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Victorian London Audiobook

Victorian London: The Life of a City, 1840-1870

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Publisher's Summary

Like her previous books, this book is the result 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 encompasses a huge range of subjects: 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.

©2005 Liza Picard; (P)2005 Orion Publishing Group Ltd.

What the Critics Say

"Reading her book is like gazing at one of those energetic, crowded canvanses by the Victorian painter William Powell Frith." (Evening Standard)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.2 (10 )
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5.0 (3 )
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5.0 (2 )
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Performance


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  • Heather
    eastbourne, east sussex, United Kingdom
    8/9/06
    Overall
    "Brilliant"

    This is by far one of the most insightful thorough books ever written on Victorian London. Liza Picard describes every aspect of life in this era. Packed full of fascinating facts and holds the reader from start to finish. I was sorry when it ended.

    26 of 26 people found this review helpful
  • Nicholas
    LondonUnited Kingdom
    7/12/07
    Overall
    "Puts Dickens in a very real context"

    This is a wonderful supplement to any reading of Victorian fiction - here is the background. Though the book depends perhaps a little too much on one or two particular sources (hence four stars, not five), this is vivacious, informative, and fascinating. It is beautifully read - Anton Lesser imparts the most complex information is a way which makes it all easy to follow.

    7 of 7 people found this review helpful
  • Nicholas W. N. Jones
    London, UK
    7/12/07
    Overall
    "Puts Dickens in a very real context"

    This is a wonderful supplement to any reading of Victorian fiction - here is the background. Though the book depends perhaps a little too much on one or two particular sources (hence four stars, not five), this is vivacious, informative, and fascinating. It is beautifully read - Anton Lesser imparts the most complex information is a way which makes it all easy to follow.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Denise
    Waltham Abbey, United Kingdom
    4/7/13
    Overall
    "Concise but evocative"

    This book really brings early Victorian London to life, and Anton Lesser's voice is so relaxing and easy to listen to. It's a pity the book has been abridged for the audio version, though. I would have liked to hear all of it, hence the four rather than five star rating.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • iris
    Paris, France
    7/19/11
    Overall
    "London as we never knew it!"

    This book is full of fascinating information about how London was from its dark underbelly to its glittering court. It is especially good at appealing to all the senses through its use of choice images. The narrator's pace is excellent and his voice is very pleasant to listen to. I enjoyed learning about how ordinary men and women coped during this period of rampant industialization and growth.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Robert
    Southampton, United Kingdom
    8/4/12
    Overall
    "Excellent"

    Completely devoid of any academic "stuffiness", Liza Picard's well-researched, informative book is instantly accessible, and almost conversational in style.

    The opening ten to twenty minutes provides us with a pretty honest, graphic account of Victorian London's poor sanitation and overflowing sewage system, with reference to the constant smell of human and animal excrement, decaying food and rotting carcasses. She does not indulge in gratuitous sensationalism, just gives us the truth in plain language. That said, probably best not to start listening to this while having dinner !

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • caroline
    st.ives, United Kingdom
    3/11/11
    Overall
    "victorian london"

    very informative and interesting, a great insight into victorian london

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Joseph
    Derby, United Kingdom
    3/26/09
    Overall
    "Victorian London"

    Good narration & an exellent insight into Victorian Social history in London - highly recomended

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Mark
    eastbourneUnited Kingdom
    1/21/09
    Overall
    "victorian london"

    this book gives a real insight to the grime of everyday life in victorian london to the extent that you can almost taste it especially the description of dogs turd used in the tanneries at bermodsy, the book drtaws you into the depths of london giving real insight into housing education and sanitation in victorian london

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Cynthia
    4/3/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Absolutely Fascinating"

    Unable to stop listening. Beautiful narration and full of interesting detail about life in Victorian times.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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