etc.? This is set in an alternate fantasy world and the technology level is about that of late 19th century America. Also, her family is rich enough that she has custom equipment, so things fitting properly shouldn't be as much of an issue for her. She typically uses a rapier-style foil

I studied fencing at a community college for about a year during grad school, but I don't think I have near enough experience to be able to answer this for myself. I also googled "fencing calluses" and fencing calluses on hands" and "what kinds of calluses do fencers get?" So far, what I found was mainly for the feet, and dealt with people needing shoes with more support and a couple of things about getting used to the grip on a new sword. For the most part, I don't think these should be problems this character would have, but I could be wrong about that.

Thanks in advance for any help!

USA - How Common Is Mulled Wine?
Misc - Girl & Cat under the stars
Hello! The story I have is set in the present day, in a small town in the north of the USA. It is specifically not set in a big city.

My question is: How likely is it that a person would be able to buy mulled wine from a street vendor at Christmas, or in a local Christmas market, to be consumed outside on the street?

Is there another drink that would be more commonly available or more likely for them to choose if they were keeping warm in the cold and trying to be festive at the same time?

I've had a look at the wiki for mulled wine, and it simply says that it's become more common recently in the US. Pretty much all the mulled wine recipe sites and references I find are from UK-based websites which made me question if it's at all common outside of Europe, and if there's something more appropriate that I should be putting into my character's hand.

Thanks for any help. :]

Edit:- Super, thank you all so much for your help! I'm very glad I hesitated over the keyboard and came to ask here, or details of this story would have very much caused raised eyebrows! ;] Hot chocolate it is. (Seriously, thank you - although only a minor detail in the overall story it would have stuck out like a sore thumb to any reader actually from the US...)

Secular Christmas carols before 1917?
I'm haunted
I've done a few Google searches, and combed Wikipedia pretty hard, and almost every Christmas carol that I can find that's secular comes from the 1930/40s or later. This is no good for me, as my character was born into an atheist household in 1917, and 'died' in '44/45 (the canon kinda contradicts itself on this point, I tend to just go with '45). So while he was around for Judy Garland's "Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas" and Bing's "White Christmas" and "I'll Be Home For Christmas" (a USO favorite, and Bucky's a WWII vet), I want something he would've grown up enjoying.

Jingle Bells and Deck The Halls were both carols I found that go back before the early 1900s, and a song I had never heard of called Jolly Old Saint Nicholas, but either my Google-fu is that bad, or there just wasn't much to be had for the non-religious before WWII broke out.

Anyone know of any secular songs pre-1917 that Bucky would've enjoyed as a kid?

Also! I wanted to thank all of you for the help with the various slang words for a tractor trailer. I used some advice from you guys to kinda skirt around it and wanted to share the genius you guys gave me.

"Nebraska," [Natasha] said, signaling a lane change and passing a particularly slow truck with a tanker trailer that had the words 'Haulin' Liquid Chicken' painted on the side. Bucky quickly decided he didn't want to know what constituted 'liquid chicken'.

(And yes, that truck exists. I have seen it, and there is no unseeing it.)

Edit: Bookmarking this whole entry, because y'all are fantastic This is why I come here when I need help.

Late Victorian Evening Gown-fabrics and colors
Hullo, all.
I'm having a little trouble outfitting a character for a small-ish dinner party in the late Victorian era, roughly the 1890's. Things can be hand-wavy since it's an AU, but ideally I'd like to have a preserved gown, or less ideally, a fashion plate to work from.

The character in question is the daughter of a marquess, and needs to be all kinds of fashionable (and lording it over the less well to do guests just a bit-she's not a particularly pleasant guest). I was hoping for shot-silk/taffeta or watered silk, but while I've found references to those fabrics being used, I can't seem to find any information on how popular they were, or what sort of trim or jewelry might be used with 'em. More importantly, I'd like her to be dressed in a darker violet or red or berry color, or a medium/sky blue, and I just can't seem to find these colors outside of day dresses and costumes. (She's not a young woman, and doesn't need to be in pastels, at this point, but I'd like her to at least wear something other than black, white, or gold.)

