tea_and_roses (tea_and_roses) wrote in little_details,

19th Century Paris Pertaining To Phantom of the Opera

I'm trying to write a piece of fan fiction, (or Phan-fic you might call it,) but I'm experiencing some trouble in the historical details.
The story is based on Phantom of the Opera, sort of a mix of the 2004 film version and Gaston Leroux's novel. This would be 1870 Paris, France to put everything in context for those of you not familiar with the story. I have quite a few questions about France in this time period, and I hope someone can help.

1. Was there a type of middle-class existing in 19th century Paris? By middle class I mean someone who might have to work hard for a living, but wasn't necessarily living in the slums or reduced to begging. If so, what was life generally like for them?

2. Was it only the upper class that attended the nice operas, and was it possible for someone from the lower/middle class to save up enough money to attend a few?

3. How close would a Vicomte live to the lower class? I was under the impression that in Paris, the houses were often sandwiched close together and a few blocks might be all that lay between a Vicomte's home and a poor girl's. But I wanted to be sure that this was not just a silly assumption.

4. If a Vicomte was giving a girl (rather below his station) piano lessons, what kind of social repercussions could he expect from that? Would this be detrimental to his reputation somehow? Or is that completely and utterly historically impossible in the first place?

5. It's been a while since I've read the book, but if I remember correctly, Count Philippe was quite often with his brother, the Vicomte Raoul de Chagny and two married sisters are mentioned as well. Would they all have lived together, (even the married sisters with their husbands,) or seperately? Or would this just depend on the family's preferences?

6. What were some lower class jobs in 19th century France that required selling something in the street or standing on a corner? I'm thinking right now of the equivilent of the apple sellers or flower girls in Little Orphan Annie, but of course, this is Paris.

I've googled a mix of topics including; 19th century, French social classes, France, Paris, 1800s, 1870, Paris, Parisian architecture, homes, middle-class, aristocracy... etc... but everything seems to be on the Franco-Prussian war or only samples of art that don't answer my rather specific questions. I'd be very grateful if anyone could give me a hand with this. I know there are a lot of questions, but I never tire of history! Thanks in advance!

Perhaps I should have added with number 1, that I am looking particularly for something a girl of around 18-20 with a disabled father could do for employment. A job she could do at home maybe, like mending clothing?
Tags: france: history
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