I never had admired a particular brand of men’s clothing until I met Paris. In the book, Paris gets a job as a dock worker/longshoreman (UK: docker) as soon as he can honestly say he thinks he’s 16 years old. Paris’ occupation was a key part of the musical, and is now a fairly important aspect of the book as well. Why did I make Paris a docker? Well, he had to do something manual–something that paid very little and made him dog tired, but strong. At the time, I didn’t really know what lower-class Londoners did for a living at the turn of the century. But I knew there was a river, and a little research showed me there were ships too. 🙂 Now, after much more extensive research, I’ve found I picked a good career for my hero. London was a huge shipping port, there were thousands of dockers, and, although conditions improved with the advent of steamships, the job still wasn’t all that enviable. Dockers worked hard, were poor, and were always going on strikes in hopes of better conditions.
Of course, I didn’t think much of dockers until I made Paris one, and I think Paris is the best docker that ever was. 😉 But you know that (or you will, hopefully, when you read the book). And, no, Paris isn’t fancy, but he’s far from ordinary!