Today's Research: I'm so glad I got a hold of Necropolis: London and Its Dead by Catharine Arnold. For anyone who wants to delve into the macabre elements of London's history, this was absolutely fascinating, detailed and super well-written. I've read a lot of Catherine Arnold books in researching for our OverLondon universe, and they've all been incredibly informative and helpful. However, this one really informed how we approached death, illness and mortality in our alternate London.
Since we're writing comic fantasy meets alt-history, we wanted to have a little bit of delicious gothic darkness to give our humour an edge, but didn't want things too bleak. Arnold's writing style and the gentle humour she uses while describe truly mind-bogglingly horrendous things really gave us some perspective on how to do it.
Before reading "Necropolis" I never would have thought that people lived in houses next to cemeteries with corpses piled up to their kitchen windows, (Gooooooo 19th Century London!) or that a huge part of the smell of the city back then would have been graveyards. It's given me an entirely different perspective on all those period dramas I love!