A Well Written But Somewhat Specialised Review of Bazalgette's Drainage Scheme for London,
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This review is from: Into the Belly of the Beast: Exploring London's Victorian Sewers (Hardcover)
This book does exactly as described in the product description; it focuses on how the installation of Bazalgette's new drainage system for London was planned and presented and how the massive project was received by the newspapers of the time. By virtue of a detailed examination of the cast iron work and general designs employed the author ascribes much of the architecture of the Crossness and Abbey Mills pumping stations to the architect Charles Henry Driver, rather than to Bazalgette himself.
Much of the contents of the book are based on extensive research undertaken for a Ph.D. thesis completed by Dobraszczk in 2006. The book is written in a lucid and entertaining style and contains many interesting illustrations from Bazalgette's original plans and from contemporary issues of The Illustrated London News. A viewpoint of the story often overlooked by other writers is that there was substantial and sustained opposition to Bazalgette's drainage scheme and that, somewhat surprisingly, this came from the `environmental' lobby who were keen to recycle sewerage for use in the numerous market gardens that surrounded London.
Despite the excellence of the book it should be said that it will be of most interest to architects, architectural historians and serious students of the Victorian period. It is perhaps too detailed for the general reader for whom `The Great Stink of London' by Stephen Halliday (1999) may be a better buy.
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Initial post: 26 Nov 2013 09:46:45 GMT
Martin Berry says:
If this is an "excellent" book which does "exactly as described in the product description" how on earth can you give it four stars rather than five? You are downgrading it for not being something it does not set out to be.
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