Victorian London, Paperback
4 out of 5 (3 ratings)


From rag-gatherers to royalty, from fish knives to Freemasons: everyday life in Victorian London 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.


  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 496 pages, 40
  • Publisher: Orion Publishing Co
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: British & Irish history
  • ISBN: 9780753820902



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Showing 1 - 3 of 3 reviews.

Review by

Victorian London is a book I would recommend to anyone with an interest in 19th century England - maybe even as an Xmas present for some history-loving friend or relation. Liza Picard has written a number of books about London and she really displays a genuine love of her subject. Victorian London is much more readable and enjoyable than any history book has a right to be. Divided under chapter headings that include Smells, Food, Clothes and So On (including a discussion of facial hair, tight lacing and 'drawers') how could it fail to be? Unlike many history writers, Picard writes about real people and their very real lives. Definitely one of the best books on the subject that I have read in a long time.

Review by

Splendidly well researched and presented in easily digestible themed sections, like her works on other eras of London history. Could have perhaps benefited from a short concluding section.

Review by

I know that some people will not agree, but I loved this book as I do all of Liza Picard´s books. They are fun to read and I think pain vivid picture pretty well.