Set in Birmingham, the story recounts the rise of the Shelby family. Led by the ruthless Tommy Shelby (Cillian Murphy), the Shelbys turn the Peaky Blinders from a street gang into a criminal empire.
Although the Peaky Blinders existed in real life, Knight’s story is based more on fiction than reality. Although the series is set in the 20th century, the real-life Peaky Blinders were in operation during the 1890s.
The Shelby family empire is also much more extensive and organized than the real-life Peaky Blinders. The gang consisted of children and youth between the ages of 12 and 20.
Peaky Blinders get their name for sewing razor blades onto the spikes of their flat caps. In the middle of a fight, they take off their caps and blind their opponents, but in the 1890s, disposable razors were a new luxury item.
Instead, the real-life Peaky Blinders were named for their style of dress. They wore peaked caps (also known as Peaks), ties, flared pants, and a jacket with brass buttons.
On the other hand, for all his terrifying charisma and brutality, Tommy Shelby is a work of Peaky Blinders fiction. Although Knight includes real-life characters such as Oswald Mosley, the rest of the characters are products of their creator’s imagination.