This book is a great research resource for writers. It contains excerpts from newspapers and magazines as well as guide and etiquette books of the period, and reveals glimpses into the lives, living conditions, habits and attitudes of people of the era.
Many of the pieces are news articles, others are opinion pieces by columnists, the forerunner of today's opinion blogs. Some of the pieces astonishing, some are eye-opening. As a writer, I find these snippets inspiring for my historical and steampunk fiction.
The entries are arranged alphabetically under a keyword, and span a wide range of topics - from Bed Bugs, Bicycle Races and Blackmail to Flogging, Freaks and Funerals, from Policemen, Pornographic Objects and Postal Deliveries to Song Writing, Spiritualism and Squirrels.
Under each entry, there's the source (e.g. the name of the magazine) and the year of publication. Personally, I would have liked to see the this information at the top, under the entry title, for when I'm looking for a specific decade or era.
I have the Kindle ebook. Perhaps the paperback would be more practical as a reference work and for browsing, but the Kindle book is not bad, because it has a clickable table of contents. I can skim through the list of keywords in the table of contents, find one that's close to what I'm looking for, and click it to read the entry.
I wish the table of contents showed the year of publication behind each keyword, because when I write historical stories, they're set in a specific year, or at least a specific decade. It would be good to go directly to entries of around 1840 or 1900 , and see what London was like then. instead of reading entries which then turn out to be the wrong period.
This is an ideal book to have on the Kindle, each alphabetically sorted topic is easily found from the index or you can skip from topic to topic by browsing in this order which I prefer as it means that I've read about subjects that I wouldn't necessarily seek out.
The information is fascinating, it is wonderful to have such a varied set of material from a variety of sources available in one book.
I am so pleased I've found this gem of a book as it is perfect to pick up whenever I have a few minutes to spare.
This is a very interesting anthology of Victorian life in London. It contains passages, adverts, pictures, portraits, articles from all sorts of sources, publications and personal memoirs. Some of the subjects covered are very unusual like bed bugs and bloomerism, some are really funny and some are absolutely shocking. I have never read anything like this before, and I have nothing to regret about the experience, it diffenitely brought Victorian London to Life in words to me.
I am interested in Victorian history. This book shows the lives of ordinary people using contemporary sources of the time. An excellent read could not put it down. The layout was easy to read and each section short but informative. A good book to dip in and out of and one that will be read again. A pleasant surprise and a good purchase. Recommended!
I have one word for this book....fun. I would have expected an anthology to be organised by excerpts related to a single topic for example. Instead the extracts are simply arranged alphabetically. I really liked this as it meant reading very diverse tales every few pages. Highly recommended as a relaxing and often very humorous glimpse of Victorian life.