1. MindTheGap
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    MindTheGap Member

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    Circa 1870s/1880s Liverpool, England

    Discussion in 'Setting Development' started by MindTheGap, Sep 27, 2012.

    ... that's a partial setting for a novel I have been outlining and piecing together and I would love to know if there are any resources or good books/sites with details on what the city itself was like in that two decade span. The characters in the novel are of the middle/working class background, so info on housing/living as well as the typical businesses and class conditions would be appreciated. Being pointed at least in the right direction is always a great help. :)
     
  2. EdFromNY
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    EdFromNY Hope to improve with age Supporter Contributor

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    Google is your friend.
     
  3. Daggers
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    Daggers Member

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    For the working class population in the UK in general in the 1980's, particularly in the North of England and Scotland. Not such a pleasant place it seems. You've got mass unemployment and rioting. You're setting your novel in a time and place of great social unrest so make sure when you're researching you look into aspects of Thatcher's Government, privatisation of industry, shutting down the coal mines. Bear in mind the miner's strikes and how so many working class families were affected by mine closures. It would be really interesting if this played into the lives of your characters in some way.

    So my advice for you to go off and do your research to learn a little more about the UK at this time.
    Margaret Thatcher and the Conservative Government
    Toxteth Riots
    Decline of industry e.g. coal mining and particularly relevant to Liverpool is ship building
    You might also want to do some background reading on the IRA

    Hope this helps give you a general idea of where to start. In general if you're characters are working class and you are setting your story in this time they are not likely to be leading very happy lives :p
     
  4. RobT
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    RobT Active Member

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    I think you're a hundred years out Daggers . . .
     
  5. Daggers
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    Daggers Member

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    Haha, ok I think it's safe to say I read the title wrong!
     
  6. prettyprettyprettygood
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    prettyprettyprettygood Active Member

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    I think your best bet would be to google or search amazon for Victorian Liverpool. That should give you starting points at least, you could also contact a library there for details on any resources they know of.
     
  7. MindTheGap
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    MindTheGap Member

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    Oops, that's a whole century ahead of time! ;)

    Okay so Victorian England in general perhaps is a better starting point, would anyone suggest?
     
  8. sharonwagoner
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    sharonwagoner Member

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    There was a TV show about living in Victorian times. Check DVDs for rent or sale.

    History is very much my thing, but Victorian times are not one of the periods that I am an expert on.

    Some general comments:

    Most people were able to have a servant, if they were above the poverty level. Most servants only received room and board and uniforms. Money came from a yearly Christmas gift and tips.

    A middle class family might own a shop and live above it.

    Better plumbing had been constructed in cities by the 1870's and 1880's.

    Borax is the main cleaning agent.

    Homes and streets were lit by gas lights.

    Floors are swept with a broom and scrubbed by hand. Rugs must be taken outside and hung over a clothes line and beat with a rug beater. Insects like carpet beetles are a big problem.

    Matches are cheap and commonplace. Little children often sell them on the street.

    Many people live on the street. Poverty is very high. Education is hard to obtain. People often have to pay a bond or a fee to get a job.

    It is the time of steam locomotives and train travel. Horses still pull carriages and wagons, making for very dirty streets.

    Telephones are brand new. Most homes do not have them. A few businesses and wealthy people have them in the 1880's.

    Wealthy men and big business have unchecked power.
     
  9. DDNeal
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    DDNeal Member

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    Find a bunch of authors from that time period and read their work. It's a great way not only to get a feel for the time but to hear how they would describe it.
     
  10. MindTheGap
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    MindTheGap Member

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    Excellent suggestions, particularly the last two posters here. I'm getting a feel for the proper direction, now to just have a moment when I'm not working to actually sit down and research something!
     

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