Someone on Twitter was saying she has trouble keeping track of all the locations that get tossed around in Regency Romances. This is entirely understandable as we fanatics tend to treat Mayfair and the City of London (c. 1800-1830) as though they were our hometown. There are some GREAT map resources out there. Even if you don’t want to invest in a hardback copy of the Regency London A-Z, you can go to Motco and look at John Fairburn’s wonderfully detailed 1802 map (snippet provided) or the even more detailed Horword map (1799) which shows individual houses. I once printed out all of Mayfair and had it pinned up like wallpaper so I could plot my books.
I started out making a small map with a few places on it based on the Fairburn map, but then it occurred to me I could use Google Maps to make a “perioid” map that was zoomable and scalable and that I could even put links into! And once I got started, it became a bit of a monster project. I now has well over 200 locations and I will continue to add new locations and details as I have time and find new resources.
CLICK HERE FOR LINK TO GEORGIAN/REGENCY MAP
Currently I’ve input info from a few Georgian blogs, The Georgian Index, The Survey of London, and several books about historic homes. I plan to add info from The Epicure’s Almanack (an 1815 book about hotels, restaurants, chophouses, and pubs) and a couple of period guide books that I have either print or Google Book copies of.
If anyone has further suggestions for specific locations or sources, please let me know!
There’s also this amazing overlay of John Rocque’s 1746 map of London you can check out. Unfortunately, they don’t have a KML export I can find so I can overly it onto my Google Map, but I’ve emailed to see if they will provide one or alternatively add my map as an option to theirs. *fingers crossed*
Thank you for sharing your amazing Google map!
Partly because I do know London, and partly because I’ve read so many Regencies, I don’t have a problem keeping track of the characters as I follow them around London. But that doesn’t stop me from enjoying period maps.
Sometimes it’s just nice to have a quick reference and not have to look things up. I need my character to stop by a coffee house. Where can he do that between his house and Almack’s?
Oh oh oh! I have that Roque map, lifesized and foldable. I took a class at Oxford on The Architecture of London and the instructor spent a lot of time talking about that map. So then at an antique fair I saw a mapseller, who makes these really great replicas of maps, the foldable maps people used to use to navigate before they all had sat navs 🙂 I bought it straight away, and whenever people come over I pull it out to impress them because it’s my prized possession. It’s too large to frame, so I have to admire it, then fold it away, and wait for another willing map geek to come along.
I would love that!
Wow! Thanks for sharing that Google map.
I tend to enjoy setting my stories in the countryside, where I get to invent my own villages. Fun! But when writing about London, this is just the thing.
I still invent plenty of stuff, but it’s nice to have a go-to resource when I’m feeling brain-dead and just want something handed to me. Also good for a quick look at how long it might take to get from A->B.
I love your google map. I love seeing places mapped out to give me a visual of the setting of a book. Silhouette Desires used to have a map at the beginning of their books in the 80s and 90s and I wish publishers would bring it back.
Have you seen the different projects on History Pin? I think that there are possibilities over there too. Here is one on emotions in novels mapped around Victorian London http://blog.historypin.org/2015/04/14/mapping-emotions-in-victorian-london/
Isobel – I have the huge version of Horwood’s map, as well. In fact, I used to run copies off at a blueprint place and sell them a few decades ago. At one time, I was determined to fill in as many buildings as I could. I made a fair dent in it, putting addresses, both private and businesses, that I found during the course of my research onto a master list broken down alphabetically by street. Thank God I came to my senses before I’d driven myself fully around the bend. If you’re imterested, email me privately and I’d be glad to send you the file to use in your impressive effort.
Isobel, great post for all of us map geeks! I love your project and your map, although as Kristine noted, it may both be endless and sacrifice your sanity eventually! Thank you for sharing it! The A-Z is my favorite resource when I am writing a story set in London. It is Horwood’s map in 40 digestible pieces. Like you, I have been known to photocopy sections, tape them together and put them up on my wall so I can walk with my characters. I love that it shows individual buildings and houses, even the little teeny back gardens, although I am sure those are simply artistic expressions to show that there were back gardens, not actual maps of those! Because so much of the streetscape changed during and after the Regency, I also love that Horwood included the outline of the approved new roads (and Vauxhall Bridge) that were going to be built, but were not yet actually in place then. While his extensive street index includes public buildings like churches, schools, almshouses, etc, the only private businesses listed are inns (probably the coaching inns) and of course, no private residences are listed by names. I wish you could overlay your map on his!!
Ooo! I shld go through the locations on that map and add them … now I wish I’d brought my computer to NY/RWA.