I've used Worth gowns, 1890s Worth gown, 1890's gowns, Victorian evening gowns (&) dresses, shot silk (&) taffeta evening gowns, 1890's evening fashion so far. Any information on what would be the height of fashion as far as materials and colors go would be awesome, so if she's more likely to be in velvet, or anything else, that works too.


Prototype Car Manufacture Costs and Timeframe
sebastian stan 3
I am trying to find out how long it would take to build a production intent prototype car and what the likely cost would be.

The scenario is that a car manufacturer wants to produce a new design of vehicle that hasn't been done before. He has existing plant, factory and manufacturing process, and engineers that he can use, but the car will look and work significantly differently to his current models. He wants to build a prototype to see if it will work - with the aim of putting it into production. How long would building the prototype take? Is 6 months realistic? Too long, too short? And what would the likely cost be? (ballpark figure is fine).

I don't need to go into huge detail as long as people reading the story don't go "HUH? It took one week and cost ten pounds? I don't think so!" - I'm exaggerating, but that's the kind of thing I want to avoid!!!

I'm not talking about building a non-working concept car. This is supposed to be a production intent prototype.

The book is set in the UK, 80 years in the future, after an environmental catastrophe that has changed the face of the planet. I don't think any of that has any bearing on the question - I'll adjust for what I think is likely inflation/deflation in cost. I just want to know what's likely now and can extrapolate the rest to suit my story.

I've done quite a bit of reading and research online but it's such a specific enquiry, it's hard to find out for sure. I have searched 'building a prototype car' and 'cost of building a prototype car' but beyond some background reading, I haven't found anything that comes close to answering the question.

Exercise-induced asthma and running for your life
Location: US, nowish, probably in the Deep South
Research: read up a bit on exercise-induced asthma from the Mayo Clinic and Web MD

I know more or less what the symptoms of asthma *are*, but I'm not sure of some of the details on when they'd hit, how/when my character would treat them, and so on.

Details on my asthma patient and why he"s running, that you may or may not need to actually answer my questionsCollapse )

So. Would he likely start having trouble breathing during the first 5-10 minute sprint, or not until after they stop to rest/some later point? If his asthma starts acting up while he's running, would he be likely to pull out his inhaler and use it on the go, or would he need to wait 'til he's stopped? If he has to stop, (how well) would he be able to keep running until the entire group stops? Would he need to keep using it, or would once be enough? If he'd need to keep using it, how often? How, if at all, would massive doses of adrenaline (from, ya know, sheer terror) affect things? Anything else I need to know?

[ANON POST] Hypoxia and Sleep
Setting: standard SF space-y near future, sealed environment.

I’ve got a character who’s asleep in controlled conditions, while the oxygen levels in the surrounding breathable air are decreasing. The character in question is a light sleeper, pretty heavily stressed both physically and mentally, but has enough of a background in aviation and similar disciplines to recognize both his own symptoms indicating hypoxia and what this indicates for his surroundings, i.e., nothing good -- but all this is predicated on him being awake and alert enough to do so. Would the discomfort/unusual sensations associated with anoxia cause him to wake up at any point? (More "is this possible" than "is this a certainty" -- in particular ones like air hunger, less so sleepiness/yawning.) If so, at what point is this likeliest to happen, as far as what percentage of the original baseline level of oxygen is left? At what point is he basically past the point of no return, if nothing else wakes him either? Is this change of state more likely to wake him if it’s a sudden change rather than a gradual one?

Terms Googled: a couple different ones relating to hypoxia (especially altitude hypoxia, which seems like the closest analogue to the gradual draining of breathable oxygen from an environment, but I might be wrong), identification and treatment of altitude hypoxia, air hunger, etc.

Apologies if any of the medical descriptions here are horribly off!

[MOD POST] Happy 10th Birthday, Little Details!
That's right--Little Details was created on November 30, 2004!

Over the past 10 years, the community has:

  • tackled over 12,700 posts from writers with research, fact-checking, and plausibility questions

  • logged 233,129 individual comments as of right now

  • risen to be one of the most popular communities on all of LJ (currently #17)
. . . and through it all, has been incredibly friendly, helpful, constructive, and drama-free! Happy birthday to us!

If you like, in the comments of this post, share a time when Little_Details was able to help you with your writing, let you chime in with your unique knowledge on a topic, or just taught you something new!

