Hong Kong Then and Now – All about historical fiction

With a twin timeline story sketched out, it was essential to know what Hong Kong seemed like in 1912/1913, the time interval for the historic timeline of The Admiral’s Spouse. I used to be lucky to locate Gwulo – a website devoted to outdated photographs of Hong Kong – and likewise to find a number of books, further photographs, and outdated maps so as to add to my appreciation.

Three years of residing in Hong Kong allowed me to understand the present-day feeling of the town – the thrill, the visitors, the distinctive mix of Chinese language and Western influences, the unbelievable density of residences and workplace towers, and we had amassed maps in addition to guidebooks whereas residing there. I even have tons of of photographs that remind me of moist markets, flower outlets, avenue scenes, harbour scenes, and the craggy hills that encompass the town.

However what did Hong Kong – and the town that in 1912 was referred to as Victoria – truly appear to be? How may I construct that world for my readers? What streets existed then? The place did the water finish and the shore start? Have been there homes on the Peak? Have been the streetcars in operation? So many questions. Let me share some photographs.

Prime left exhibits a streetcar in 1904 Hong Kong. I additionally discovered a tram schedule for that point interval. Rickshaws had been a big mode of transportation. 4- to six-story buildings dominated the waterfront. And should you look carefully, you may see just a few buildings on the highest of the hills. Within the backside proper, a girl sits with a baby within the Botanical Backyard.

These photographs present Des Voeux Highway, males working, Chinese language gown kinds (possible rich Chinese language), Comfortable Valley Race Monitor (discover that everybody there’s Caucasian). Des Voeux Highway in present-day Hong Kong is just not on the water’s edge.

Maps are significantly fascinating. Right here’s certainly one of 1905 and one other exhibiting present-day streets.

Victoria Metropolis 1905
Current day Hong Kong

What you might be able to discover is the intensive quantity of reclamation that has occurred on the waterfront. Des Voeux Highway, for instance, is now a number of streets away from the water. And naturally, the huge highways that allow vehicles to cross Hong Kong at excessive pace. The Peak Tram, inbuilt 1888, is in each maps and is basically the identical now as then.

1912 was maybe an easier time. However even then, conflict was brewing in Europe and the British Navy, even in outposts like Hong Kong, was starting to organize.

The Admiral’s Spouse by M.Ok. Tod ~~ out there quickly

When Patricia Findlay investigates her Chinese language heritage, the scandal she uncovers threatens to destroy her household.

In 2016, Patricia Findlay leaves a high-powered profession to maneuver to Hong Kong, the place she hopes to rekindle the bonds of household and embrace the town of her ancestors. As an alternative, she is overwhelmed by emotions of displacement and melancholy. To make issues worse, her father, CEO of the household financial institution, insists that Patricia’s obligation is to supply an inheritor, though she has suffered three miscarriages.

In 1912, when Isabel Taylor strikes to Hong Kong along with her husband, Henry, and their younger daughter, she struggles to seek out her place in such a special world and to fulfill the calls for of being the admiral’s spouse. At a reception hosted by the governor of Hong Kong, she meets Li Tao-Kai, an influential member of the Chinese language neighborhood and a person she met a decade earlier when he was a scholar at Cambridge.

Because the story unfolds, each Patricia and Isabel contemplate what’s most essential to them and the way a lot they’re ready to danger for love and household.


M.Ok. Tod writes historic fiction. Her newest novel, PARIS IN RUINS, is accessible on Amazon US, Amazon Canada, Kobo, and Barnes&Noble. An earlier novel, TIME AND REGRET was revealed by Lake Union. Mary’s different novels, LIES TOLD IN SILENCE and UNRAVELLED can be found from AmazonNookKoboGoogle Play and iTunes. She could be contacted on FbTwitter and Goodreads or on her web site www.mktod.com.

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