Chapter 1: The Setting

Piccadilly Circus, London 1912

“I still don’t see why people would make such a fuss over a boat. No matter how grand it is”. Lily sniffed in disapproval.

“Miss Anderson, the Titanic is not just a ship” Mr. Brown enunciated the ‘p’ on the end with a slight ‘pip’ sound. “It is a sign of the progressive movement that was started with the industrial revolution. Our world is changing. It is expanding with new inventions, and ideas. A ship is being built that were it to be stood on its side, would be taller than any skyscraper in the world. If man can build such a thing, what is there to hinder us? Who knows what could be next? The world as we know it now will not stay the same for long”. – Excerpt from “Take Me to Titanic” (Working title due to change).

Come along dear reader! Hurry up, the train is leaving! We have to board before it leaves us ahead. Yes, ahead. For we are currently in 2015. We want to get back to 1912! Ah, here it is. Take your ticket, board, and join me in exploring this exciting time in our history. Comfortable? Good. Here we go…

I used to think of the early 1900’s as an idyllic time framed by tradition and chivalry. I did not think that women had many rights, and that their only expectation was to find a good marriage. However, the more I have researched, the more I have realized how wrong I was in that assumption. The years leading to Titanic, on up until the Great Depression were fast paced, and everything was changing. The women suffragette were gaining momentum in gaining votes for women! There were protests (peaceful, and not so peaceful), law changes, and more professions were opening to women. 1912 held the fifth Olympics, and 48 women competed!

There were also many inventions coming about at that time. Henry Ford had invented the Model T Ford, and it was just beginning to replace the horse and carriage. The Wright Brothers had their successful flight at Kitty Hawk NC, and airplanes were continuing to be improved on as the years passed. In fact, planes were a major part of World War 1 in 1914. That is where we get the story of the famous Red Baron. Trains were getting faster, and there was a competition between the different ship companies to find the quickest route to New York.

Times were changing, new things were being invented. As is the norm with both of these things, there were people excited for the change and those opposed to it. This is the world that Walter, and Julia (the main characters of my novel) are surrounded with. Being young, they are caught up in the enthusiasm. The Titanic becomes, not just a ship, but an important part of their life. Not just as a means of transport, but of the idea that they could do anything! This is an important theme to me to portray in my novel. Not to focus solely on the tragedy, but to capture the energy and momentum of that time.

This is only a glimpse of the world I have been living in the past few months. I hope you have enjoyed your first trip to the early 1900’s. We’ll dive more into their entertainment and courting rituals in the coming posts. For now, I bid you all a very fond good night.

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4 responses to “Chapter 1: The Setting

  • valeriecotnoir

    Very good beginning! Has me pumped about this time period all over again (I’ve written in it before and soon to do again), and looking forward to reading more!
    Just some personal questions: where do look for research/how do you find what you’re looking for? And where or what has given you the best research so far? Thanks!!

    Like

  • hischild90

    Google has been my best friend, but I think the best thing i have learned is to be very very specific in what you are looking for. For example: Instead of looking up lists of all the inventions for the 1900’s, try looking up either individual inventors, or just see if something we have today was invented around that time. Pinterest is great if you need photos for costumes, or street views. Youtube has some great documentaries, you just have to sort through some stuff. I’ve also been trying to read books written during that time period. I hope that helps!

    Liked by 1 person

  • valeriecotnoir

    That does help, thanks! I definitely use Google a lot and I’m glad I’m not the only one! 🙂 I’ll keep Pinterest and YouTube in mind as well…library books were always my second choice after Google, but, especially for my Canadian novels, unfortunately, I find even these to be limited. I really just need to set aside more time for research, even though I’d 10x much rather be spending that time writing. 🙂

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  • hischild90

    I hear you! Research is daunting and tedious work. I feel like making everything up would be so much easier sometimes, haha.

    Liked by 1 person

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