the year 1895?

Rosi

Historum Emeritas
Jul 2008
6,242
#21
Out of curiosity, why did you choose this year?

&yes, all the best in your endeavours. i hope for the sake of all those who like to read a good book, you do produce a richly woven tapestry.
 

Nick

Historum Emeritas
Jul 2006
6,111
UK
#23
What regiment was your soldier in? Coldstream Guards? South Wales Borderers? Green Howards? Royal Artillery?
 
#24
I don't know about regiment yet. Been looking at some of them and how their uniforms differ from each other and that. I'm going to have a look at which regiments did what and where they were posted in the previous 20 years. I don't want him to end a 'by jingo' stereotype though. I might watch Zulu again and see if that throws up anything.
 
Oct 2008
11
America
#26
Hello helpful history hounds,

I'm writing a book set in London, 1895. The characters of the book include; a small business owner, a toy maker, a soldier. I am starting to do some research but before I do, just wondering if anyone could give me any of the following:

- any events that occured during that year, or the previous years, that would have been significant to people in general

- anything that would be significant to these three people specifically. How would toys be made a this point? Was it still a craft rather than an industry? Did children get toys for Christmas?

- fashion. what would these three people wear? Did the army still wear the red coats at this point? Wasn't the first Boer war around this time?

- any further reading to help me get more details of the above points.

Any help would be greatly appreciated.
Get thee to the library and pick up:

"The Edwardians" by JB Priestley
Edwardian Life and Leisure by Ronald Pearsall
1900s Lady by Kate Caffrey
The Edwardian Woman by Duncan Crow
The Edwardians by Charles Petrie

Though the Edwardian era technically covered the reign of Edward VII, socially, politically, culturally, and so on, the "Edwardian" spirit encompassed 1880-1914. To answer all of your questions...

1) - any events that occured during that year, or the previous years, that would have been significant to people in general

Someone before me touched on the Dreyfus Affair in France. Very scandalous, because of the antisemitism. Closer to home would be the [ame="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jameson_Raid"]Jameson Raid[/ame] (Dec 29, 1895), which triggered the Boer War. Earlier that year, Oscar Wilde lost his libel suit, and the gossip about his sexuality sort of divided people into pro-Wilde and anti-Wilde in certain Bohemian factions. The Du Maurier play Trilby was VERY popular (if your character is a toy maker, Trilby-based toys would be the IT thing for the Christmas season). Politically, Gladstone's fourth and final gov't had been defeated the previous year, and he retired, leaving continued bad blood over the "Irish Question." Overseas, the Ottoman's massacred Armenians; Russia and England stared one another down over Central Asia and in Persia; Britain and France mistrusted one another; and Germany began its agitation against British dominance under Kaiser Wilhelm II. Britain was still pretty isolated from European alliances, and this left them both proud and vulnerable.


2) - anything that would be significant to these three people specifically. How would toys be made a this point? Was it still a craft rather than an industry? Did children get toys for Christmas?

Since the Industrial Revolution, practically everything was an industry. But I'm not 100% positive on this. There were toy emporiums in London, however I'm unsure whether they were individual toy shops or were rather like FAO Schwartz (which was founded in 1862--but you know Americans, we always rushed for new technology). And did children get toys for Christmas!? When didn't they? Though, it was a rare family which centered itself around its children and indulged them. I recall reading in memoirs that a particular family allowed its children to choose one toy out of all their Christmas gifts and then were to give the rest to charity.

3) - fashion. what would these three people wear? Did the army still wear the red coats at this point? Wasn't the first Boer war around this time?

Red coats were being phased out in the outposts of the British empire since they were so darn conspicuous. So they wore khaki. But you'd have to look at the different regiments. As for fashion, I point you to three posts from my blog:

Undergarments
Men's Clothing
Women's Clothing