The Victorian Origins of the Firefighter Hero

House of parl fireNicola here. The firefighter is a popular hero – and increasingly heroine – in romantic fiction. It’s easy to see why the trope appeals; fire is an ever-present danger and those who fight it demonstrate courage, compassion for others and even self-sacrifice. To be a firefighter embodies many character ideals. Interestingly it isn’t a character type commonly found in historical fiction which is surprising in a way because fire-fighting has a long and noble history. I’m not going back all the way to Ancient Rome and the first fire brigades in this blog because I mentioned them in a previous blog here. I’m starting this story on 16th October 1834 when the Houses of Parliament in London burned down.

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