Life and Death > Historical Mystery Writing

London in the 1930s

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Can anyone recommend some resources for finding out about London in the 1930s?  I'm reading novels set there around that time by the likes of John Dickson Carr, Philip MacDonald, etc., mainly to get a feel for how contemporaries talked about the city, but I'll also need to do some more serious research.

Any help will be appreciated!

Lance Charnes:
It depends on what you want to find out.

That said, I was recently in London and did my usual crawl through museum bookstores. There are a lot of books available at the V&A, Imperial War Museum, Museum of London, and so on that delve into the minutia of England's and London's social, political, economic and cultural life in the first half of this century. That means most of those books are probably available through Amazon UK.

Unfortunately, asking about London in the 1930s is like asking about New York City in the 1930s. How many lifetimes do you have?

If you can find a source of London newspapers from that time period, it's amazing  what you can learn from them. 

Lance Charnes:
Good call - Alan Furst uses period newspapers and magazines extensively in his research. However, you'll probably have to go to England to get at them. (Oh, the sacrifices...)

Check the on-line shops for the major museums and English Heritage. They carry many of the books you can find in their real shops, without having to be there. Also check the BBC website; like PBS, they have a lot of supplementary material for their history programming, as well as on-line shopping. Look for BBC History magazine in your local Borders & Noble. Then start your slog through Amazon UK (yes, it's got different stuff than the US version).

Too little information is not going to be a problem for you.

You know, I now recall that the Times of London has its entire archive online.  Only a small part is free, but it would certainly help.


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