Book picks similar to
The First Bohemians: Life and Art in London's Golden Age by Vic Gatrell
A Great and Monstrous Thing: London in the Eighteenth Century
Jerry White - 2012
The century that followed was an era of vigorous expansion and large-scale projects, of rapidly changing culture and commerce, as huge numbers of people arrived in the shining city, drawn by its immense wealth and power and its many diversions. Borrowing a phrase from Daniel Defoe, Jerry White calls London this great and monstrous thing, the grandeur of its new buildings and the glitter of its high life shadowed by poverty and squalor."A Great and Monstrous Thing" offers a street-level view of the city: its public gardens and prisons, its banks and brothels, its workshops and warehouses and its bustling, jostling crowds. White introduces us to shopkeepers and prostitutes, men and women of fashion and genius, street-robbers and thief-takers, as they play out the astonishing drama of life in eighteenth-century London. What emerges is a picture of a society fractured by geography, politics, religion, history and especially by class, for the divide between rich and poor in London was never greater or more destructive in the modern era than in these years.Despite this gulf, Jerry White shows us Londoners going about their business as bankers or beggars, reveling in an enlarging world of public pleasures, indulging in crimes both great and small amidst the tightening sinews of power and regulation, and the hesitant beginnings of London democracy."
Dr. Johnson's London
Liza Picard - 2000
To remedy this, and to satisfy her own curiosity about the lives of our ancestors, Liza Picard immersed herself in contemporary sources - diaries and journals, almanacs and newspapers, government papers and reports, advice books and memoirs - to examine the substance of life in mid-18th century London. The fascinating result of her research, Dr. Johnson's London introduces the reader to every facet of that period: from houses and gardens to transport and traffic; from occupations and work to pleasure and amusements; from health and medicine to sex, food, and fashion. Stops along the way focus on education, etiquette, public executions as popular entertainment, and a melange of other historical curiosities.This book spans the period from 1740 to 1770-very much the city of Dr. Johnson, who published his great Dictionary in 1755. It starts when the gin craze was gaining ground and ends just before America ceased being a colony. In its enthralling review of an exhilarating era, Dr. Johnson's London brilliantly records the strangeness and individuality of the past--and continually reminds us of parallels with the present day.
The Regency Years: During Which Jane Austen Writes, Napoleon Fights, Byron Makes Love, and Britain Becomes Modern
Robert Morrison - 2019
The Regency (1811–1820) began when the profligate Prince of Wales—the future king George IV—replaced his insane father, George III, as Britain’s ruler.Around the regent surged a society steeped in contrasts: evangelicalism and hedonism, elegance and brutality, exuberance and despair. The arts flourished at this time with a showcase of extraordinary writers and painters such as Jane Austen, Lord Byron, the Shelleys, John Constable, and J. M. W. Turner. Science burgeoned during this decade, too, giving us the steam locomotive and the blueprint for the modern computer.Yet the dark side of the era was visible in poverty, slavery, pornography, opium, and the gothic imaginings that birthed the novel Frankenstein. With the British military in foreign lands, fighting the Napoleonic Wars in Europe and the War of 1812 in the United States, the desire for empire and an expanding colonial enterprise gained unstoppable momentum. Exploring these crosscurrents, Robert Morrison illuminates the profound ways this period shaped and indelibly marked the modern world.
A.N. Wilson - 2002
The crucial players in this drama were the British, who invented both capitalism and imperialism and were incomparably the richest, most important investors in the developing world. In this sense, England's position has strong resemblances to America's in the late twentieth century.As one of our most accomplished biographers and novelists, A. N. Wilson has a keen eye for a good story, and in this spectacular work he singles out those writers, statesmen, scientists, philosophers, and soldiers whose lives illuminate so grand and revolutionary a history: Darwin, Marx, Gladstone, Christina Rossetti, Gordon, Cardinal Newman, George Eliot, Kipling. Wilson's accomplishment in this book is to explain through these signature lives how Victorian England started a revolution that still hasn't ended.
Among the Bohemians: Experiments in Living 1900-1939
Virginia Nicholson - 2002
They were often drunk and broke, sometimes hungry, but they were of a rebellious spirit. Inhabiting the same England with Philistines and Puritans, this parallel minority of moral pioneers lived in a world of faulty fireplaces, bounced checks, blocked drains, whooping cough, and incontinent cats.They were the bohemians.Virginia Nicholson -- the granddaughter of painter Vanessa Bell and the great-niece of Virginia Woolf -- explores the subversive, eccentric, and flamboyant artistic community of the early twentieth century in this "wonderfully researched and colorful composite portrait of an enigmatic world whose members, because they lived by no rules, are difficult to characterize" (San Francisco Chronicle).
London: The Biography
Peter Ackroyd - 2000
In this unusual and engaging work, Ackroyd brings the reader through time into the city whose institutions and idiosyncrasies have permeated much of his works of fiction and nonfiction. Peter Ackroyd sees London as a living, breathing organism, with its own laws of growth and change. Reveling in the city’s riches as well as its raucousness, the author traces thematically its growth from the time of the Druids to the beginning of the twenty-first century. Anecdotal, insightful, and wonderfully entertaining, London is animated by Ackroyd’s concern for the close relationship between the present and the past, as well as by what he describes as the peculiar “echoic” quality of London, whereby its texture and history actively affect the lives and personalities of its citizens.London confirms Ackroyd’s status as what one critic has called “our age’s greatest London imagination.”
