Friday, July 8, 2011

Gaslight

I'm currently playing Cthulhu Gaslight and I've been doing a lot of research. Here's a list of websites and movies I found useful, maybe they'll come in handy for someone else as well.

Victorian Web
It's a massive site with information about just any topic you can think of, ranging from politics to science to social topics like gender and family life. I found that navigating the site takes a bit getting used to but it's so worth it.

Mostly Victorian
Original texts from Victorian books and journals. If you want to know what the Victorians thought about fashion, royalty, etiquette, other countries and a host of other topics, then this site is what you are looking for.

Historical Eye
London streetlife then and now

1876 Victorian England
You're invited into the home of a typical Victorian middle class family in 1876. How did they decorate the rooms, what did they eat, how did the servants live, what did the do for fun...

British Library Resources
The British Library has put together a huge compilation of resources, with many period photos and illustrations.

Dictionary of Victorian London
Here you can find texts about pretty much anything from A as Advertising to W as Words and Expressions (including D as Death and S as Sex).

London Labour and the London Poor
A series of articles written by Henry Mayhew in the 1840s, giving the reader a very detailed view of the people who lived and worked in London, for example Jack Black, Her Majesty's Ratcatcher. It's not an easy read, but once you get used to the language, it's fascinating and an invaluable source for information on the underclass (a concept actually created by this book, among others).

London - A Pilgrimage
Another book that takes a very close look at daily life in Victorian London. You can see the brilliant illustrations by Gustave Doré originally featured in the book here

1800s Fashion
Not strictly Victorian, but the best resource for fashion I know. Whether you are planning to make your own clothes or just want a close look at what people wore, this site is a great place to look for information. The instructions for sewing are very understandable even for a beginner (just read carefully and don't hurry).

Casebook: Jack the Ripper focuses on Whitechapel, but has a lot of useful info on the East End and London in general, including contemporary maps and articles.

There are a ton of Victorian Age movies out there, in varying degrees of accuracy. Here are some of my favourites, not necessarily because they are 100% correct but more for the mood and sense of style.
The Great Train Robbery with Sean Connery and Donald Sutherland
Wilde with Stephen Fry
From Hell with Johnny Depp - gorgeous sets and keep an eye out for the pennyfarthing when Abberline takes Mary Kelly to the museum.
Bram Stoker's Dracula - the street scene when Mina meets Dracula for the first time is great and the absinthe drinking scene shows how it was done (as opposed to the scene in From Hell)
The Elephant Man with John Hurt
Mrs Brown with Judi Dench
Age of Innocence with Daniel Day-Lewis for a look at 19th century New York
Doctor Who: The Unquiet Dead
Without a Clue with Michael Caine and Ben Kingsley - the most hilarious Sherlock Holmes movie ever, with really lovely sets and costumes.

Yes. I know. I've forgotten your favourite Victorian movie ever. Leave a comment and tell me about it! :)

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