I stumbled across the most amazing thing this week – an animation recreating 18th century Paris. As an avid history enthusiast (fine, nerd) I would be fascinated by this anyway, but I’m particularly drawn to Paris because of my upcoming novel, The Wardrobe Mistress. Recreating a historic setting is one of the most fun parts of writing historical fiction, and it’s wonderful to see it in other mediums as well.
I’m the kind of person who gets excited about video reconstructions of the faces of historic figures, too, but this one of Paris has a broader scope because it includes sound. The animation, which is constructed based on a video game platform, walks you through different streets and around corners. As you move, the sounds change based on the settings. You hear everything from the clamour of voices, the cry of gulls, the sound of horses and wagons rolling on the cobblestones, even pigs and chickens in the market. Honestly, that’s one of the things I tend to forget when imagining historic cities. There were animals everywhere. You wouldn’t likely see a pig in downtown Paris now! The water noises at the start of the video are kind of soothing. I felt like they were lulling me deeper into the visual.
The animation is based on the Turgot-Bretez Map of 1739. It’s a few decades ahead of the time period for my novel, which starts in 1789, but it still gave me a thrill to see it, and made me feel like I was back in the exciting early research days of the novel.
And I know, I’ve once again muddled the schedule for the next 2016 Reading Challenge post. The truth is, I haven’t finished reading the book yet. I’ve been traveling for a couple of weeks, and then catching up on revisions. Stay tuned next week for the Reading Challenge item, this time which is a work translated to your native language. I’m reading Gigi by Colette. If you can get a copy, read along! There’s going to be a quiz this time!