The story is about the characters and not the history–history is for textbooks. As in any novel, you must have interesting, active characters that want important things, hopefully in opposition to one another, and their pursuit of their desires should tell a compelling story. If you don’t have this, time and place are meaningless. People haven’t changed much over the centuries; they teased each other, wore out-dated clothes, and were embarrassed by their parents even in the time of Shakespeare. All the things you feel and think, human beings have felt and thought since the first human walked upright and probably before; what changes is circumstance.
Pick a year, month and day to set your novel; be specific. Start with a general history researching a life span in each direction. Read literature, letters, newspapers and journals of the time. These will give a good feel for the language. Advertising of any kind, especially catalogues, is great. Images are a wonderful stimulus to the imagination, so study paintings or photographs. Go to a museum and look at artifacts. Don’t get sucked into the black hole of research. Write first, research later. Do enough research to kick-start your imagination and keep writing!