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Elizabeth's London: Everyday Life in Elizabethan London Audio Cassette – Abridged, Audiobook

3.9 out of 5 stars 28 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Audio Cassette
  • Publisher: Orion; Abridged edition edition (5 Jun. 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0752856804
  • ISBN-13: 978-0752856803
  • Product Dimensions: 10.9 x 3.5 x 14 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars 28 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 3,621,579 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description

Amazon Review

Liza Picard's Elizabeth's London completes a trilogy of books on London throughout history, starting with Restoration London and followed by Dr Johnson's London. From the outset, Picard admits that Elizabethan London proved an even greater challenge to reconstruct, as "few buildings survive", and "artefacts and clothes from the time are rare". Nevertheless, through painstaking detail, Picard wonderfully recreates the crowded chaotic sights and smells of everyday life in late 16th-century London.

Her journey starts, like so many admirers of the city from Chaucer to Ackroyd, on the river Thames, "a uniform opaque grey" in Elizabeth's time, but "fairly unpolluted, judging from all the fish in it," and "a superb processional route between the royal palaces." From here Picard surveys London life, from its main streets, its water supply and its civic buildings of timber and stone, to the houses, people, clothes, food, drink and entertainment that defined one of the most prosperous cities in 16th-century Europe.

Everything is told in all its raw, sensual detail, from the ways in which "the butcher's professional skills" were used to disembowel those unfortunate enough to be convicted of capital offences, to the cost of pins for dressmaking--one shilling and eight pence per thousand. At times, the sheer detail of Picard's book can be overwhelming, and there is no specific argument that unites her observations, but the sheer scale of information is extremely impressive. -–Jerry Brotton --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

Her formula ... is a winning one ... Elizabeth's London is, like its predecessors, a storehouse of fascinating information. Every page contains a nugget ... From birth to death, and everything in between, Picard has given us a wide-ranging survey of London and Londoners in an earlier age (Lucy Moore DAILY MAIL)

From traffic congestion to cures for kidney stones; from water supplies to wood panelling; from etiquette to immigrants; from gardening to childbirth: it's all here in this captivating portrait of one of the world's greatest cities in its greatest age. For all the easy-going tone, this is a work of impressive learning, full of details of everyday practicalities that most recent history books ignore. Often a revelation, it's invariably a pleasure (Michael Kerrigan SCOTLAND ON SUNDAY)

An exuberant book ... a conscientious and scholarly analysis of London's condition in the 16th century, contemplating every civic aspect from the sartorial to the gynaecological. Reading this book is like taking a ride on a marvellously exhilarating time-machine, alive with colour, surprise and sheer merriment (Jan Morris NEW STATESMAN)

This riveting account embraces everything from immigration, crime and poor relief, to the invention in 1596 of the water closet. There are fascinating chapters on the naming and shaming of miscreants ... Picard reads with style and grace (Betty Tadman SCOTSMAN)

The third of Picard's series of London histories is full of ... evocative images and little gems of information ... Picard is at her most entertaining in describing the agonies of Elizabethan fashion ... Picard's technique of using short entries to cover all aspects of daily life makes her books so rewarding to dip into (Maureen Waller THE TIMES)

The reader is taken along the Thames, through the city drains and conduits to the sewers and privies, buildings, gardens and streets, from there to the people who crowded them, and to their complexes and cares. There is much to learn here: how to amputate a leg, or bake a humble pie (deer's entrails with mutton suet). The author has a charming fascination with words and their origins ... This is a vibrant, sparkling insight given with great zest and personality (Alex Burghart TIMES LITERARY SUPPLEMENT)

A warts-and-all portrayal of the sights, stinks and cries of this vibrant, teeming and unsanitary city. Every chapter is filled with incident and accident ... Picard's book contains many surprises ... Elizabeth's London provides a wonderfully evocative portrait of this lively, if squalid, city, and is an essential companion to the author's previous books (Giles Milton LIVING HISTORY)

Drawing on a variety of sources, including records from Queen Elizabeth I's astrologer, doctors, churchwardens and foreign visitors, Elizabeth's London describes what life was like 400 years ago, not for the royal courtiers we so often see in period dramas, but for ordinary Londoners. It covers all the topics you might expect - such as food, buildings, diseases and religion - as well as the more unusual realities of life during Elizabeth's reign ... Following Dr Johnson's London and Restoration London, Picard again demonstrates her enormous knowledge of, and passion for, London's past (Les Pickford GEOGRAPHICAL)

A book that is both historically sound and hysterically funny, this is one to be cherished (GOOD BOOK GUIDE)

Setting out to provide a detailed inventory of daily life in Tudor London ... she is unflappably curious in her sifting through 16th-century lives (Andrew Holgate SUNDAY TIMES)

Picard makes spirited use of topographies, diaries, letters, account books, wills and inventories to detail the costs and conditions of this unprecedented expansion ... The author's third guide-book to the capital's past is as highly readable as her earlier examinations of Restoration and Georgian London (Robin Blake FINANCIAL TIMES)

An evocative survey of the satisfactions and vexations of life in the capital in the later 16th century (HISTORY TODAY)

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