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Victorian London By Liza Picard

Victorian London
by Liza Picard

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Victorian London Summary

Victorian London: The Life of a City 1840-1870 by Liza Picard

Like her previous books, this book is the product of the author's passionate interest in the realities of everyday life - and the conditions in which most people lived - so often left out of history books. This period of mid Victorian London covers a huge span: Victoria's wedding and the place of the royals in popular esteem; how the very poor lived, the underworld, prostitution, crime, prisons and transportation; the public utilities - Bazalgette on sewers and road design, Chadwick on pollution and sanitation; private charities - Peabody, Burdett Coutts - and workhouses; new terraced housing and transport, trains, omnibuses and the Underground; furniture and decor; families and the position of women; the prosperous middle classes and their new shops, e.g. Peter Jones, Harrods; entertaining and servants, food and drink; unlimited liability and bankruptcy; the rich, the marriage market, taxes and anti-semitism; the Empire, recruitment and press-gangs. The period begins with the closing of the Fleet and Marshalsea prisons and ends with the first (steam-operated) Underground trains and the first Gilbert & Sullivan. All the splendours and horrors of Victorian life will be vividly recalled.

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Victorian London Reviews

Reading her book is like gazing at one of those energetic, crowded canvanses by the Victorian painter William Powell Frith. - THE EVENING STANDARD - AN Wilson

She is an engaging companion, always wondering out loud about the sort of questions which you've asked enjoyable book. - THE SPECTATOR - Philip Hensher

Picard enjoys recounting the gruesome daily mechanics of living in what Cobbett described as 'the great wen' - NEW STATESMAN - Tristrum Hunt

'Picard is particularly good on the sort of thing that contemporary chronicles didn't always think to put in..... a very welcome addition to the skyline - THE GUARDIAN - Adam Newey

This book is a feast of tit-bits, bringing 19th-century London to life piecemeal with the accumulation of facts. - THE SUNDAY TELEGRAPH - Jad Adams

Liza Picard shares Victorian Londoners' enthusiasm for their bits and bobs. - THE DAILY TELEGRAPH - Kate Summerscale

She writes the old history, descriptive and unanalytical, painted in exhilarating colours. Victorian London, finest example of the greatest urban age since the Renaissance, was made for her. - THE SUNDAY TIMES - Simon Jenkins

The book is a mine of information. - THE WEEK

About Liza Picard

Liza Picard was born in 1927. She worked for the Inland Revenue for many years and lived in London, before retiring to Oxford where she now lives.

Additional information

Victorian London: The Life of a City 1840-1870 by Liza Picard
Liza Picard
Used - Like New
Book picture is for illustrative purposes only, actual binding, cover or edition may vary.
The book has been read, but looks new. The book cover has no visible wear, and the dust jacket is included if applicable. No missing or damaged pages, no tears, possible very minimal creasing, no underlining or highlighting of text, and no writing in the margins.