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Elizabeth's London: Everyday Life in Elizabethan London Audio Cassette – Abridged, Audiobook


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Product details

  • Audio Cassette
  • Publisher: Orion (5 Jun 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0752856804
  • ISBN-13: 978-0752856803
  • Product Dimensions: 10.9 x 3.5 x 14 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,641,355 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Amazon Review

Liza Picard's Elizabeth's London completes a trilogy of books on London throughout history, starting with Restoration London and followed by Dr Johnson's London. From the outset, Picard admits that Elizabethan London proved an even greater challenge to reconstruct, as "few buildings survive", and "artefacts and clothes from the time are rare". Nevertheless, through painstaking detail, Picard wonderfully recreates the crowded chaotic sights and smells of everyday life in late 16th-century London.

Her journey starts, like so many admirers of the city from Chaucer to Ackroyd, on the river Thames, "a uniform opaque grey" in Elizabeth's time, but "fairly unpolluted, judging from all the fish in it," and "a superb processional route between the royal palaces." From here Picard surveys London life, from its main streets, its water supply and its civic buildings of timber and stone, to the houses, people, clothes, food, drink and entertainment that defined one of the most prosperous cities in 16th-century Europe.

Everything is told in all its raw, sensual detail, from the ways in which "the butcher's professional skills" were used to disembowel those unfortunate enough to be convicted of capital offences, to the cost of pins for dressmaking--one shilling and eight pence per thousand. At times, the sheer detail of Picard's book can be overwhelming, and there is no specific argument that unites her observations, but the sheer scale of information is extremely impressive. -–Jerry Brotton --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

this is a book for ducking and weaving through.... this makes satisfying toilet reading - especially the bits about how private loos in the age of Shakespeare were even nastier than our nastiest public loos today. (Christopher Bray THE DAILY TELEGRAPH)

Liza Picard brilliantly captures the spirit of the age. (EXPRESS)

ELIZABETH'S LONDON is satisfyingly rich and substantial. (Daniel Hahn AROUND THE GLOBE) --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

3.6 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Bulbous Blues on 5 Mar 2008
Format: Paperback
Although this book is not the best written account of life in historical London it is still an enjoyable read and would suit a coffee table of anyone interested in London or the Elizabethan era. The main sources used are John Stows survey of London first published 1598 and the Dairy of Simon Foreman, these are easily available and you may ask would it be best to read straight from these sources. Compared to Peter Ackroyd's amazing work of a biography of London this is a pale comparison. All this being said as a light read it is an enjoyable dip into Elizabethan Life in London
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25 of 30 people found the following review helpful By redhotchilli on 28 Sep 2003
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I was so looking forward to reading this book, but it was particularly disappointing. I learned very little more about life in Elizabethan London than I knew already. Some topics were poorly presented. The section on funerals, for example, was brief and mainly described Queen Mary's funeral. Hardly any mention was made of the poor/middle class people and Mary was buried when Elizabeth was barely on the throne. There was so much information that could have been put into this book and yet so much was left out. WHY ?? Unfortunately it came across as poorly researched and slightly amateurish. Absolutely the opposite of the book "1700 : Scenes from London Life” where Maureen Waller kept the reader enthralled with brilliant stories and snippets.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By J. Chippindale TOP 500 REVIEWER on 6 Sep 2006
Format: Paperback
I stumbled on Liza Picard's books quite by chance. After looking at the publishing date in some of the books it is apparent some of them have been around for several years. I am now recommending them to anyone and everyone and I am so glad I stumbled across this one on a bookshop shelf. I have now read them all, but this one was the first.

As soon as you start to read the book it becomes apparent that the author is passionate about the subject and wants the reader to enjoy the experience as much as she has in the writing of it. How apt that the author starts the book with the life blood of the great City of London. Meandering like a great artery through the heart of the City. It moves on to the streets, houses and gardens; cooking, housework and shopping; clothes, jewellery and make-up; health and medicine; sex and food; education, etiquette and hobbies; religion, law and crime.

Liza Picard was born in 1927. She read law and qualified as a barrister but did not practice. Quite where she gleaned all this information from I am not sure. That it was a labour of love is obvious to anyone who reads her books and I for one am grateful.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Epi~ on 19 Sep 2004
Format: Paperback
Living in America, I don't have the wealth of intuitive understanding of your history as you do. I thought the book was a very easy read and had alot of very interesting facts and info in it. I like the way Ms. Picard catigorized her book and how breifly (but still getting across the idea) she described things and brought a dusty era to life. (That's a lawyer right there. I have read WAY too many long-winded historians!) Considering that there is not a whole lot of information out there for her to draw on regarding this subject, I think she did an excellent job. Of course her books on the 17th and 18th century will be better, as there were more diaryist out there and more things were written and saved. I liked this book. Looking to reading more of her.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By RR Waller TOP 500 REVIEWER on 15 Oct 2011
Format: Hardcover
In three hundred and seventy-five pages, with four slim sections of drawings, plates, maps and paintings, Picard has written a fascinating account of London four centuries ago. London is an exciting city at any time but, in Elizabeth I's time it must have been especially so.

It is possible to read it from cover-to-cover or to use the very efficient organisation to selected particular aspects; there are two main sections, each sub-divided carefully into a wide variety of subjects.

PART ONE - The Place - e.g. Great occasions, the river's moods, the swans, London Bridge, Transport
PART TWO - The People - e.g. the Plague, Women's dress, Washing, etc., Table amnners

An excellent bookshelf companion to Peter Ackroyd's London books and an ideal guide into the world of Shakespeare.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Graham James on 3 April 2011
Format: Paperback
I did not find that this was the kind of book that you could read from cover to cover. Unlike, for example, Life in Tudor England which I found more readable. Nonetheless I regard Lisa Picard's book a great reference source and very useful in giving detail about such matters as food, drink, entertainments, clothes and health.

There were areas where I was disappointed by what seemed to me to be omissions. In the medical section there was no mention of the sweating sickness for example which seems never to have been adequately explained in any book that I have read and, in general, I found this section and the chapter on sex and marriage particularly disappointing. I am never sure if it is because historians find the subject embarrassing or whether it is only that there is no detail left to us, but I have never been able to find any social history of the Tudor time, or any time up to the 19th century, which carries any meaningful detail about sexual behaviour.

My main beef, however, is the lack of a really good map. There were two very limited and on the whole unhelpful drawings from the time, but a map to accompany the opening chapter was, in my view, absolutely vital and its omission was a real spoiler.
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