Bids to be 'the standard work',
This review is from: London In The Eighteenth Century: A Great and Monstrous Thing (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.