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The nineteenth century was a time of unprecedented change, and nowhere was this more apparent than London, which, in only a few decades, grew from a compact Regency town into the largest city the world had ever seen. Technology-railways, street-lighting, and sewers-transformed both the city and the experience of city-living.
From the moment Charles Dickens, the century's best-loved 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, 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.
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.
PART ONE: THE CITY WAKES
1810: The Berners Street Hoax
1. Early to Rise
2. On the Road
3. Travelling (Mostly) Hopefully
4. In and Out of London
PART TWO: STAYING ALIVE
1861: The Tooley Street Fire
5. The World's Market
6. Selling the Streets
8. The Waters of Death
PART THREE: ENJOYING LIFE
1867: The Regent's Park Skating Disaster
9. Street Performance
10. Leisure for All
11. Feeding the Streets
12. Street Theatre
PART FOUR: SLEEPING AND AWAKE
1852: The Funeral of the Duke of Wellington
13. Night Entertainment
14. Street Violence
15. The Red-Lit Streets to Death
Appendix: Dickens' Publications by Period