Thursday, April 07, 2016

The London of Sebastian St. Cyr: Pickering Place

I have news about THREE different developments I've been hoping I could announce this week (don't get too excited; only one of them is about Sebastian St. Cyr and no, it's not a film deal). But since my ability to talk about them keeps getting delayed, I thought I'd put up a post about Pickering Place.

Pickering Place is a tiny, totally enclosed square in London, just off St. James Street. It can only be entered through this tunnel-like passageway that's still lined with its original, 17th century oak paneling:

The square itself still has all its 18th century Georgian buildings. In Sebastian's time it was a pretty rowdy place, home to gambling dens and brothels and bear-baiting. It's also said to be the site of the last duel ever fought in London, when two bucks got into a quarrel in Whites and crossed the street to have it out in Pickering Place. Seems a pretty crowded spot to me, but then, one assumes they were drunk. 

The above tunnel runs between two old 16th century shops on St. James Street. One of them is Berry Brothers and Rudd, the famous wine merchants whose cellars run under the entire area. Berry Brothers is also the site of the large coffee scales where the Prince Regent and Beau Brummell used to weigh themselves. 

Sebastian has ventured into Pickering Place a few times in earlier books, but the square plays a key role in book #12, Where the Dead Lie, which is currently working its way through production and will be released in March 2017. 

Hopefully next week I can put up the first post about my news!


Charles Gramlich said...

So amazing that such places are still there

Ali said...

c - i just love when you post pictures like this. and i cant believe White's was in that area - makes it seem so real. i will be on pins and needles till the next post! and any kinds of news is always good! Best, Ali

Lynne said...

I'm with Ali - the photos always make me see Sebastian's world in my head so much better. Isn't it fun that London has all those wonderful little alleys and lanes still in existence?

Rachel Walsh said...

So terrific to see these old parts of London. Our European history in Australia is very young in comparison, and it always blows my mind to see these old buildings and alley ways, especially when it brings Sebastian's world to life.
Looking forward to hearing your good news, too!

cs harris said...

Charles, there's so much that is gone that it's wonderful to find those places that are still there.

Ali, I can't believe how long it's taking to get these things finalized.

Lynne, it is amazing.

Rachel, I know; I feel the same way here in the States.

Anonymous said...

Hi Candy, I am an Aussie living in London at the moment and yesterday was walking past Pickering Place, so nipped in to have a look! Beautiful and so much atmosphere there! Another lovely little alleyway in Covent Garden is Goodwin's Court, between St. Martin's Lane and Bedfordbury. Transports you back to another time! The history here is breathtaking, I love it. Also, saw your pic on Facebook taken in Paris years ago in Place Dauphine. Brought back memories of my trip to Paris last year when we stayed just around the corner in Quai de l'Horloge, and we went to 2 wonderful cafes on Place Dauphine. The whole area was magical! How lucky you were to live there for a year. I really enjoy your books, loved 'Falcons' now we just have the long wait until March next year, and the next instalment in the series! Looking forward to your good news too. Cheers, Rhonda

cs harris said...

Rhonda, thanks so much! What part of Australia are you from? I envy you living in London. I really do love that city.

Anonymous said...

Hi again Candy, I am a Melburnian born and bred, married to a Kiwi who I met in London in the early 80s, (when we were both over here for a few years doing the antipodean thing) we are over here now because of Husband's work, been here just over 2 years and have another year or so to go. The time goes so quickly though, and there is so much to see and do here we have to make to most of it! We live in Rotherhithe, a really interesting area with a fascinating history, and it even made it into one of your St Cyr books too if I remember correctly. Anyway, keep up your great writing, I love reading your books, especially when you write of places I know or I can check out. Cheers again, Rhonda

cs harris said...

Rhonda, that sounds like so much fun. Lucky you.

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