The Victorian City

The Victorian City : Everyday Life in Dickens' London

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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."show more

Product details

  • Hardback | 520 pages
  • 165.1 x 233.68 x 45.72mm | 725.74g
  • Thomas Dunne Books
  • United States
  • English
  • Reprint
  • black & white illustrations, maps, black & white plates, colour plates
  • 1250040213
  • 9781250040213
  • 774,843

Review quote

Praise for THE VICTORIAN CITY"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 and the contemporary historians of the poor, there is still more to marvel at here." --Sebastian Faulks, Mail on Sunday Books of the Year (London) "A quite extraordinary book, which I read with much enjoyment: an intoxicating blend of London, life and literature... I think it's Judith Flanders' best book yet, which is saying something." --Andrew Taylor"Meticulous and gripping... Flanders says that Dickens appealed to contemporaries because he gave them a voyage into the unknown: into parts of London they did not know and where they would not venture. She does something similar for us. The strangeness remains, but the voyage is unforgettable." -Independent (UK) "Flanders captures the variety and colour of 19th-century London, stirring admiration and indignation by turns. To lead us through the Victorian capital, through its hustle and sprawl, its dangers and entertainments, you couldn't hope for a better guide." --New Statesman (UK) "Recreates the textures of everyday life with an anthropologist's understanding of human behaviour alongside a storyteller's eye for character." --Daily Telegraph (UK) Praise for THE INVENTION OF MURDER "Judith Flanders's wonderful, sometimes appalling The Invention of Murder: How the Victorians Reveled in Death and Detection and Created Modern Crime, is a guidebook to notably grisly true-life tales... [Flanders] shines in hershow more

About Judith Flanders

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 more