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London In The Eighteenth Century: A Great and Monstrous Thing Hardcover – 1 Mar 2012


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 704 pages
  • Publisher: Bodley Head; 1st Edition edition (1 Mar. 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1847921809
  • ISBN-13: 978-1847921802
  • Product Dimensions: 16.2 x 4.1 x 24.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 32,715 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

"An invigorating and thoughtful tour through the metropolis’s most extraordinary and bracing of centuries" (Sunday Times Online)

"Together with Iain Sinclair and Peter Ackroyd, White is one of our great chroniclers of London and this beautifully written, impeccably researched and incredibly generous book is a necessity for those of us who are not yet tired of life" (Frances Wilson Daily Telegraph)

"A dazzling account... White is a reliable and animated guide" (Christopher Sylvester Daily Express)

"Spiralling stories enliven every page of Jerry White’s magnificent, fully annotated, accessible and scholarly book" (Tablet)

"Sober yet incisive in his assessments, comprehensive in his coverage, and gimlet-eyes in his choice of detail, he offers an invigorating yet thoughtful tour through London’s most extraordinary and bracing of centuries" (Andrew Holgate Sunday Times)

Book Description

The story of an extraordinary century in the history of London.

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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Campesque on 20 May 2012
Format: Hardcover
Having read the author's brilliant previous books London In The Nineteenth Century: 'A Human Awful Wonder of God' and London in the Twentieth Century: A City and Its People, I was very much looking forward to the publication of this one. It certainly does not disappoint. In London In The Eighteenth Century: A Great and Monstrous Thing, Jerry White takes us on a fascinating tour of the great metropolis during a century of rapid change and expansion. It's a fascinating journey back in time, giving us a vivid picture of the sights, smells, character and society of London during this period. I will be revisiting areas of the capital with renewed interest and fresh insight. I would wholeheartedly recommend this book, and the others in the trilogy, to anyone with an interest in the history of London and society as a whole. It is extremely well researched and a very enjoyable read - no dry history this! I was really sorry to reach the last page, but will undoubtedly reread it in the future.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Keen Reader TOP 100 REVIEWER on 25 Nov. 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a fascinating book; at over 600 pages jam packed with anecdotes, details and facts, it's a book which I found easiest to read in chunks, giving myself time to absorb each aspect.

The story of London in the eighteenth century is broken down into five sections: city, people, work, culture and power, and thirteen chapters within these five parts. Each chapter starts with the story of some one person who is directly connected with an aspect of London in this time - James Gibbs, Robert Adam, Samuel Johnson, Ignatius Sancho, William Beckford, Francis Place, Eliza Haywood, Teresa Cornelys, Martha Stracey, Mary Young, The Fieldings', Jonas Hanway and John Wilkes. Some names we know well, like Samuel Johnson with no `passion' for `clean linen' or Robert Adam, the great architect. Other characters in the book we are not so familiar with, like Rhynwick Williams, the so-called London Monster who apparently gained great satisfaction from lewdly talking to and stabbing women in the street!

We get to read in this book about the great, like Sir Thomas Grosvenor, and the unnamed like the immigrants and the thieves, the charlatans and the merchants. We read about the city, its people, their work, their culture and the power which made London in the Eighteenth Century so fascinating to so many people, both then and now. This book brings it home how much of a city of contrasts London was in this time; a callous and brutal world where you could be hanged for the theft of a handkerchief, but where great fortunes were also made (and lost).

Totally enthralling stuff from beginning to end; looking forward to reading the story of London in the nineteenth century next.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By R. K. Hunter on 18 April 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
In this his third book on the last three century's history of London, Mr White has given us once again a rich and varied tale of how Londoners of all sorts of Tastes, hues and personalities came through this it's "Seventeenth Century".London has always been a magnet drawing all shades of Engand and the world to its lively life. Here are tales familier and almost unknown brought to life by a master teller of history and how these people made us the people we are today.
I am very gratefull for this and the other two books, they have prompted me to search out, buildings, alleys, streets, pubs and monuments and make it posssible to see some of the lives of those mentioned in the books,from their point of view.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Shane Hooper on 14 May 2013
Format: Paperback
A fantastically written and well researched book that picks up from where its predecessors left off. White breaks the book down into swctions that cover the whole sweep of the century through architecture, commerce, people and the merging of discrete boroughs to form the shell of what we now know as London. Highly readable and strongly recommended.
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Format: Hardcover
A magisterial book. Mr White manages to tread the difficult line between comprehensive and excessive detail, providing in one (admittedly, dauntingly sized) volume a masterly summary of this massive subject. I especially liked the device of theming the chapters around representative individuals. In addition, he writes well, with an easy, elegant, style, leavened with occasional humour and wry comment.
Only one thing puzzled me - after apparently labouring on this vast project for six years, you might expect its author to have 'pulled out all the stops' for its conclusion. I certainly was hoping for a profound synthesis and insightful reflections, in keeping with the rest of the volume. However, the book bows out with a whimper rather than bang, ending in a few short pages reading like a below-par Guardian editorial. For the next edition (surely inevitable?) perhaps Mr White might redraft this and let us into his inmost thoughts?
However, that quibble aside, this book is highly recommended for both pleasure and enlightenment.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
A brilliant read, a fascinating nugget on every page, my disappointment at finishing it softened by knowing I have the same author's book of the next century in store. One reservation: I read this on my Kindle Paperwhite. The illustrations have come out small and indistinct. I hoped they would be clearer on my Kindle Fire but instead they are even smaller, not much more than the size of a postage stamp. A great pity as the pictures are well chosen and would otherwise have added much to the pleasure. This is something Amazon need to fix.
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