1. arron89
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    arron89 Banned

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    London!

    Discussion in 'Research' started by arron89, May 6, 2009.

    So I'm hoping to set my story/novel in London, circa 1925ish. Mrs. Dalloway London, you know...trouble is, I only have a pretty nondescript map and a few other pieces of writing that share this setting, so anything you can share to help would be really great. The story centres around a young writer from a wealthy family living in London, the main bits of the plot aren't problematic as they're not too affected by setting, so I need help along the following kinds of lines:
    - Where would he go to socialise/party? Where would other upper-class people host parties? And is there/was there a particular district where this would happen?
    - I was thinking of having him live on the bank of the river thames with a view of big ben and the houses of parliament. Could anyone give me a description of the kind of property around this area (in that time period if possible)?
    - a major scene I want to have happen in a wooded park, but i dont think there are any of these in metropolitan london? so i need either a descripton of the popular parks in london (im thinking hyde park) or an alternative location I could feasably use...
    - and finally, just other general things, like where would he shop, if youknow, where and what would he drink, how much would it cost?

    finally, this isn't so important, but if someone could give me a brief run-down of english military involvement in France during/post-WWI.

    I know its a lot to ask and im doing as much research as I can manage on my own, but it would be really helpful if anyone could offer anything at all.

    Thanks a milli!
     
  2. Gallowglass
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    Gallowglass Contributing Member Contributor

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    Well, for one, you won't get anywhere, as far as sense or accuracy is concerned, if you use the word 'England' or 'English' when discussing political affairs. The English had became used to the fact that they were a part of Britain long before this time, and the 'subjugated' part, at that (although in the 1920s, no-one in England would admit that).

    And there'd have been upper-class bars for the rich, and simple pubs for the poor. Not too different from now, really. The theatre was a major attraction, though, probably more popular than the cinema is today. The West End has been famous for theatres since the early 1800s.
     
  3. fantasy girl
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    fantasy girl Contributing Member

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    if you want a wooded park, you could always move the setting to leeds as they could live in harrogate (quite posh)
     
  4. lilix morgan
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    lilix morgan Contributing Member

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    I would look up a lot of these things online, historical sites that mention places for parties/gatherings, prices, attire, etc. You'll find everything there.

    I might know a thing or two, but I'll have to post it up later. Bell's about to ring for my next class.
     
  5. daydreamer
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    daydreamer Contributing Member

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    How set are you on having him live by the Thames?

    If you wanted to include a wooded area, I would suggest locating him in Hampstead then you have Hampstead Heath close by.

    Check out the details about Hampstead in Wikki

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hampstead

    As you see plenty of authors have lived there.


    and Hampstead Heath


    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hampstead_Heath

    of course you would need to do more research than this to really make it feel authentic, probably hard if you're not familiar with London. A trip via google earth might be useful..
     
  6. arron89
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    arron89 Banned

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    There's a borough called Camden?! I'm so there!
     
  7. daydreamer
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    daydreamer Contributing Member

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    LOL, I lived in the London Borough of Camden once upon a time. Not Hampstead though , couldn't afford it
     
  8. arron89
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    arron89 Banned

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    I think I'm just gonna have to move my story to NZ, which is lame 'cuz I can't imagine setting it here....guess I just need to think about it some more....
     
  9. arron89
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    arron89 Banned

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    Haha if only...I did the tourist ting a few years ago, but I was only 13 and yeah, that doesn't count as actually "seeing" the city....lame old Auckland it is lol....

    But actually Auckland is among the best cities in the world, and I love it, just don't think its right for this story...
     
  10. daydreamer
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    daydreamer Contributing Member

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    Auckland is on my list of places to visit
     
  11. arron89
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    arron89 Banned

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    Well, if you need a sexy tour ;)


    Or just a normal tour, I can give those too.


    Sexual.
     
  12. Gallowglass
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    You could try Edinburgh. Some areas of it look a lot like London. It's still a city in Britain. It's got a good and bad side. It has docks. It has a river. Just throwing suggestions around ;)
     
  13. the_woodshed11
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    I'd reccommend reading the travelog/history of London Monopoly "Do Not Pass Go", by the comic writer Tim Moore. It is a fantastic read in its own right and, in terms of your research, the writer not only details the history of the British version of the game, on sale in 1936, but he also visits every street on site.

    He gives a genuinely funny, but very well researched history of all these places: Fleet Street, Mayfair, the Old Kent Road, etc. He particularly concentrates on their social histories from the 19th century onwards and what they looked like then and today.

    Maybe it helps to know London (or London Monopoly) a bit first, but i couldn't reccommend this enough for a very easy, funny and illuminating read!
     
  14. Jubilee83
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    Although its not fully wooded there are plenty of small wooded areas in Greenwich Park, which is also in view of the Thames on one of the most picturesque parts (just behind the old Royal Naval hospital, designed by Christopher Wren).
     
  15. madhoca
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    So I'm hoping to set my story/novel in London, circa 1925ish. Mrs. Dalloway London, you know...trouble is, I only have a pretty nondescript map and a few other pieces of writing that share this setting, so anything you can share to help would be really great. The story centres around a young writer from a wealthy family living in London, the main bits of the plot aren't problematic as they're not too affected by setting,

    • Yes, but how on Earth are you going to write about a wealthy Englishman when you a) are not English b) have no idea of the social mores and habits of this type of person.

    so I need help along the following kinds of lines:
    - Where would he go to socialise/party? Where would other upper-class people host parties?

    • In each other’s houses and country estates, or they’d make up theatre parties, or have parties at sailing clubs or (just the men) their London clubs

    And is there/was there a particular district where this would happen?

    • It depends on how rich he was. ‘Upper-class’ people were not all rich after the First World War. But usually the SW1 area of London, S. Knightsbridge, Mayfair, maybe Chelsea if he was a bit arty.

    - I was thinking of having him live on the bank of the river thames with a view of big ben and the houses of parliament.

    • Not if unless it was a batchelor flat. But Chelsea or Richmond maybe… Why would he want a view of the Houses of Parliament?

    Could anyone give me a description of the kind of property around this area (in that time period if possible)?
    - a major scene I want to have happen in a wooded park, but i dont think there are any of these in metropolitan london? so i need either a descripton of the popular parks in london (im thinking hyde park) or an alternative location I could feasably use...

    • Perhaps Hampstead Heath… Nice old houses, but not very fashionable place to live in the 1920s. Hyde Park is pretty tame, and not very wooded.

    - and finally, just other general things, like where would he shop, if youknow, where and what would he drink, how much would it cost?

    • He wouldn’t do much shopping, the tradesmen would deliver. He’d visit his tailor and shoemaker, and choose his own wine, cigars and sporting equipment.
     

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