Victorian London: The Tale of a City 1840-1870

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Overview

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 Using unpublished diaries of Londoners, Picard uncovers signs of progress in London such as flushing toilets, umbrellas, letter boxes, and traffic regulations.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.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
Praise for Victorian London

“Arch and conversational in tone, Picard’s history is an informative treat.”—-Publishers Weekly

“Picard has made a career of writing about London during particular historical eras, and in her Victorian volume she retains the wry tone that makes her social histories so entertaining.”—-Library Journal

Praise for Elizabeth’s London

“It’s a marvelous book, and only Liza Picard could have written it.”—-Boston Globe

“Lively guide to Elizabethan England.”—-Washington Post

“The detail is rich and remarkable.”—-Kirkus Reviews

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780312366599
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press
  • Publication date: 2/20/2007
  • Edition description: First Edition
  • Pages: 416
  • Sales rank: 803,670
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.93 (d)

Meet the Author

Liza Picard lives in Oxford.  She is the author of the critically acclaimed Elizabeth’s London, Restoration London, and Dr. Johnson’s London

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Table of Contents


List of illustrations     xi
Preface     xiii
Smells     1
Cesspits
Sewers
Excrement
Burial grounds
Coal gas
Slums
Bermondsey
Water closets
The Great Stink
Bazalgette's intercepting sewers
Abbey Mills pumping station
The royal inauguration
The salmon
The River     9
Tides, floods, fogs and frost
The Thames Conservators
The Watermen's Company
Accidents
The 'husbands' boat'
Steam replacing sail and oars
The Tea Derby
Royal occasions
A river demo
An optimistic acrobat
The Boat Race
Visit of the Great Britain
Chinese junks
Fires
The Great Eastern
Decline of shipbuilding
The docks
The Streets     22
Maps
The street layout
Medieval survivals
Cow-houses
Traffic jams
New roads
Bazalgette's embankments
Traffic control
Obstructions
The suburbs
Road surfaces
Coaches and cabs
Omnibuses
Velocipedes
The Railways     34
Speed
Railway time
Lines and stations
Accidents
Cook's Tours
Travelling conditions
W. H. Smith
The electric telegraph
Parliamentary trains
Railway hotels
The underground railway
Buildings     45
The slums
Philanthropic housing
George Peabody
Angela Burdett Coutts
Public bathhouses
Terraced cottages
Middle-class housing
Steps and letter boxes
Baths
Lavatories
Earth closets
Belgravia
Buckingham Palace
The Law Courts
The Foreign Office
'Albertopolis'
The British Museum
The Pall Mallclubs
The Palace of Westminster
Practicalities     59
London's size and population
Its government
Contrasting districts
The police
The fire service
Water supply
Gas
Refuse collection and dust heaps
Air pollution
The postal service
Destitution and Poverty     70
Mayhew
The pauper children
Beggars
Bone-grubbers, rag-gatherers and pure-collectors
Mudlarks and others
Selling goods and services
Slum dwellings
Soyer's soup kitchens
Low lodging-houses
The workhouse
The 'monster school'
The work test
The Working Class     81
A labourer's expenditure
Costermongers
Street sellers
Fast food
Milk women
The knackers' yard
Brewing
Sugar refining
Road transport
Cubitt
The leather industry
Christy's hat factory
Shipbuilding
Holidays
Trade unions
Friendly Societies
Samuel Smiles
The Middle Class     95
Who were they?
Clerks
The Post Office
The Bank of England
Private banks
Cashing a cheque
The professions
Moving out of central London
How to be a lady
Gentlemen's clubs
Marriage
Good causes
The Income Tax
Jane Carlyle's tax appeal
The Upper Class and Royalty     109
Florence Nightingale
Lady Frederick Cavendish
The Army
The 'purchase system'
The Guards
The Season
A royal ball
Albert's unpopularity
His relations with Victoria
Money
Victoria
Effect of Albert's death
Domestic Service     120
'Slaveys'
Hannah Culwick
Cleaning
Other housework
Hannah's Christmas
Jane Carlyle and bedbugs
The household wash
Maids' dresses
Menservants
William Tayler
Servants' register offices
Pay
Written references
False eyes
Savings
Houses and Gardens     131
Poor cottages
A schoolteacher's house
The better-off
Bedroom furniture
Drawing-room furniture
Jacobethan
Gothic
Louis XIV
Wallpapers
William Morris
Curtains
Wardian cases
Floor coverings
Knick-knacks
Daguerreotypes
Pet birds
