Monday, 8 July 2013

Useful Notes For Broken Homes I

St. Savoir's Docks 1795

St Saviour's Dock

You leave monks alone for five minutes if they’re not developing the foundations of the modern scientific method(1) or throwing peasants off their land they’re developing the mouths of innocuous tributaries of the Thames into major dockyards.

In the 17th Century it became a favoured place to execute pirates. The poor blameless river who’s misfortune it was to have a gibbet hung at its mouth became known as the Neckinger after the slang term for the noose – The Devils Neckcloth.

By the 19th Century it was a horrific rookery where thousands of the London poor were forced to live in horrifically overcrowded and dirty accommodation. It was here that Charles Dicken’s played out the drama of Bill Sykes death and in honour of that great work of literature Doctor Who threw a Dalek out the window in 1984.

More information on the dock can be found here and a description of the course of the Neckinger is here.

(1) Friar Bacon – I mean Fry-er Bacon, did he not want to be taken seriously?

Arkady and Boris Strugatsky

Арка́дий Струга́цкий & Бори́с Струга́цкий

Never in a million years would you guess they were SF writers would you?
Famous Russian SF writers who wrote, amongst many other things, Roadside Picnic (Пикник на обочине) and Monday Begins on Saturday (Понедельник начинается в субботу). The first was turned into Stalker by that cheerful bugger Andrei Tarkovsky and the latter is important to Broken Homes because of SPOILER not to mention SPOILER and SPOILER.

Actually I don’t know why I brought them up. Look into my eyes this blog never happened, you were never here… buy more than one copy of Broken Homes.


Victoria Harris said...

I pretty certain I saw that Doctor Who episode - was it the one where Tegan left?
Also, South of the River! Obviously I was buying your book anyway (having read the others) but I may have to splurge on the hardback now...

Em said...

Love the entire series, and I think Broken Homes is a really great book- I enjoyed it from cover to cover!

I'm reviewing your book on my blog, and while writing up my review I wondered if there was more information on the old man of the river/Father Thames? I liked the Roman roots, and wondered what was fact and what was fiction :)