December 9th, 2010

1920s and 30s: Adoption, Epilepsy, and the Theatre

Hi guys. I've been doing some googling and wikpediaing (searches such as adoption in 1920s britain, 1930s epilepsy medication, 1930s theatre productions, etc.) about the above stuff, but alas google is just giving me more questions and not enough answers. Plus I find I never want to trust wikipedia fully.

So I've come to you lovely people!

I'm writing a novella about some girls who were adopted at a young age in 1920ish Britain. The story takes place in 1930ish. Here's my questions:

1. On adoption: What would be the process of adopting girls from an orphanage or from another family in that time period? Would there be much of a process at all? Did it cost money? What would other people think about a couple adopting children?

2. On epilepsy: If one of my characters (a girl aged between 11-15) were to have epilepsy, how would this be handled back then? What medication would she be taking? How would family, doctors, siblings, react to this? I'm not sure what kind of epilepsy I want her to have so anything you have to say on the matter would be helpful at this stage.

3. On the theatre: One of my characters wants to audition for a performance in the local theatre. What would be the process for her audition? How would she find out about the audition? What would she have to prepare for this? 

Thanks in advance! 
ostrich riding

Claridge's Hotel

Hi there, helpful people.

Can anyone tell me if Claridge's hotel at 49-Brook Street on Grosvenor Square was a fashionable place to take tea in the 1860s? All the schmancy hotels in London have been bought up and modernified, and I can't find websites with their complete histories. Claridge's has one of the better websites for history, but I'd like someone to enlighten me further.

music, serious face

ANON POST: Need Help Specifying Injury

Setting: Alternate-Universe Victorian London, 1881 -- the AU element is that superpowers can and do exist, to a limited extent, but they don't affect this scene.

The Scenario: A Doctor, walking home from his practice, happens across where a group of policemen has just apprehended a criminal -- unfortunately, one of the Constables has been injured by said criminal. The Doctor, naturally, makes his way over and offers his help, but Inconvenient Guy tells him to back off because paramedics are already on their way. The Doctor then informs Inconvenient Guy that the Constable's injury is such that the next few minutes are crucial, and that by the time the paramedics arrived it'd be too late.

I've got the whole scene worked out... except the injury in question, and I haven't the faintest idea how to even begin searching this thing. It's in that annoying sort of Limbo where it's too specific to just wing it, but not quite specific enough that I can even get coherent keywords out of it.

The injury would have to fit the following parameters:
-Can be inflicted with a knife, blunt weapon, improvised weapon, or bare hands -- I'm not picky. I'm also not adding the complication of a superpower to this particular scene, unless someone brings me a really cool suggestion for it.
-Has symptoms that can be recognized by a (very good) doctor at a glance -- the Doctor doesn't have any more than five seconds to look him over before Inconvenient Guy gets in his face. While Doc might exaggerate a bit or choose to confer the worst possible interpretation of the symptoms he sees, he wouldn't outright lie about it.
-Must be life-threatening if not treated immediately (as in, within ten to fifteen minutes), but must be survivable if treated, possibly allowing for a full recovery. The scene is sort of a proving grounds for the Doc, so having his patient die would kind of wreck the whole thing.

Thanks muchly to anyone that can help!