This month author Eloise Williams takes us on a tour around the Elizabethan London featured in Honesty and Lies.

We’ll be visiting the key places where Honesty and Alice spend their time and Eloise will give you an inside sneak peek into the places as well as what it takes to bring this world to life!

The Thames

I love to write about water. It snakes its way through most of my stories and is, I suppose, the common theme which would draw them together if anyone should care to search for a link in my work. I often find myself absorbed by it. Looking at it, jumping into it, admiring or fearing it. The fluidity of the stuff, everchanging, glittering and gobbling, listening, drinking everything in. There’s such a magical quality to a body of water quite beyond the lifegiving, life-taking one. Think of the stories the Thames carries. The things it has seen and swept away. The voices which have sunk into it and the curious objects it leaves on its banks as clues for mudlarks and historians. It’s the heart of London.

A couple of years ago I took a boat from Greenwich to Southwark and pondered on the perspective it gives the traveller. How grand it would have been during the reign of Queen Elizabeth I to have seen Greenwich Palace – long gone now – on its banks. How frightening to slide past The Bloody Tower. How exhilarating to fight for your place on the water, jostled by other passengers and boats. To dock perhaps at Southwark, place of entertainment and home of the Globe. If you lived at Greenwich Palace, you might make use of a tide clock to make travel swifter. If you were a traitor, you might find your head on a stick for all to see from the barges which passed beneath London Bridge.

The Thames is a very different serpent now to the one it would have been in Elizabethan times. I’ve dipped my toes into its waters without fear of catching the plague and have viewed the Tower of London with a tourist’s eye and no fear of being rowed through Traitor’s Gate. But what fun it is to see London from the water and imagine it as Honesty and Alice would have seen it. The wares transported from foreign climes. Busy with galleons, and wherries and ships crammed with people. The stink of fish guts and scum and human excrement. Oh, what stinky joy for a writer! I hope you enjoy your journey!

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