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London and Londoners in the 1850s & 1860s (Victorian London Ebooks Book 2)
 
 

London and Londoners in the 1850s & 1860s (Victorian London Ebooks Book 2) [Kindle Edition]

Alfred Rosling Bennett , Lee Jackson
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)

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Product Description

Product Description

'One of the best books about daily life in Victorian London.'

Alfred Rosling Bennett was born on 14th May 1850, and died aged 78, on 24th May 1928. He was a pioneering electrical engineer, remembered by the Times' obituarist for his groundbreaking work in telephony. In 1877, for example, he connected the Canterbury Music hall in Lambeth to the Queen's Theatre in Long Acre, via an overhead telephone line - the first such experiment carried out in London.

LONDON AND LONDONERS IN THE 1850s & 1860s is not, however, about Rosling Bennett's career. The book begins with his early childhood in Islington and focuses, almost exclusively, on daily life in the mid-Victorian metropolis. For example, selecting at random from the first few chapters, we learn about the interiors of omnibuses -- "The floor was covered with a thick layer of straw - in imitation of stage-coach practice - dry and clean every morning, but, as may readily be supposed, in wet weather damp, dirty, and smelly for the rest of the day. It was warm for the feet and kept out draughts, but promoted a too-evident stuffiness, especially when the let-down window of the door was up and the portal itself closed - there were no microbes to worry us in those days - and if a sixpence or a four-pennybit were dropped the chance of recovering it was small indeed." -- and the delivery of milk -- "Now and then, a man and girl driving a couple of very clean cows came round and drew milk from the udder straight into customers' jugs, or at least into a measure that was at once emptied into the jugs. That might be supposed to be a very direct, honest procedure, calculated to render adulteration laws vain and nugatory; but our milkman said that if people could only see the quantity of water 'them poor cows' were compelled to drink before starting, they would cease to wonder that the milk was so thin and blue." -- and the range of popular 1850s 'treatments' for cholera, namely "acorns, mustard plasters, castor-oil, laughing-gas, cold mutton broth, and hot mint-tea".

Victorian memoirs are often very dull things, regaling one with bland tales about meetings with famous folk, assorted commonplaces and platitudes. Rosling Bennett, on the other hand, from the vantage of the 'modern era' of the 1920s, applies a scientific rigour to the memories of his youth. He disdains singing his own praises for telling the reader about barbers touting "bear's grease" as the essential hair-oil (one enterprising hair-dresser even displaying a live bear to woo customers); or a detailed description of police uniform; or a paragraph about the itinerant sellers of draught excluders - the list is endless.

I have encountered no comparable work which conveys the same amount of intriguing information about daily life in the Victorian city, in such a concise and pleasurable manner. For that reason, I commend this book to the reader.


Lee Jackson

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 530 KB
  • Print Length: 260 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: Victorian London Ebooks (1 Jan 1924)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B004TTX18Q
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #38,218 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
36 of 36 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Interesting Read 13 April 2011
By M. Dowden HALL OF FAME TOP 50 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This book was first released in 1924, and I should point out that there are some typos here, probably caused by the scanning software, although there aren't too many. Alfred Rosling Bennett is better known in certain circles due to his work with telephonics, and the patents he took out, but this book doesn't go into all this. What he set out to do here was give the impressions of London life in the 1850s and 1860s.

Set mainly in South London, as Bennett moved south of the river at an early age, there are also his memories of Islington and what he saw and witnessed in those days, along with what news was taking place, both national and international. With anecdotes abut his growing up, and with his thoughts about how much had changed by 1924, and his personal feelings on education and the state of the country there is a lot to take in and absorb here. Find out what it was like to travel on omnibuses and on trains, as they first started to make an impression on people's lives, as well as the number of boats that used to be on the Thames. Also we have descriptions on the original policeman's uniform along with other fashions; there is a lot to keep you interested in this book.