[ANON POST] Injury Through Bulletproof Vest Questions
Setting: Dystopian Sci-Fi City (2600s Earth)

Research done so far: "How many bullets can a bulletproof vest take", "First aid for internal bleeding", "Bullet injury first aid", and other terms along these lines. I've also read through some of the posts here regarding bullet injuries, but I haven't found much about what actually happens if a vest gets too damaged.

In my scene, two of my main characters, I'll call them Jack and Jill, meet in the middle of a war. Jack is a soldier that fights for "the good guys", and Jill is a student that just happened to be there when the fighting started (the scene takes place at a University that got attacked by "the bad guys").

What happens is that Jack finds Jill and tries to take her to safety. The problem is that, while doing so, Jack gets a whole round of rifle bullets shot into his back trying to keep Jill unharmed. What I'd like to happen is that Jack's bulletproof vest gets busted (They do have a limit, don't they?) and, in the end, gets incapacitated.

Jill, being thankful for his sacrifice, tries takes him far enough for them to be safe while she gives a phonecall and her father, who is a medic, comes to pick them up. She does so by stealing a motorcycle from a nearby parking lot.

My main concerns are:

Is Jill worsening Jack's condition by making him ride a motorcycle? He will sit behind Jill and the ride won't last more than 10 minutes and there won't be bumps, but she will go at full speed.
What first-aid can/should Jill give Jack after they reach a safe place?
What medical problems is Jack expected to have? His spine will have some sort of extra armor under his vest and clothing and over it he has a gadget (like a small backpack which also only covers the spine) that will take some of the bullets so I'm guessing it shouldn't get damaged.
How much time can Jack stay like this without getting medical attention before things get really bad? From the moment he's injured, let's say it takes Jill 10 minutes to wire the bike and help Jack get on, then 10 minutes the trip, then the time it takes her dad to get to them, which I haven't decided on yet.

Thank you in advance. I appreciate any info I'll get.

[ANON POST] What goes on in a typical rhythmic gymnastics class?
Hi! I'm writing a story about rhythmic gymnasts (one of whom is male--chalk that up to artistic license), and so I need to know the typical structure of a rhythmic gymnastics class (e.g. how much time is devoted to stretching, ballet, modern dance, gymnastics, and apparati manipulation; the stuff that is typically taught to beginners; what's taught during the first few weeks of classes; et cetera, et cetera, et cetera) so I can depict the in-story classes accurately. Thanks!

Setting: 2014, on a pentagonal manmade island off the coast of Kyoto Prefecture in Japan.

Search terms: I tried Googling such terms as 'rhythmic gymnastics class', 'rhythmic gymnastics level 1', 'rhythmic gymnastics beginners', and I got what I do know about the sport from its Wikipedia article. There are also YouTube videos of now-retired rhythmic gymnast Alina Kabaeva giving training tips on warmups, ballet, and apparati manipulation (specifically, the ribbon, the clubs, the hoop, and the ball).

Post-Armageddon Society reaction to Physical Augmentation
Type - webcomic/graphic novel
My project's a Post apocalypse-fantasy set in early 22'd century New Mexico mostly around the Carlsbad area, approximately 20 years after Nuclear Armageddon. Specifically focused individuals that work in the wasteland, in order to help society rebuild, such as Armed Forces, Salvage Crews, Scouts/Prospectors, and Hunters/Poachers, that have undergone physical reconstruction to do their job better.

In this case individuals have been altered using animal genetics to be more survivable against the environment of the Chihuahuan Desert, chain-gangs, bio-weapons, and fantastic creatures found in the wasteland. Changes include enlarged animal-like ears to improve hearing, tail and fur-coat to help heat management or balance, tapeta lucida and slit pupils to accommodate enhance night vision, enhanced olfactory and tactile senses, skeletal reconstruction and addition of fangs, claws, and animal like jaw structures to add to combat utilities, and modifications to neurological and muscular systems to improve response time and physical strength. The term chimera is used for them and they have only recently begun appearing.

What became of Carlsbad has approximately 13,000 residents with around 10,000 civilians trying to lead ordinary lives, farming, re-building, and providing infrastructure for a new civilization. Around 3000 drew their career outside the city, securing it's borders, hauling in un-producible supplies, or searching for other signs of civilization, more than 1000 of the these individuals have become chimeras. They have limited interaction with the public so to speak, and range from looking perfectly human to being almost mistakable for another species.

