I have spent much of this evening on research for the WIP . It is set in 1713 in London, and more Crime thriller than the biographical fiction of Staymaker .
So, I have spent much of the evening pouring over two fabulous references – both available online. The first is John Stripe’s survey of London which provides detail of the various wards and places in London in the early 18th Century. The second is John Roques‘ Map dated 1746 . Both are contemporary sources.
The action, which is based in part on real historical characters, has to take place in real locations, and each location has to be easily travelled between on foot – as this was the style most of London’s poor travelled. So, this distance defines where the action takes place. This also defines other information – for example different wharves took different goods and so give the back story of a couple of Characters is based on a wharf’s distance from Cripplegate.
No cars, no tube and no phones means that the action has to take place over a smaller distance – or a longer time frame. I need to bring the London of 1713 alive, just as I did with the Hawkhurst of 1748. To do that, I need to get the locations bang on as much as I need the background hubbub of the city to be painted in. The devil is indeed in the detail.