The Victorian City: Everyday Life in Dickens' London

The Victorian City: Everyday Life in Dickens' London

Hardback

By (author) Judith Flanders

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  • Publisher: Thomas Dunne Books
  • Format: Hardback | 520 pages
  • Dimensions: 165mm x 234mm x 46mm | 726g
  • Publication date: 15 July 2014
  • ISBN 10: 1250040213
  • ISBN 13: 9781250040213
  • Edition statement: Reprint
  • Illustrations note: black & white illustrations, maps, black & white plates, colour plates
  • Sales rank: 473,622

Product description

From the "New York Times" bestselling and critically acclaimed author of "The Invention of Murder," an extraordinary, revelatory portrait of everyday life on the streets of Dickens' London. The nineteenth century was a time of unprecedented change, and nowhere was this more apparent than London. In only a few decades, the capital grew from a compact Regency town into a sprawling metropolis of 6.5 million inhabitants, the largest city the world had ever seen. Technology--railways, street-lighting, and sewers--transformed both the city and the experience of city-living, as London expanded in every direction. Now Judith Flanders, one of Britain's foremost social historians, explores the world portrayed so vividly in Dickens' novels, showing life on the streets of London in colorful, fascinating detail. From the moment Charles Dickens, the century's best-loved English novelist and London's greatest observer, arrived in the city in 1822, he obsessively walked its streets, recording its pleasures, curiosities and cruelties. Now, with him, Judith Flanders leads us through the markets, transport systems, sewers, rivers, slums, alleys, cemeteries, gin palaces, chop-houses and entertainment emporia of Dickens' London, to reveal the Victorian capital in all its variety, vibrancy, and squalor. From the colorful cries of street-sellers to the uncomfortable reality of travel by omnibus, to the many uses for the body parts of dead horses and the unimaginably grueling working days of hawker children, no detail is too small, or too strange. No one who reads Judith Flanders's meticulously researched, captivatingly written The Victorian City will ever view London in the same light again.

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Author information

JUDITH FLANDERS is a "New York Times" bestselling author and one of the foremost social historians of the Victorian era. Her book Inside the Victorian Home was shortlisted for the British Book Awards History Book of the Year. Judith is a frequent contributor to the Daily Telegraph, Guardian, Spectator, and the Times Literary Supplement. She lives in London.

Review quote

Praise for THE VICTORIAN CITY "[Flanders'] imagery is often intense and striking... The streets of London were a constant assault on the senses with their noise and smell. This is a superb portrait of an exciting, thriving, and dangerous city." -Booklist, starred review A well-stuffed compendium on the transformational era in the history of London that fed both Charles Dickens' imagination and his well of outrage.... Flanders writes with bubbling enthusiasm about the old markets, Covent Garden and Smithfield, with their accompanying din and smells, and the plethora of life we only know through Dickens' eyes: the street vendors and artists, matchstick sellers, slum dwellers, prostitutes, habitues of gin palaces and prisoners. A terrific companion while reading Boz himself." --Kirkus "Flanders (The Invention of Murder) successfully recreates the feel of London at Dickens's peak as she delves deep into the rhythms and architecture of particular neighborhoods.... Flanders's expertise shines when exposing Dickens's embellishments, particularly when his character Fagin faces execution rather than the less powerful but more realistic punishment of deportment. This well-researched sociological overview provides highly detailed context for cultural touchstones, while shattering the popular yet inauthentic image of a pristine Victorian age that never existed." -Publishers Weekly "Outstanding." - Sunday Times (London) "The teeming, bustling, hand-to-mouth and often smelly facts of mid-19th century urban life have seldom been more vividly presented than in this book." - Literary Review "With infectious enthusiasm Judith Flanders dives into the sights, smells, sounds and grit of what was then the largest city the world had ever known: London." - Sunday Telegraph (London) "Full of detail and colour about everyday life in Dickens's London, and leaves you with a sense not only of how hard life was then, but how strange. Even if you've read Dickens a