The questions I'm trying to find answers for

-How would this practice affect the politics of a developing civilization? What ways would leaders respond to their military, police, and salvage crews enlisting chimeras.

-How would the existence of chimeras affect the mindsets individuals who don't interact with them? How would normal people react to learning that the people fighting to allow them relatively normal lives aren't fully human.

-How would the public begin to view chimeras when interaction is limited? Would major stigmas develop, how would fanatic groups respond.

-What effect would allowing people to undergo this change have on the general ethics/morals of a society? Would a civilization allow

My searches thus far have included Google scholar- Ethics of Genetic Engineering, Social consequences of physical Augmentation, and genetic enhancement social concerns. I've also been searching through my school's online library using keywords of ethics, genetic engineering, morality, social concerns, and sociology. Most results I've pulled have covered the topics in broad strokes and lack any real details on how this might influence a civilization or people who are uninvolved.

Daily Life in early-Edo period Japanese Castle
Help me, Little-Details Kenobi, you're my only hope!

My story takes place in early-Edo period Japan. I need resources on the daily life of both the servants and the Lord in the average Japanese castle. The sources I have on samurai generally talk about their duties and such in broad strokes, not the nitty-gritty of who and how they're meeting with day-to-day to accomplish that. I keep coming up with questions like:

- Where do the servants sleep? Is it in the main audience hall like in English castles? Do the personal servants sleep in the same room as their masters?

- What is the protocol for a Lord sleeping with his wife, since they often have different rooms?

- What would the title for the Lord's concubine be? How would she be addressed by equals, servants, etc? And while we're on the subject, should I be referring to the character to a concubine or a second wife? My sources use the terms interchangeably.

Books I have: Edo Culture by Nishiyama Matsunosuke, EveryDay Things in PreModern Japan by Susan Hanley, Handbook to Life in Medieval and Early Modern Japan by William Deal, Everyday Life in Traditional Japan by Charles Dunn(the most help so far!)

Search Terms: Life in a Japanese castle, Life in Medieval Japan, Japanese title for a concubine

Thankfully its a castle full of Japanese yokai, so its understandable that their culture would be very different. But I feel terrible doing guess-work based on a combination of what I know from European castle operations and extrapolation based on Japanese culture in general. :/

[ANON POST] Request for Personal Histories from Soldiers (potential triggers)
I am trying to find out if soldiers feel disposable sometimes, or if they feel like their opponents are disposable, and what causes to act one way or the other.

I am writing a Yuletide story set in the Star Wars: The Clone Wars universe, and thinking about the clones vs. droids and how they are viewed by the people around them. Clones are viewed as sentient but disposable, droids are viewed as programmably-sentient but not people and definitely disposable.

I have looked through Wookieepedia for canon details; that's not what I'm looking for. I have also read published accounts by soldiers. I've read tons of SF about artificial intelligences. I'm looking more for a soldier to interview about things s/he may find triggery.

Details under CutCollapse )

And, of course, any personal input is appreciated and will be credited.

questions about opera
internal monologue
I'm not entirely certain how to Google this, but I'll list what I've done after the question:

I'm in need of a section of an opera for a group of people to perform. The short version is that my group of people (who do not make up a full operatic chorus; there are nine of them) will be performing a section, or multiple short sections, of an opera to impress a different group of people. All vocal ranges are covered by my people, as a note.

Ideally the opera they will be performing will have thematic content of battles, or war, or glorious deaths, or all of the above. I would like something that's not too easy (not that any opera is exactly easy) to perform either; something on the difficult side would be fine for my singers.

I don't need scenery or an orchestra or a theater; I just need to know what music I'm looking for.

The story is set a few centuries in the future, so if need be I can handwave it and invent something, but I was hoping for a smidge of historical accuracy in being able to use an existing score.

Already googled: "battle opera" (avoid that one; it just gives me a million links about Kathleen Battle); "battle songs opera" "war scenes opera", similar terms. The problem I'm running into is that I keep getting results for music used in these types of scenes in movies and such but that's not what I'm actually looking for. So suggestions on better Google-fu would also be appreciated!

