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Gin: The Much Lamented Death of Madam Geneva - The Eighteenth Century Gin Craze [Kindle Edition]

Patrick Dillon
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)

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  • Length: 227 pages (estimated)
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Book Description

During the early eighteenth century, gin-drinking reached epidemic proportions in the slums of London. The spirit was sold from shops and market stalls, from basements and barrows in the streets, until every Londoner was averaging two pints of gin a week.

Early eighteenth-century London was a violent and insecure town. Reformers blamed ‘Madam Geneva’ for everything from social decay to rising crime and passed eight major acts in an attempt to control it. When prohibition was attempted, it was greeted with popular riots and the explosion of a bomb in Westminster Hall. With arguments about gin drawing in writers such as Daniel Defoe and Henry Fielding, the campaign for reform reached its climax with the unforgettable image of Hogarth’s ‘Gin Lane’.

This is the story of the rise and fall of ‘Madam Geneva’. Gin-drinkers and sellers, politicians and distillers all add their voices to Patrick Dillon’s vivid account of London’s first drug craze, and the ultimately successful attempts to control it.

‘Excellent.’ - Andrew Marr

‘Patrick Dillon has gathered together some marvellous tales here… This book is as crowded with sensational incident as an 18th-century newspaper… With its manic tempo, Dillon’s prose embodies the relentless energy of the time… the city’s infinite variety is also successfully invoked. He has, too, a gift for simplifying complex issues.’ - Daily Telegraph

‘A crisp, fast-paced account… Dillon paints a vivid picture of hard-drinking London, high on spirits and speculation… Dillon’s book offers a fascinating tale, ringing with authentic voices.’ - Sunday Times

Product Description

About the Author

Patrick Dillon was born in London in 1962. His books include The Last Revolution, a history of the Glorious Revolution of 1688, and The Story of Britain, a narrative history of Britain for children. He lives in London with his family.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1244 KB
  • Print Length: 227 pages
  • Publisher: Thistle Publishing (7 Aug. 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00EE7AGT0
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #146,646 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

Patrick Dillon was born in London. His first book of history for grown-ups, The Much-Lamented Death of Madam Geneva, was a history of the eighteenth-century gin craze. This was followed by The Last Revolution, a history of the Glorious Revolution that combined political events with the revolution's social background and changes in economics and science.

His most recent book, The Story of Britain, is a single-volume narrative history for children. It covers the whole history of Britain and Ireland from 1066 to the present day, telling it through the stories that made Patrick Dillon fall in love with history in the first place.

As well as writing and broadcasting, Patrick Dillon works as an architect specialising in old buildings. He lives in London with his wife and two children.

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Customer Reviews

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4.6 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Nothing changes! 29 April 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Reading this book has informed me that the thing we learn from history is that we learn nothing from history!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Spirited Account! 10 May 2014
By Lee
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Two things inspired me to buy this book. The first is that I enjoy a gin and tonic and was curious to find out more about this tempting aperitif. The second reason was my sad neglect of 18th century social history. The book satisfies both my requirements in full measure. The narrative is fast-paced, full of contemporary quotations and above all is entertainingly written. And considering that I live in East Anglia in a country which benefitted hugely from the grain trade to Holland and to the gin distilleries in London, this added another layer to my interest. This is one book that every self-respecting puritan, hypocrite and tippler should read and enjoy. I will treat my intake with more moderation, but three pints in an hour is definitely going it some!!!!!!!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars fascinating 6 May 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Excellent book and a fascintaing insight into social history.
I would say that this book is definately worth a read.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Ice & Lemon? 8 July 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Interesting for a dedicated gin lover such as me, and possibly a cautionary tale, although it hasn't changed my habits! Fascinating social history.
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