There is an active table of contents where there is a brief description of each chapter, so that if you just want to look at certain sections it is easy to do so. Of course as with a book of this type it shows more than what living in London was like, it also shows what life was like in all of Britain's major cities.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Really enjoying this! 5 July 2011
Format:Kindle Edition
For once I'm not complaining that I can't find a book on Kindle (it's a great read) - now I'm complaining that I can't buy a hard copy for my mother-in-law and father-in-law, who were born in South East London and have over the years talked about lots of the places mentioned in this book - they'd love it!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Engineer's youth 25 Jan 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This is a most fascinating book. Written by an engineer with an interest in steam engines, ships, telephones and more. A personal delight in the London of his youth gives a more vivid account than a professional writer or historian could achieve. This is a book I shall re-read many times.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting Window on times gone by. 24 Sep 2013
By Flagman
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I found the records of events people and places fascinating. It is an ideal book to read in small bitesize chunks.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
A fascinating, well written book. gives life like descriptions of places long ago. Mr Bennett was clearly an intelligent interesting man.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
By Zubenji
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Recollections of a gentlemans childhood in the 1850's. His memories throughout are amazing giving you a whole new perpective on this period in history. His memoirs cover everything from topical news, inventions and engineering to just the ins and outs of his daily life. Also lots of interesting words are used and often in contexts that we wouldn't consider for them today.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ver informative 12 Jun 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I enjoyed this book as it gives an insight into more of the early Victorian world and differs from the Dickens world we are all familiar with.
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4.0 out of 5 stars London and londoners, a good read 10 Dec 2013
By Bob
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Very good reading, snippets of history written for quick reading without boring you with a great amount of detail, I would reccommend
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Very interesting snap-shot of a time gone by.
It makes one see the similarities between people then and people now. I,being 79,can vuagley remember the remains of several aspects of the daily life described in the book (e.g. Read more
Published 7 months ago by E. S.
5.0 out of 5 stars London & Londoners
This is a brilliant book about the 19th & early 20th century London. Very informative and bunged full of information by someone who lived through that period. Read more
Published 8 months ago by M. Warner
5.0 out of 5 stars Ground level observation
Really interesting personal view of what it was like to grow up in Victorian London. History with a human perspective.
Published 9 months ago by Jeffrey Guy
5.0 out of 5 stars Interesting
Works well when read alongside Mayhew's London useful for social historians, those that want to really understand London history from sources current at the time, not the romanced... Read more
Published 10 months ago by grumpya
4.0 out of 5 stars Not the usual type of history book.
I enjoyed this book. It was different from the usual type of history book because it is someone's actual memories of the 1850's and1860's therefore so much more personal than other... Read more
Published 15 months ago by Jackie M
5.0 out of 5 stars Victorian London history
I enjoyed reading it. Lots of memories about everything.
The last chapter could have been written this year about the state of England!
Published 15 months ago by Douglas Mitchinson
5.0 out of 5 stars A wonderful book
A fascinating glimpse into life in Victorian England by someone who was actually there. Arthur Bennett has a natural gift for storytelling and this book is a must for anyone... Read more
Published 18 months ago by mairme
5.0 out of 5 stars A treat for myself
Being a Londoner by birth I found this subject very interesting. On reading the book I found many old time things that I had never heard of as well as some I had.
Published 18 months ago by KathR
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For many years after this - into the 1880s, I believe - cows were kept at a stand in St. James's Park and milked as required for customers, who were chiefly nurses and children. &quote;
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The originator of the idea of the new police was not, however, Sir Robert Peel at all, but Vincent George Dowling, editor of the sporting newspaper Bell's Life in London, who had suggested and advocated it years before. &quote;
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Inside, the bus was narrow and cramped. The floor was covered with a thick layer of straw - in imitation of stage-coach practice - dry and clean every morning, but, as may readily be supposed, in wet weather damp, dirty, and smelly for the rest of the day. It was warm for the feet and kept out draughts, but promoted a too-evident stuffiness, especially when the let-down window of the door was up and the portal itself closed &quote;
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