watervole: (Default)
 It's dead easy to find online resources as to how to address ever titled person who ever existed, and it's pretty easy to find out how Victorians addressed their servants (even servants had different forms of address depending on their status in the servant hierarchy), but the poor?

Invisible.

My best guess, from a quick browse of Dickens (whom I hate) is that lower class women (xcluding servants) were addressed by their first names by  the well to do, and that the men were addressed by their second names.  This is partly surmise as Dickens's characters don't seem to do many introductions, but the way he uses names in text follows this pattern. 

Upper class men are always 'Mr Jones', lower class men are 'Jones'.

I shall go with this format for the time being.

I seems odd to never let the audience know the first name of the main protagonists, but I accept it happily in Shakespeare...
watervole: (Default)
 I'm working on the script for a musical set in Victorian London.  (My brother in law is writing the music and another person is doing the lyrics)

My immediate problem is forms of address.  History books don't tend to cover this.

Does anyone know how a lower-class boy would address his mother? "Mum" feels too modern to my ear.

Also, forms of address between adults vary by age and social standing.

I assume that Henry Mayhew and Richard Beard would address one another as "Mayhew" and "Beard".  Correct?

How about Mayhew talking to a female street seller?  I'm guessing that he would use her Christian name: "Hannah", but she would probably address him as "Mr Mayhew"?

Also, how would he introduce himself to her in the first place?  Would he even mention his first name? Or would he just say, "My name is Mayhew, and I'd like to interview you for an article I'm writing for the 'Morning Chronicle'."

Henry Mayhew was a real person, and a contemporary of Dickens, who did much to publicise the appalling living and working conditions of the London poor.

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Judith Proctor

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