[ANON POST] American Women Enlisting in Canadian Women's Army Corps During WWII?
My story is set in New York City during the second World War. My main character is a Jewish woman who grew up in the city and is very passionate about the war effort, because she has relatives in Europe.

The way I'm thinking about the story now, she left the US to join the Canadian Women's Army Corps soon after it was established, worked in manufacturing, but was injured in a disabling factory accident and so has moved back home. I'm really worried that this is too unrealistic a scenario to use in good conscience.

I know there were men who moved to Canada to enlist before the US entered WWII. Are there records of any women doing this? Is there a plausible way that a woman could have done this (above-board or not)?

It would be a lot simpler to have her enlist in the US Women's Army Corps when it's established, but CWAC works better for me for a few reasons:

-it gives me more time to have the events of the story play out - if she joined the US WAAC, this means the time she's working in the factory is chronologically later on she would have very little time back in New York during the war years.
-I think her having taken this step would show that she is passionate about fighting Nazism and angry at her own country. Canada established the CWAC before the US even entered the war.
-narratively, I like that she is returning home after a period of living in a new place, far away from her family

If in your opinion having her enlist in Canada is not possible, are there more realistic historical alternatives that would keep the above factors?

I really appreciate any help!

Things I have tried:
- Googling "CWAC" and reading all the pages I get that give an overview of how the CWAC worked.
- Googling things like "Americans enlisting in Canadian army" "American women enlisting CWAC" and variants
- ordering from the library all the memoirs I can find of women who served in US or Canadian armies during WWII

Time frame (after the initial seven year wait) for getting someone presumed dead in Scotland?
Setting: Scotland. The man went missing in 2003; his wife wants him presumed dead in 2014.

Full background, though idk how much of it will be relevant to my question: There's a married couple with two very young kids. One morning, the couple has a fight, and the man is never seen or heard from again. The woman does not report her husband missing; he's reported missing several days later by a friend. The friend in question knows about the fight they had, and informs the police that it happened. The wife swears that she has no idea what happened to her husband. She says that she assumed he caught a train to London to sulk at his mother's place for a few days. The police find his mother, and she hasn't seen or heard from him either. His car is still at the house. His mobile is out of service. The wife lets the police into their home and they find no evidence of foul play. The man's mother and the friend that initially reported him missing look for him, but they have never find him. His wife never looks for him. No criminal charges are ever pressed against anyone, but the prevailing opinion in the village is that the wife got away with murder. Eleven years later, she's in love with a new man and wants to remarry.

I understand that she could have had him presumed dead after just seven years, but she didn't for two main reasons: the first being that her son didn't want her to, and the second being that her husband was very rich and she had enough people thinking she'd murdered him without opening herself up to accusations that she wanted his money.

Now, I've done enough reading on having someone presumed dead in Scotland to have a pretty good idea of how it works. The one bit of information that I haven't been able to find is an estimate for how long it will take, once she has submitted the necessary paperwork.

Tl;dr: I have a man who has been missing for more than seven years. His wife would like for him to be legally presumed dead. From the time that she files the paper work to the time when it's official, how long will the process of getting her husband presumed dead take?

Googled terms: "presumptive death Scotland" "presumed dead Scotland" "presumed dead Scotland time frame" "how long does it take to have someone declared legally dead in Scotland" "presumed dead Scotland court proceedings time"

Painful disease to quickly kill man in his 50s
Setting: modern day Britain

The character is a man in his 50s with several pre-existing chronic conditions, but nothing that could cause death. I want him to come down with something that will kill him in 6-12 months maximum, is not genetic, is preferably rare, and is an excruciating experience. I would honestly rather stay away from cancer if possible. I can shorten the timeline by a lot (down to weeks) if possible.

I considered CJD and sporadic fatal familal insomnia, as well as various types of cancer.

Various google terms, including but not limited to 'deadliest kinds of cancer', 'rare and painful diseases', 'creutzfeldt-jakobs disease', and 'diseases to kill in 6 months'.

Early traveling circuses
advisory warning // darumaseye
I'm using a traveling circus as a key setting for a book I'm working on, and I'm trying to figure out how big it is and how fast it travels. I've done some research into the pre-railroad traveling circuses, but without access to specialist libraries, I'm not finding much, and nothing that really answers the questions I have.

