1. ExpiredAspiration

    ExpiredAspiration Member

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2016
    Messages:
    20
    Likes Received:
    16

    Industrial Revolution Research

    Discussion in 'Setting Development' started by ExpiredAspiration, Apr 9, 2017.

    I've been considering writing a horror/mystery novel set in the industrial revolution. Although I learned about it briefly as did many in the mandatory school curriculum I feel as though such minimal knowledge isn't enough. The information I'm searching for would concern the law system, common lifestyle and just the conventional customs in any industrialized city of this time period. If anyone happens to know of a credible and informative source on the intricacies of the industrial revolution which I could use as a reference I'd be happy to know!
     
    Oscar Leigh likes this.
  2. Silent Lion

    Silent Lion Active Member

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2017
    Messages:
    122
    Likes Received:
    41
    Location:
    UK
    I'd recommend going university on it and blitzing the library. Hopefully others may have some good links to get you started, here's one:

    http://www.victorian-era.org/

    EDIT: One of many nasty aspects of Victorian living was debt law.

    http://www.victorian-era.org/debt-prisons-of-victorian-era-england.html

    Also of course, be aware that living conditions change across the period. I can't remember the exact years, but disease in London particularly got worse and worse until there was a massive cholera outbreak when they invented the flushing loo and everything went into the Thames, from whence came drinking water (and the water table which the wells accessed). Then they developed the modern sewer system and it went away. In industrial towns, living conditions gradually enlarge over the period, whilst conditions in London tended to remain horribly cramped.

    It might be worth reading some literature from the period, like some of the Sherlock Holmes stories that give a feel of the period's manner. Dickens I think is less reliable because he's making a conscious critique of his society (and his stories take a lot longer to read).
     
  3. Infel

    Infel Contributor Contributor

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2016
    Messages:
    542
    Likes Received:
    647
    I love looking into stuff like this!

    My advice would be to check out Youtube. See if there are any documentaries about life in the industrial revolution. Then you can just kick back and listen, eat dinner, while you learn. My favorites are the British ones because they're usually dry and very factual. BBC might have some!

    Good luck out there!
     
  4. ExpiredAspiration

    ExpiredAspiration Member

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2016
    Messages:
    20
    Likes Received:
    16
    I appreciate the replies! I'll certainly investigate documentaries and the like to being building the foundation for my novel and I'll definitely consider studying the works of literature written during the industrial revolution as well, primary sources are the most credible sources after all!

    Also, thank you Silent Lion for the inadvertent inspiration concerning the victorian sewer system, I've already thought up numerous morbid scenes within them I can depict!
     
  5. Shadowfax

    Shadowfax Contributor Contributor

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2014
    Messages:
    3,428
    Likes Received:
    1,989
    Excellent BBC series on how railways changed Britain in Victorian times...http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b07xn9fv
     
  6. Lew

    Lew Contributor Contributor

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2015
    Messages:
    1,631
    Likes Received:
    1,477
    I think the biggest change of the Industrial Revolution was the abrupt break with the past. For us, jet travel, the internet, even space travel, are evolutions of something we were already doing, just doing it faster, better, further, with more complexity.

    But in the Victorian era, the telegraph for communication, steam power and the ability to build locomotives, steam ships and mass production factories, really had no precedent in all of human history. We did not have the cultural mores to cope with the change, hence the massive societal dislocation of the age.
     
  7. Shadowfax

    Shadowfax Contributor Contributor

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2014
    Messages:
    3,428
    Likes Received:
    1,989
    1/ The French were using telegraphs to transmit signals during the Napoleonic wars...just not radio-telegraphy.
    2/ Steam engines were initially used to drain mines, especially Cornish tin mines; they were just an evolution of something we were already doing.

    3/ NOW you're talking! It was the factory system that created the massive influx to the cities to provide the labour; in turn, it created a demand for housing, that drove other areas of industry - brick manufacture, slate mining, coal mining (to heat those houses). And, with cities of unprecedented size, crammed with people who had been drawn from the more noblesse oblige regions, where there was a certain ethic of share and share alike, even when (perhaps especially when) there wasn't a lot to share, it was hardly surprising that crime became prevalent when it became hard to feed yourself; and the law authorities weren't geared to the increased numbers requiring policing.

    It should also be noted that 50 European nations underwent revolution during 1848-early 1849, largely as a result of the changes that industrialization was bringing about; curiously, Britain escaped, largely as a result of the more moderate process initiated by the Chartists.
     
  8. Oscar Leigh

    Oscar Leigh Contributor Contributor

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2016
    Messages:
    8,002
    Likes Received:
    4,627
    Location:
    Inner West Sydney, Australia
    On the note of law you asked about and police being mentioned just above ^. You have to remember police didn't exist until Sir Robert Peel, then Home Secretary of the UK, introduced a law to make them. Before it was a weaker and more disorganised system of constables and watchmen in England. They didn't introduce detectives until later because forensics and other studies and tools of detectives were brand new. So a major element in the Victorian world was the weakness of the police. They were new. The field was poorly understood. Some of their recruits were just whoever they could dredge up. So they weren't always competent though they gave it the old blessed try. Jack the Ripper for example would probably have been caught if had happened a few decades later, or especially now with the power of modern forensics.
    As mentioned the Industrial Revolution was one of the biggest times of change in human history. And in particular in the category of invention and discovery. So one cultural aspect was Victorian Europe's obsession with wonders. With newness. It was the birth of many literary trends and multiple genres because people's imagination was sparked by all the things that were happening and the increasing ease of travel to colonies. Imagine the amazingness of a rhino if you've never seen one before, maybe not even a drawing. The banana and the pineapple were once so expensive they were often trophies in display cases. Eating them would mean you probably were an aristocrat with a private supply. Industry of banana production for example began in 1870 when a company implemented the developing steam transport to bring large supplies from plantations in tropics; allowing it to be a viable product on the market. Each new thing would slowly become more common and eventually less exciting.
    That's enough for now I think.:D You got my history nerd going.
     
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2017

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice