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The Golden Hour Locations with Jacquie Bloese

  • Submitted: 10th March 2024

The Golden Hour Locations with Jacquie Bloese

In the long pandemic winter of 2020, I moved to Brighton from London with my partner. My first novel The French House was on submission with publishers and in between unpacking boxes – and trying to get the internet to work – I obsessively checked my phone for news.

Map of locations in The Golden Hour

The French House Jacquie Bloese

That news came just before Christmas – Hodder and Stoughton were offering me a two book deal!! But once I’d finished celebrating, reality hit. What would my second book be about?

Map of locations in The Golden Hour

I knew I wanted to write about women’s choices – or lack of – in Victorian England, but I hadn’t got much further than that. An inspiring location ignites the first spark for me as a writer and Brighton is a town that is not only rich in social history, but exudes atmosphere. Setting The Golden Hour in fin-de-siècle Brighton, seemed the perfect way to get under the skin of my adopted home.

Map of locations in The Golden Hour

I can safely say that in the partially locked down months that followed the world of 1890s Brighton became richer and more vivid to me than the one I was living in!

Lewes Crescent

Map of locations in The Golden Hour

I walked all over the city, putting myself in my characters’ shoes and spent hours online trawling local history websites; I read a stack of books and pored over photographs from the time, drinking in the atmosphere of Brighton as it would have been – the pierrots performing to crowds on deck chairs, the bathing machines and the donkey rides, the beach photographers, the travelling chiropodists, the line of carriages waiting for daytrippers by the West Pier.

Map of locations in The Golden Hour

All of the locations in The Golden Hour have been carefully researched for authenticity – but not all of them are in actual existence. A curious reader wouldn’t find Booth Lane, where Ellen and Reynold live, on Google maps today, for example – but I hope my depiction of their shabby studio convinces nonetheless!

Albion Hill:

Map of locations in The Golden Hour

And any readers, who like me, always turn first to the acknowledgements section in any book, will see my debt to Brighton in all its seamy glory duly acknowledged – a town that will forever have special meaning to me now, earning its place on my literary map.

 

Thank you so much Jacquie on this wonderful tour of Brighton!

 

BookTrail Boarding Pass:The Golden Hour

Twitter: @novelthesecond

Insta: /jb_writer/

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