The setting is an earthlike world, in a temperate zone. The world is fairly low-tech; there was an apocalyptic war a few thousand years ago and the world hasn't recovered from it yet in terms of population and technology. There are no mechanical or magical methods of travel. They're limited to walking, riding horses, carts, and wagons.

Because of reasons, I need to have my circus go cross-country for a few days to get back to a road. At this point, they're breaking trail through a thickly-forested area. Wagons are not ideal due to the lack-of-road conditions, but they do have some for the most essential and unwieldy things. However, anything that can walk and not try to kill people isn't riding in a wagon. They left some wagons behind in a town they're going to get back to soon, but they left that town to do a show, so everything that they need to live and have a show is with them. Time is a bit of the essence, as their break from the road has cost them enough time that it's now moving firmly into temperate mid-fall where they are, and the occasional heavy rain slows them down (I assume).

In this world, the circus's function is partly entertainment, partly informational, and partly clandestine. They generally stay 1-3 days in a place before they move on, and they move rather slowly, but they're supported as much by government and criminal pay as by ticket sales so the money isn't an issue - being able to gather information and get it to the right places at the right times is.

I've done research on the history of the circus, and I know that the first big top was developed in 1825 and the Virginia Pavilion Circus was, according to The Rise of the American Circus 1716-1899, the first circus to do a one-day stand and move on, so it's practical to do a show without the benefit of a railroad or a semi truck. VPC seems to have been Brown & Bailey under another name, and if that's correct, they had a very small crew - 13 or 14 people for that first one-day stand. The Washington Circus of 1826 (Quick and Meads) had ~12 people, 7 horses, and a pony, so clearly not everyone was mounted as they went from point A to point B. I've also seen a route book for Sells Bros. Great European Circus of 1878, and while they have a lot of doubled and tripled names, there has to be at least 150 people on that list, to say nothing of the equipment and animals. However, that is a railroad show, so it's too big for my purposes.

And now, finally, onto the questions!
1) How big a circus is reasonable under the circumstances? I am able to fudge, to some extent, what kind of equipment they have (for example, perhaps the big top doesn't have seating, or perhaps they improvise seating on site) and obviously this doesn't have to follow earth rules exactly, but for story reasons, I would like to have this be a circus of about 75-100 people, mostly performers who take care of their own animals and double as wagon drivers and support staff if possible, and I'm not sure that's not insanely too big. I can't figure out the balance of people, animals, and wagons to load of food and equipment, multiplied by days of rain or whatever that would tell me how large a group I could comfortably move under these circumstances. I would also like to have one big top (80 feet across or so) and maybe as many as five significantly smaller tents (say, 10 feet).

2) Since this troupe, unlike railroad and truck circuses, and even early wagon circuses, can't count on being under shelter at night, I assume they carry sleeping tents with them at this time of year and under these weather conditions. This is a major problem, as I have never been camping under a tent in my life, and have no idea what might be a practical option here. Giant pavilions that sleep twenty? Pup tents with the person's feet sticking out the end? Four-person jobs? The troupe gets stuck for a day due to heavy rain; a modicum of comfort where someone can come into a tent and have a conversation would be nice, but I'm not sure what would be actually practical in terms of load balance.

3) I'm quite sure that there's an equation out there that takes into account the number of people and the number of calories they're expending, the distance they're traveling and under what conditions, and the weight and volume of food and tells me how much food everybody needs to get to the next town with just a little bit of reserved food (which is used up in the stop for rain so they get there with no food and are hungry). I do not know what it is, and my brother's experiences of hiking in Scouts has been useless as far as figuring that out goes. Since several key scenes take place over meals, it would be nice to know how many wagons they're using for food, assuming a diet that fits what I think of as Russian - so lots of potatoes and root vegetables, proteins of some kind, and some carbs. The land that my characters are currently in is derived from Central Siberia, though less cold, and it's not really rice country, so that would affect what kind of food they have with them, and how it's prepared. It doesn't need to be exact, but I'd like to get a sense of how much of their load space is dedicated to food, for both themselves and the animals (primarily horses and felines at this point, and they're going through coniferous forest so no grazing), because if I need to have twenty wagons for a troupe of 50, I am going to wind up rethinking this section of the book significantly.

Thank you!