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Question about historical accuracy in The Paradise....

9 replies

LonelyCloud · 04/10/2012 20:43

I've been watching the first episode of The Paradise, set in an 1870's department store.

One thing that puzzled me - when Denise got offered a job in the store, she was expected to move into staff quarters in the shop with the other staff girls. I know household servants usually lived within the house they worked in, but I'd kind of assumed that that wasn't really the case in big shops. Especially for a girl whose uncle happens to live just over the road from said big shop.

Would Denise really have been expected to live in the shop's staff quarters? Anyone know?

OP posts:
susiegrapevine · 05/10/2012 10:51

Ooo interesting question will wait with you to find out the answer!

LineRunner · 10/10/2012 10:20

I don't the answer to that one, LonelyCloiud, but someone was having a moan on Points of View about the use of the name Denise!

LonelyCloud · 10/10/2012 11:01

Is Denise too modern for the Victorians, then?

OP posts:
LineRunner · 10/10/2012 11:09

IIRC, the Point Of View viewer said it dates as a name from 1920. I was trying to cook dinner in my defence, in case that's not the exact date cited but it's in that aea.

funnypeculiar · 10/10/2012 11:12

I discovered last week it was based on an Emile Zola novel - I hadn't

LonelyCloud · 10/10/2012 11:18

Thanks for that, funnypeculiar

Looks like they've just kept the name Denise for the same character in the TV series. I guess Denise must have been in common use as a name in France before it became popular in England.

OP posts:
elliephant · 10/10/2012 11:21

As its based on a ( rather excellent) 19th century novel by Emile Zola, it would have been accurate. Certainly, where I lived it would not have been uncommon for shop workers to lodge with their employers. My local graveyard has a poignant headstone dedication to a young boy who came to work for the local menswear store and lived in a little room above the shop. He died in the flu epidemic of 1918. I also attended the funeral a few weeks ago of a wonderful old lady, a friend of my grandparents, who died aged 103. She had come to work for a local drapery, lodged with the owners and eventually inherited and kept it open until her recent death.

Moraysohandsome · 22/07/2015 20:19

I have been watching The Paradise on Netflix. I LOVE it. I love Moray and every character. The character's are interesting and the sets and clothes are beautiful. It is a wonderful time piece drama and I wish they would bring it back.

SydneyCarton · 22/07/2015 20:51

You might like this - hope the link works! It's the book accompanying a BBC4 series from last year on the history of female shop workers. I can't remember if living in the accommodation was compulsory but it certainly wasn't unusual. A lot of the big Oxford Street stores like John Lewis, Selfridges etc had staff living quarters and there's reports of workers getting bombed out in the Blitz etc

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