In The Soldier’s Daughter, Evie lives close to the made-up village of Lylston, which I located north of the real market town of Bingley and set between the higher villages of Micklethwaite and East Morton, leading up to the Ilkley Moor area.
Like many towns in the West Riding of Yorkshire, Bingley prospered during the Industrial Revolution. The Bingley section of the Leeds and Liverpool Canal was completed in 1774, linking the town with Skipton, and Bradford via the Bradford Canal. The canal passes through the town centre and ascends the side of the valley via the Bingley Five Rise and Bingley Three Rise Locks. Several woollen and worsted mills were built and people migrated from the surrounding countryside to work in them. Alexander’s mill is located in the valley between the Leeds and Liverpool Canal and the River Aire.
This map is what I used to set Lylston Village, Bellingham Hall and Alexander’s mill in comparison to where Bingley is situated. Evie’s home (and Mr Lund’s farm) is just north of Lylston village.
A riding track Evie would have used over the moors.
A view from the moors overlooking the valley. Something Evie would have seen when she left her home.
A glimpse of Bingley in the valley.
In Victorian times, Bingley was a hive of industry and a main route through the Aire Valley. Below are two photos I used as inspiration for when Evie is in the town, especially when she secretly meets Hal down the lane beside the pub and Alexander sees her but she denies it when he confronts her.
The Soldier's Daughter
With the heat of their beloved India far behind them, Evie Davenport and her widowed British Army officer father, are starting a new life in England. But Evie is struggling. With her dearest mother gone, Yorkshire with its cold, damp countryside and strict societal rules makes Evie feel suffocated and alone. Her friendship with Sophie Bellingham, the gently reared daughter of a wealthy rail baron, is Evie’s only comfort. Until the arrival of local cotton mill owner, Alexander Lucas. Newly returned from America, it is expected Alexander will marry and finally make England his home. And Sophie with her family connections and polite manners is the obvious choice. But when Alexander meets Evie, a simmering passion ignites between them. Evie, with her rebellious spirit is like no other woman Alex has ever met, but to reject Sophie for Evie would cause a scandal and devastate everyone Evie loves. Evie knows she must do her duty. But in doing so faces the unbearable future of being without the man she loves.