Lighting
Patinated bronze
Gardens
Manure
Pests
Lawn mowers
Rockeries
Hot-houses
Plant suppliers
Loddiges Nursery
Loudon
Fashions in plants
The Royal Horticultural Society
Food     148
The poor
The working class
The middle class
Butchers
Fishmongers
Grocery stores
Brand names
Food adulteration
Copper pans
Kitchen design
Cooking ranges
Coal and gas
Cookery books
Eliza Acton
Mrs Beeton
Evening dinner
Coffee
Eating implements
Household routine
Lunch out
Dinner out
Soyer's Symposium
Clothes and So On     162
The very poor
Working men
Smock frocks
Second-hand clothes
Moses and Son
Top hats
Men's coats
Trousers
Shirts
Smoking-jackets
Rainwear and umbrellas
Underwear
Facial hair
Baths
Women's wear
The bodice
The skirt
Footwear
The crinoline
Petticoats
Tight lacing
Drawers
Shawls
Dress-makers
Sewing machines
Ready-made clothes
Paper patterns
Cosmetics
Hair
Children
Health      179
Dentistry
Medicine
Class differences
Workhouse infirmaries
General hospitals
Governors' letters
Specialist hospitals
Medical schools
Medical careers
Nursing
Florence Nightingale
Growth of medical knowledge
Antisepsis
Anaesthesia
Clandestine dissection
'Miracle cures'
Self-medication
Childhood diseases
Tuberculosis
Smallpox
Cholera
The miasma theory
Dr Snow and the Broad Street Pump
The domestic sickroom
Mrs Beeton
Amusements     197
Rat pits and dog fights
Penny gaffs
Theatres
Music halls
The Alhambra
The opera
Musical concerts
The pleasure gardens
Vauxhall
Cremorne
Public Parks
Victoria Park
Battersea Park
The royal parks
Destitutes and rats
Green Park and St James's Park
Hyde Park
Kensington Gardens
Regent's Park
The Zoo
Surrey Gardens
Kew
Wyld's 'Monster Globe'
Museums
Buckingham Palace
The Great Exhibition     213
The right conditions
The Chartists
The Royal Society of Arts
The site
The aim of the Exhibition
The building
The opening
Tickets
Refreshments
The lavatories
The exhibits
The statues
The Koh-i-noor
Criminals and Revolutionaries
The visitors
The Queen
The Duke of Wellington
Railway excursions
The Penzance pedestrian
Attendance figures
Closing day
The Crystal Palace at Sydenham     225
The move to Sydenham
Access
Construction
Aims to Educate the masses
The Architectural Courts
Alcohol and Sunday opening
The nude statues
Paxton's Waterworks
The extinct animals
Popular entertainments
Music
The 1936 fire
Education     234
The Ragged Schools
Quintin Hogg
The Ragged School Union
The workhouse schools
Anglican and Nonconformist schools
The monitorial system
Pupil-teachers
Matthew Arnold
Teacher training colleges
The Jews' Free School
The Masonic schools
Apprenticeship
The City of London School
The public schools
Evening classes
The Polytechnic
Education for girls
Mudie's Lending Library
The London Library
The University of London
Women     250
Employment for the poor
For the working class
The slop trade
Female clerks
Dress-making
Prostitution
In the slums and the West End
Flora Tristan on the sins of the aristocracy
Grandes horizontales
The Victorian taste for pornography
Reformers
The middle class
Governesses
An alternative to celibacy
Marriage for working women
For the middle class
Sex
Contraception
Divorce
Two society cases
Were they happy?
Crimes and Punishments     269
Thieving
Some favourite ploys
The Manning murder case
Poisoning
Trials
Society scandals
Sentences
Prisons
Jeremy Bentham's Panopticon design
Millbank
Pentonville
The 'Separate system'
Brixton prison for women
Transportation
The Hulks
Hard Labour
Hangings
Religion     282
The 1851 religious census
Absentees
The working class
Anglicanism
The Broad Church
Newman's Oxford Movement
The Anglo-Catholics
St Alban's Church
Queen Victoria, Days of Fast, and Days of Humiliation and Prayer
The Low Church
Building new churches
Roman Catholicism
Nonconformist sects
Spurgeon
The Quakers
Spiritualism
The Jews
Death     296
In a poor family
Crowded churchyards
Kensal Green cemetery
The Duke of Sussex
A tourist sight
Vaults and catacombs
Other privately owned cemeteries
Highgate
Brompton
Abney Park
Others
The 1852 Metropolitan Burial Act
Local authority cemeteries
Coffins
Mourning clothes
Public mourning
Shillibeer's patent hearse
Funeral processions
The Duke of Wellington
Appendices
What you got for your money     310
Currency and measurements     313
The Retail Price Index, 1840-1870     314
Notes     315
Index     355
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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted May 30, 2009

    An excellent overview!

    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.

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