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Regency Underworld (Sutton History Classics) [Paperback]

Donald A Low
3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)

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Book Description

21 Oct 2005 Sutton History Classics
Alongside the world of 'Pride and Prejudice' and 'Vanity Fair', Byron, Keats, Constable and Nash, there also existed a pulsating underworld where crime and vice of every kind flourished. Venture into this forgotten world, and discover a fascinating place filled with pleasure-seekers, criminals and body snatchers at work.

Product details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: The History Press; New Ed edition (21 Oct 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0750940476
  • ISBN-13: 978-0750940474
  • Product Dimensions: 22 x 17 x 2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 112,079 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

About the Author

Donald Low is Professor Emeritus of English at the University of Stirling.

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Customer Reviews

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3.7 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
During each historical/social era (Renaissance,Regency,etc..)we admire the individuals, the art and architecture,literature ,lifestyle, building a romantic image of days gone by and wish we could somehow experience that beauty ,extravagance,knowledge etc..Yet we forget the reality of each era,the ugliness,hardship,murderous sacrifices,stench and the suffering which the majority of the population experienced and endured.
The regency underworld by Donald Low was a fascinating insight into the social reality of Regency England.It focuses on crime and the underworld ,covering topics such as Rookeries,thief takers,the nurseries of crime,the medical underworld, regency rogues and characters.
Written in an easy readable style I found it absorbing and enlightening, a real eye-opener to an era which is distinguished with cultural achievments..In particular, the chapter on the Medical underworld was an eye-opener,detailing horrific practices which as a result assisted in the progress of medicine and which we take for granted today.
Well written and well paced ,keeps the reader enthrawlled.
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24 of 29 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A guide to the Darker side of Georgian life 12 Dec 2000
By A Customer
This is a great book giving you an insight into the darker side of Georgian life. A captivating read and a most enlightening book. A must for anyone trying to understand England in the 1800's.
This book will open your eyes to what lay behind the pomp and splendor of the times.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Well researched but maybe a little selective 3 Mar 2013
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I specialise in the Regency and wanted some specific information about an under-researched but major aspect of that world. The book contained some very useful and properly referenced information, including some from primary sources, which was exactly what I wanted. However, it is quite brief (187 pages) and selective, and left me with as many questions as answers. So - good as far as it went but I was left wanting more. A much more thorough (and eminently readable) treatment is provided in '1700: Scenes from London Life' by Maureen Waller, (Hodder & Stoughton 2000) but, of course, this deals with an earlier period and quite a bit had changed in the course of the ensuing 100 years.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.2 out of 5 stars  6 reviews
48 of 49 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating and lively portrayal 21 April 2000
By A. Woodley - Published on Amazon.com
The seamier side of London in the early nineteenth century written with flare. This book was an enjoyable romp through the back streets, slums and 'rookeries' of London and the attempts by authorities to control them.
The book is packed full of detail of the people of the time including some of the more famous characters such as fences and theives and the methods they used to continue their trade. You can read about 'Mudlarks and scuffle hunters' of the river Thames, or if you prefer, the 'resurrectionists' who traded in dead bodies for medical students.
Low also draws deeply on literature of the time such as Pierce Egan's "Life in London" which is chock full of authentic Regency-era slang. For instance Money could be referred to as "Blunt, rhino, flash the screens, sport the rhino, show the needful, post the pony, nap the rent, stump the pewter, tip the brads down with the dust only get into tip street."
Some great illustrations and a fun trip into the life among the lower orders.
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Regency + Underworld = Fascinating? No 3 Aug 2009
By Thomas M. Sullivan - Published on Amazon.com
When this book popped up on my reading rotation, I was really looking forward to what promised to be an interesting work. After all, how could an author miss with the subject matter of crime (and, hopefully, punishment) during one of the most deliciously dissolute periods of English history? Well, turns out that if he concentrates the major portion of the first part of the book on a too detailed background of the founding of the Metropolitan Police and only the last, relatively few, pages to interesting portraits of four of the era's notable scalawags, it can be done. In short, should have provided more vignettes and less of what amounts to legislative history. Overall, it reminded me of Jessica Warner's "Craze: Gin and Debauchery in an Age of Reason:" much promised, less delivered.
3.0 out of 5 stars Great Topic on Regency History 21 Dec 2013
By Chris Christensen - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I'm doing research on Regency London and was hoping this title would provide more detailed information about the "lowlife" of the period. This title has great information, but I found the writing style a bit stilted. This book is also not intended for the novice reader; if you don't already have a background in the period, you might get quickly lost. I would like to see an update that includes a couple of period maps of the city, a rewrite to improve the writing style, and more detailed information on prostitution, Bow Street, the Marine Police, Tyburn, and more early 1800's coverage. I love to see more on "thieves cant" as well as more on the East End warrens (building descriptions, interiors, etc.). This is a great start on an interesting topic.
5.0 out of 5 stars A Regency research gem 29 Aug 2013
By LCK - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This book is a must have for anyone interested in England during the early 19th century, particularly London. Well-researched and well-written, it takes the reader into a world that's the polar opposite of every Jane Austin novel ever written.
5.0 out of 5 stars Underbelly Regency Style 8 Oct 2010
By Kayelle Rowland - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book shocked me, educated me and was truly a page turner.

I purchased this book as I am doing some research into the period and it didn't disappoint. The book focuses on the darker side of life which is present in every society in some form.

If you are looking to understand our history and human nature you will discover that soccer hooliganism is nothing new.
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