Historical Fudgery: Maps

One of the oddities of writing historical is the maps. I had an interesting experience with my edit letter: the editor asked me to change a street name (because it conflicted with a character’s name).

Position 1:
Now you probably need to know that I’m writing about an actual city. I refer to it as the Golden City for the most part, but it’s Porto, Portugal. I say in the early part of the WIP that the city was previously referred to ‘The Port’. I refer several times to the ‘Porto Gazette’. I refer to a lot of the city’s landmarks, talk about the streets and parishes. I use maps from the period so that I’ll have the correct street names.

Position 2:
But I also altered the city. I tore out the old Street of Flowers and rebuilt it. Instead of jewelers and fabric sellers, I stuck the mansions of the aristocracy there. I extended it up quite a ways, and plunked down a copy of Pena Palace atop the hill. Instead of having the monasteries confiscated, in my books, the church still owns them (effectively removing the train station from the end of The Street of Flowers).

So when it came to changing the name of the street? Well, I elected to change the character’s name instead of the street’s. In this case I chose going with the factual part of the city.

I guess there’s a line I’m not willing to fudge.

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