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Victorian London

The Tale of a City 1840--1870

Liza Picard


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For readers who enjoy their history told with a sense of gusto, verve, and a keen eye for detail, Liza Picard brings Victorian London to fruitful life.

With her trademark wit and passionate interest in the quirky realities of everyday life, Liza Picard vividly recalls all the splendors and horrors of Victorian life. As suburbs expanded and roads multiplied, London was ripped apart to make way for railway lines and stations, sewers, and the world's first subway. "Deserving poor" saw the first public housing projects, and significant advances were made in medicine. Using unpublished diaries of Londoners, Picard uncovers signs of progress in London such as flushing toilets, umbrellas, letter boxes, and traffic regulations. But it was still a city of cholera outbreaks, public executions, and the workhouse, where parents could sell their children for as little as £12. Liza Picard is in top form in what is her best book yet.

Praise For Victorian London: The Tale of a City 1840--1870

“Arch and conversational in tone, Picard's history is an informative treat.” —Publishers Weekly

“Picard has made a career of writing about London during particular historical eras, and in her Victorian volume she retains the wry tone that makes her social histories so entertaining.” —Library Journal

St. Martin's Griffin, 9780312366599, 416pp.

Publication Date: February 20, 2007

About the Author

Liza Picard was born in 1927. She read law at the London School of Economics and was called to the Bar by Gray's Inn, but did not practice. She worked in London for many years in the office of the Solicitor of Inland Revenue until she retired in 1987. She now lives in Oxford. Picard is the author of the critically acclaimed Elizabeth's LondonRestoration London and Dr. Johnson's London.