Saturday, May 7, 2011

Gingerbread Life

A non Queen Anne place in Melbourne. It was the general store.

Tighsolas in 1908 or so. Assymmetrical footprint, irregular roof, only a touch of gingerbread moulding around the porch. Tasteful in a gawdy time.

I am writing Flo in City, which I have decided will be the first in a Tighsolas Trilogy. Flo in the City is about Flora Nicholson's life year at school in 1911/12/13.
It will tell the Tigsolas Saga from her point of view and the social theme will be garmet workers and fashion.

The next book will be Marion's Choice (tentative title) and it will follow the Nicholson Saga through Marion's Eyes and the underlying theme will be her 'push pull' of biology and ambition and the eugenics movement.

The Final Book will tell the story through Edith's eyes. I haven't quite thought it out, but it will tell the story of the NEW WOMAN, but from the point of view of a woman who lost her great love in a fire and is likely never to marry but who has great depth of feeling and a curious mind. The underlying theme: something to do with the change in women's roles. I will play on that belief that there was no job out of bounds for women, especially those who did not marry. It was Edith who jumped from career to career, after all. Maybe I'll call it Illusions and Truth.

I was editing the first paragraphs of the first chapter of Flo and I had to describe Tighsolas. Well, it is Queen Anne Revival, but a restrained and modest version of the gingerbread, neo-baroque style.

This style was popular in 1890 to 1910 and that's because, I think, of the rising middle class, with money, who could build such 'expensive homes.' All the decorative flourishes.. expensive to build and to maintain. I wll have Normans saying that these houses are money pits. He's a practical man and a builder himself.

The biggest houses in Richmond were on College Street, and Margaret in her meaner moments makes fun of the rich people like her sister and brother in law on College Street and their big houses.

It was about class within a class. Who has the biggest most elaborate house? So the 1911-1912 letters take on even more meaning as both neighbours are renovating their homes, but the Nicholsons cannot do anything. Well, they light it up electrically in 1913.

So that fits awfully well into the Tighsolas story