Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Ring my chimes, Campanile

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Loretta reports:

One marvelous thing about setting a book in Venice is that so much hasn’t changed. True, today there are far fewer gondolas than in Byron’s time, and the few are for tourists. He would not have seen a gigantic cruise ship bearing down on the fragile city or heard motors. Still, he would have found today’s Venice far more recognizable than today’s London. This made my research for Your Scandalous Ways quite a bit easier. I could read his letters and the entries in his friend Hobhouse’s diary, peruse other contemporary travel guides and accounts--and, for the most part, find every location mentioned, even when the names of places had changed or, as in the case of La Fenice opera house, when it had burned down.

But when I decided to set a climactic (ahem) scene in the Campanile, I was on my own. The building had fallen down early in the 20th century and been rebuilt; now it has elevators, and no one climbs up, apparently, and so it took some digging to find out what the interior was like in 1820. But thanks to the magic of the Internet, it wasn’t hard to find pictures of the view from the top. And most important for my love scene were the bells. In that case, Byron couldn’t help me. A bit of video is worth a thousand words, even by him. So if you want to know what Francesca and James heard that morning, turn up your speakers and listen here and here.

5 comments:

Susan Holloway Scott said...

That pile of rubble, of course, being all that remained of the Campanile once James and Francesca had had their way with it. *g*

Michelle Buonfiglio said...

How glorious. I just loved that book, and now have another sense of the drama of the scene. sigh.

Monica Burns said...

I want to know how those people came down from that tower with their hearing intact!! Those are some HUGE bells. And it does put the scene into perspective. I'll have to go read it again to add in the sounds in my head. *grin* The more I think about it, the more I'm thinking YSW is my fav of your books Loretta. Even more so than LOS

And research can be soooo much fun!!

Loretta Chase said...

Susan, I do suspect they weakened the foundations. Michelle, grazie. This is the kind of thing that keeps me excited about writing--a fresh locale, a fresh perspective--and, of course, it was Italy. Monica, that's what I wondered, too--like would F&J be able to endure it for more than a second? But the tourists didn't run away, only covered their ears--for all the good that does. And thank you for giving the book a #1 LC spot. It truly was a joy to write.

Elizabeth Kerri Mahon said...

Sigh, I adore Venice and I think more books should be set there.

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