My writing at present is steeped in the Georgian era, as I embark on my third tale set in the early 1700s. But right now, I'm in Denmark, and being here brings back so many memories of writing my first book, Between Two Seas.
I was very touched to receive an email in late July from a reader in Scotland. Finding herself in Denmark on holiday, she made the trek north to Skagen to visit the scenes of the novel. This made me think about what she would have seen and what I found there when I was researching the late 1800s.
Being far more recent, there is so much more still in existence than from the early Georgian era. Houses, hotel and paintings are all still there. True the old wooden houses only survive in an open-air museum (Skagens by og egnsmuseum), but nonetheless, you can visit them and see just what cramped homes the poorer fishing families lived in. A kitchen floor of sand, one room for sleeping, eating and living; narrow beds where many people slept. They seem quaint and charming now, but I bet they weren't when nine or ten people were living there through the dark, cold winter.
|Poor fisherman's house|
|Summer Evening on the Beach at Skagen. Artist and His Wife (Sommeraften ved Skagens strand. Kunstneren og hans hustru) Painting by Peder Severin Krøyer. 1899. The Hirschsprung Collection, Copenhagen.|