London Fog: The Biography
Christine L. Corton - 2015
Christine L. Corton tells the story of these epic London fogs, their dangers and beauty, and the lasting effects on our culture and imagination of these urban spectacles.In popular imagination, London is a city of fog. The classic London fogs, the thick yellow “pea-soupers,” were born in the industrial age of the early nineteenth century. The first globally notorious instance of air pollution, they remained a constant feature of cold, windless winter days until clean air legislation in the 1960s brought about their demise. Christine L. Corton tells the story of these epic London fogs, their dangers and beauty, and their lasting effects on our culture and imagination.As the city grew, smoke from millions of domestic fires, combined with industrial emissions and naturally occurring mists, seeped into homes, shops, and public buildings in dark yellow clouds of water droplets, soot, and sulphur dioxide. The fogs were sometimes so thick that people could not see their own feet. By the time London’s fogs lifted in the second half of the twentieth century, they had changed urban life. Fogs had created worlds of anonymity that shaped social relations, providing a cover for crime, and blurring moral and social boundaries. They had been a gift to writers, appearing famously in the works of Charles Dickens, Henry James, Oscar Wilde, Robert Louis Stevenson, Joseph Conrad, and T. S. Eliot. Whistler and Monet painted London fogs with a fascination other artists reserved for the clear light of the Mediterranean.Corton combines historical and literary sensitivity with an eye for visual drama—generously illustrated here—to reveal London fog as one of the great urban spectacles of the industrial age.
Princesses: The Six Daughters of George III
Flora Fraser - 2004
In this sumptuous group portrait of the six daughters of "Mad" King George III, acclaimed biographer Flora Fraser takes us into the heart of the British royal family during the tumultuous period of the American and French revolutions.Drawing on their extraordinary private correspondence, Fraser gives voice to these handsome, accomplished, extremely well-educated women: Princess Royal, the eldest, constantly at odds with her mother; home-loving, family-minded Augusta; plump Elizabeth, a gifted amateur artist; Mary, the bland beauty of the family; Sophia, emotional and prone to take refuge in illness; and Amelia, "the most turbulent and tempestuous of all the Princesses." Never before has the historical searchlight been turned with such sympathy and acuity on George III and his family.
Necropolis: London and Its Dead
Catharine Arnold - 2006
The city is one giant grave, filled with the remains of previous eras. The Houses of Parliament sit on the edge of a former plague pit; St Paul's is built over human remains; Underground tunnels were driven through forgotten catacombs, thick with bones. A society can be judged by the way it treats its dead, and this is especially true of London. From Roman burial rites to the horrors of the plague, from the founding of the great Victorian cemeteries to the development of cremation and the cult of mourning that surrounded the death of Diana, Princess of Wales - Necropolis leaves no headstone unturned in its exploration of our changing attitudes towards the deceased among us.
What Jane Austen Ate and Charles Dickens Knew: From Fox Hunting to Whist—the Facts of Daily Life in 19th-Century England
Daniel Pool - 1993
Author Daniel Pool provides countless intriguing details (did you know that the "plums" in Christmas plum pudding were actually raisins?) on the Church of England, sex, Parliament, dinner parties, country house visiting, and a host of other aspects of nineteenth-century English life—both "upstairs" and "downstairs."An illuminating glossary gives at a glance the meaning and significance of terms ranging from "ague" to "wainscoting," the specifics of the currency system, and a lively host of other details and curiosities of the day.
The Courtiers: Splendor and Intrigue in the Georgian Court at Kensington Palace
Lucy Worsley - 2010
In the eighteenth century, this palace was a world of skulduggery, intrigue, politicking, etiquette, wigs, and beauty spots, where fans whistled open like switchblades and unusual people were kept as curiosities. Lucy Worsley's The Courtiers charts the trajectory of the fantastically quarrelsome Hanovers and the last great gasp of British court life. Structured around the paintings of courtiers and servants that line the walls of the King's Staircase of Kensington Palace-paintings you can see at the palace today-The Courtiers goes behind closed doors to meet a pushy young painter, a maid of honor with a secret marriage, a vice chamberlain with many vices, a bedchamber woman with a violent husband, two aging royal mistresses, and many more. The result is an indelible portrait of court life leading up to the famous reign of George III , and a feast for both Anglophiles and lovers of history and royalty.
In These Times: Living in Britain Through Napoleon's Wars, 1793–1815
Jenny Uglow - 2014
Illustrated by the satires of Gillray and Rowlandson and the paintings of Turner and Constable, and combining the familiar voices of Austen, Wordsworth, Scott, and Byron with others lost in the crowd, In These Times delves into the archives to tell the moving story of how people lived and loved and sang and wrote, struggling through hard times and opening new horizons that would change their country for a century.
Behind Closed Doors: At Home in Georgian England
Amanda Vickery - 2009
She introduces us to men and women from all walks of life: gentlewoman Anne Dormer in her stately Oxfordshire mansion, bachelor clerk and future novelist Anthony Trollope in his dreary London lodgings, genteel spinsters keeping up appearances in two rooms with yellow wallpaper, servants with only a locking box to call their own.Vickery makes ingenious use of upholsterer’s ledgers, burglary trials, and other unusual sources to reveal the roles of house and home in economic survival, social success, and political representation during the long eighteenth century.
The London Hanged: Crime and Civil Society in the Eighteenth Century
Peter Linebaugh - 1991
In eighteenth-century London the spectacle of a hanging was not simply a form of punishing transgressors.Rather it evidently served the most sinister purpose—for a prvileged ruling class—of forcing the poor population of London to accept the criminalization of customary rights and the new forms of private property. Necessity drove the city’s poor into inevitable conflict with the changing property laws, such that all the working-class men and women of London had good reason to fear the example of Tyburn’s Triple Tree.In this new edition Peter Linebaugh reinforces his original arguments with responses to his critics based on an impressive array of historical sources. As the trend of capital punishment intensifies with the spread of global capitalism, The London Hanged also gains in contemporary relevance.