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Novels set in Victoria

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#21 Ms. B. Havin

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Posted 24 June 2009 - 02:08 PM

Joan Austen-Leigh started the North American Jane Austen society (it has a proper name & website, but I can't bother to search for it just now). She was the great-great (or something) niece of Jane Austen (Pride & Prejudice, Emma ,etc). The North American chapter helped revitalize an interest in Austen and was pretty influential, I believe.

Joan Austen-Leigh lived for many years at 1575 Rockland Ave., the room above the garage was her writing room. The house was for sale in 2002 or so - that would have been after Austen-Leigh died and her estate was settled by her children/ heirs.

She also wrote some plays - I think Langham Court Theatre produced at least one.

I think she must have been quite a character - Victoria eccentric and all that.
When you buy a game, you buy the rules. Play happens in the space between the rules.

#22 Jill

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Posted 24 June 2009 - 07:55 PM

Joan Austen-Leigh (or Mrs. Mason Hurley, as I knew her) was close friends with the mother of a school friend of mine. I remember her as very thin with short bobbed hair and a tennis racket in her hand, but I may have all the details totally wrong, except her married name and her Rockland Avenue house.

#23 Jill

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Posted 17 August 2009 - 11:57 AM

"The Reckoning of Boston Jim" by Claire Mulligan and published by Victoria's own Brindle & Glass is partially set in colonial Victoria, including a scene in which a new arrival blows his chances for social and economic success by ranting about miscegenation in front of James Douglas. I'm only on Chapter 8 so can't rate this novel yet, but a reference to the Bay Street Bridge struck me as anachronistic. I've also encountered a reference to the James Street Bridge, which I've never heard of. Wonder if the author meant the James Bay Bridge.

#24 victorian fan

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Posted 17 August 2009 - 12:19 PM

#25 D.L.

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Posted 17 August 2009 - 05:52 PM

when I was in high school my class went on an exchange trip to the NWT, King William Island to be exact. along with our class came a Famous Canadian Author to write a book paralleling our adventures. we sat beside eachother on the airplane (because I was the class looser that year and no one else wanted to sit beside me ).

a few years later when I moved to Victoria I was hanging out on the street one Saturday night and some drunk guy came and sat down beside me on the sidewalk. he was trying to convince me that he was some "famous canadian author" but I wasn't really buying it. he was totally trashed and I felt sorry for him. a while after that I realised who he was.

totally cliche-drunken-author-moment there!!

#26 Caramia

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Posted 17 August 2009 - 07:46 PM

Who is that? He looks familiar but I'm drawing a blank.
Nowadays most people die of a sort of creeping common sense, and discover when it is too late that the only things one never regrets are one's mistakes.
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#27 Jill

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Posted 17 August 2009 - 09:24 PM

Is it Eric Wilson? I met him when I was in elementary school. He was really nice (and not inebriated in the least).

#28 D.L.

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Posted 18 August 2009 - 07:19 AM

yup that's the guy. he lives in Victoria. maybe if you're lucky you'll find him down at the Sticky Wicket sometime getting inspiration for his next novel! :D

#29 Rob Randall

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Posted 21 April 2010 - 07:08 PM

Here's a great story about a new novel set in future Victoria. The fun starts about half-way through the article. Read it before it goes behind the paywall. Some excerpts:

Most of [Beacon Hill] Park's trees have been lost to a pestilence, while some of the survivors have been chopped down by cynical politicians eager to cash in on a demand in Asia for “silver-streaked termite wood.”

The park's few remaining Douglas firs are home to scrap-metal watchtowers constructed by eco-warriors known as the Herons.

An alarmist preacher, referred to as the Beacon, lives in a garden shed beside the Terry Fox statue at Mile Zero. He has gathered a “throng of crimson-clad teenage followers who pace the strip beside the cliffs like zombies, droning about the apocalypse to all who will listen.”

Those very cliffs along Dallas Road have been paved with cement, a futile attempt to stop erosion caused by rising sea levels.

"[Randall's] aesthetic poll was more accurate than his political acumen"

-Tom Hawthorne, Toronto Globe and Mail

#30 piltdownman

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Posted 21 April 2010 - 07:37 PM

"Crystal Palace is abandoned", wow its the future already

#31 Rob Randall

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Posted 21 April 2010 - 08:42 PM

You think the homeless are bad for conventions, try zombies.

"[Randall's] aesthetic poll was more accurate than his political acumen"

-Tom Hawthorne, Toronto Globe and Mail

#32 piltdownman

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Posted 21 April 2010 - 08:48 PM

Go for a walk down Pandora at night. Its full of Crystal Meth Zombies.

#33 BCBoy

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Posted 04 January 2014 - 02:48 PM

Hello, fellow Victoria history/fiction readers,


Here is a more current addition to this thread about books set in Victoria.  HIGH STAKES by Chad Strong is set in Victoria in 1877 and explores some of the issues often overlooked by the mainstream.  It's entirely fictional, includes a romance triangle, and has elements of a western.  Had some good reviews so far, including one by noted Victoria historian Norman K. Archer.  Published by Musa Publishing in 2012, it's only available as an e-book right now.  Here's the blurb:


With its evocative descriptions of Victoria, BC as it was post-gold rush in 1877, High Stakes is a compelling tale with the grit of a western and the allure of a romance.  The novel reveals aspects of Victoria’s history unknown to most people.


Victoria today is well-known in tourism circles for its British cultural ties, but in the 19th century it was also very much like other towns of the Old West. There were indeed saloons and gamblers, lumberjacks and prostitutes, all trying to make their way the only way they knew how.


The protagonist, Curt Prescott, returns home to Victoria after a three-month poker circuit on the mainland.  A new “Moral Action Committee” has sprung up in his absence.  Headed by the wife of the new preacher, the committee threatens to cast out all soiled doves and gamblers from the city. He meets the new preacher, “Bud” Andrews, Bud’s shrewish wife, Sarah, and their idealistic daughter, Mary.  Bud seeks to convert Curt while Curt plans to destroy the committee.  Pressures mount for Curt as he tries to help his young constable friend keep the peace with a notorious lowlife, while at the same time trying to ease his jealous girlfriend Del’s insecurities. As Curt falls in love with Mary, the battle for his lifestyle becomes a battle of life and death, and of love lost and found.



A long-time resident of the Victoria area, the author’s love for his subject is clear.  This is a book both male and female readers can relate to.  Worth checking out if you're into this type of story.



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#34 sebberry


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Posted 06 January 2014 - 03:59 PM

Thanks for that, and welcome to the forum, BCBoy!

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