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Books > History > Europe > Great Britain > England > 0312366590
  1. Victorian London: The Tale of a City 1840--1870
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  2. Victorian London: The Tale of a City 1840--1870

    Delivery: 10-20 Working Days
    Customer Ratings (24 reviews)
    Price R630.00

Additional Information

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 Using unpublished diaries of Londoners, Picard uncovers signs of progress in London such as flushing toilets, umbrellas, letter boxes, and traffic regulations.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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Liza Picard
St. Martin's Griffin
St. Martin's Griffin
St. Martin's Griffin
St. Martin's Griffin
Most Helpful Customer Reviews

This book is detailed, chatty and charming, if coy. It's a bit like reading a good gossip. Popular histories vary greatly in their reliability, documentation and writing style and this is better than many. A reader doesn't expect or want a scholarly tome. But it's frustrating too. Best example, in a section titled "how to be a lady" the author provides an end note to what she calls an amalgam of sources of good advice: "for once I have not studded this account with notes." How unfortunate, since I had turned immediately to the end note to follow up on the amalgam she tantalized me with. I had reached this point in the book having decided to ignore a gratuitous remark a few pages earlier that Karl Marx never applied himself to "the normal expedient of working for a living." However, Marx' prodigious and influential output (whatever one's opinion about it) far exceeds Picard's, admirable & entertaining as many will find it. I have started and stopped reading... Read more
This book is nice for what it is--a survey of Victorians and their city by a nonexpert who nevertheless did very thorough research. If you are not very familiar with the Victorian age, I recommend this book strongly.

Because of the title, I was hoping for an in-depth analysis of LONDON, above all. I wanted descriptions of neighborhoods, of shopping districts, photographs of streetfronts, details of every district, its flavor, and the changes it underwent. The book is nearly useless in that regard.

If you not are wanting compact information about the historical London but rather rather a general book about Victorian attitudes, amusements, and pasttimes with a little dash of infrastructural information, this is a great read. It is a shame that the book's title and blurb do not reflect the content.

Quick note: The author was thrown off my pictures of servant girls in fancy dresses. Early photography studios kept a stock of nice clothes on hand, and... Read more
Liza Pickard is a barrister with a mighty pen. She has authored several books about London. These Include: Life in

Elizabethan London: Restoration London; Dr. Johnson's London

and now this fourth book in the series.

Picard has done her homework: her reading of first person diaries and sources; periodical articles from the age. She includes

excellent secondary sources giving the reader an accurate view of

life when Victoria reigned the British Empire. The little Queen

ruled for 64 years from 1837 to her death in 1901.

Picard's chapters deal with such topics as:

daily life for the poor, middle class and wealthy;

the smells and the sights of London;

male and female fashions;

church life and the judicial system of Victorian England;

Amusements from opera strolling in the park to riding a horse

on Rotten Row.

Household appliances and... Read more
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