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For readers who enjoy their history told with a sense of gusto, verve, and a keen eye for detail, Liza Picard brings Victorian London to fruitful life.
With her trademark wit and passionate interest in the quirky realities of everyday life, Liza Picard vividly recalls all the splendors and horrors of Victorian life. As suburbs expanded and roads multiplied, London was ripped apart to make way for railway lines and stations, sewers, and the world’s first subway. “Deserving poor” saw the first public housing projects, and significant advances were made in medicine. Using unpublished diaries of Londoners, Picard uncovers signs of progress in London such as flushing toilets, umbrellas, letter boxes, and traffic regulations. But it was still a city of cholera outbreaks, public executions, and the workhouse, where parents could sell their children for as little as £12. Liza Picard is in top form in what is her best book yet.
Posted May 30, 2009
This work is a very thorough and well-researched overview of Victorian London. Each well-written chapter explores a different theme (you might glance at the table of contents!); thus, it is not an in-depth study on any particular issue in Victorian London, but rather a fantastic overview. The statistics and general information are accompanied with various anecdotal evidence, which keeps this work both entertaining and informative from cover to cover.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted December 9, 2008
This is an in depth look at how London became a modern city through the early Victorian transition. The insight starts with the key to any city the revision of the sewage system to eliminate the health problems and the odor that permeated much of the city from cesspits. As fascinating is the role of women, which differs depending on social class unlike romance novels, the author furbishes a powerful look at the growing factory and municipal working class, those below the poverty line, and the servant class too. In these cases diaries and the writings of chroniclers like Jane Carlyle and Thomas Mayhew provide insight. This is a terrific look at three decades of transformation of one of the world¿s greatest cities. Readers who enjoyed the recently issued LONDON'S THAMES: THE RIVER THAT SHAPED A CITY AND ITS HISTORY as well as the author¿s previous captivating London historicals (see ELIZABETH¿S LONDON and RESTORATION LONDON) will appreciate this deep look at the historical era of transformation of an urban center that never slept in the middle of the nineteenth century and still does not.---- Harriet KlausnerWas this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.