Katherine Pym was always interested in how historical events impact common man, so she studied Literature in college, then narrowed it down to English Literature. When people sit down and write poetry, stories, or jot down important moments of the day in their journals, sometimes it brings out how one feels about a particular event.
But it wasn't enough. Literature ended up cloaking the historical events. Literature made history paradoxical and hard to cypher (as how the author of the piece saw it) so Katherine began looking at history. This was too short sighted, because history has a way of being dominated by the government and its leaders of the time.
So, Katherine decided to combine all the mediums available to develop stories of how people cope with historical events. She narrowed a timeframe down to 1660-1667, and learned all she could from it. Her library is massive, from journals to chapbooks to human interest stories and recipes. Histories of beds, potions, marriage, and trading companies are only a few.
Her studies yielded stories of what people go through during the day while history breaks over their heads. As one walks down the streets of London, what does one see? How do they react to the weather, and a tidal river that's either near empty or full and roaring? How do they do laundry and buy clothes. What's the gossip?
This is what Katherine Pym and her 17th century rumpus tales are about--besides the history that overtakes her characters.
Have a good read.