Australian speculative fiction writer, Narrelle Harris, recently wrote a blog post on A Cheat Sheet to London, with useful information links to aide in writing stories set in London. I’ve now added a few more books and websites to my ‘go-to’ research list. Fortunately I have visited once, albeit a flying visit. Still, writing steampunk stories based in London is a challenge for me – being a non-Londoner myself.
A big thank you to Narrelle for sharing her lists used to write her most recent Sherlock Holmes story, The Adventure of the Colonial Boy. Here’s my list (concentrating on 19th century London) in return.
Where am I?
Though I write alternate history and fiddle with London’s layout, I base my stories on maps of nineteenth century London. I use a combination of webpages and books to research the architecture and walk the streets of my London.
- Booth’s Poverty Map (online)
- Booth’s Poverty Map (Bloomsbury Publishing).
I bought mine elsewhere but it’s no longer available through that seller. Also available from Museum of London.
- Google Maps (used in conjunction with Booth’s map)
- Photos of Marylebone Through Time by Brian Girling
- Images of London – Marylebone by Brian Girling
House and Home and Social London
- If Walls Could Talk by Lucy Worsley Amazon / Book Depository
- Mrs Beetons Household Management – available online or as book
- Victorian Servant Hierachy and Wage Scale (webpage)
- The Victorian Web (webpage)
- Back in My Time: A Writer’s Guide to 19th Century (blog)
- A Dictionary of Victorian Slang (1909) available online
- British Slang – Lowerclass and Underworld – pdf (online)
- How to Speak 19th Century (webpage)
- The Dictionary of Victorian London webpage
Victoria and the Royal Court
Murder & Mayhem – history and technology of Crime
- The Invention of Murder by Judith Flanders Amazon / Book Depository
- A Very British Murder by Lucy Worsley Amazon / Book Depository
- Jack the Ripper Casebook (webpage) – I love this page. It has info on Jack the Ripper, investigative and autopsy techniques of 19th century.
- Jack the Ripper 1888 (webpage)
Share your cheat sheet/research list
Now it’s your turn. What resources (books, webpages) do you recommend for the non-Londoner writing stories set in London?
Narrelle Harris is the author of Walking in the Shadows, The Opposite of Life and, more recently penned a Sherlock Holmes mystery, The Adventure of the Colonial Boy published by Improbable Press.
Photos:©2016 Karen J Carlisle. All Rights Reserved.