This book was first released in 1924, and I should point out that there are some typos here, probably caused by the scanning software, although there aren't too many. Alfred Rosling Bennett is better known in certain circles due to his work with telephonics, and the patents he took out, but this book doesn't go into all this. What he set out to do here was give the impressions of London life in the 1850s and 1860s.
Set mainly in South London, as Bennett moved south of the river at an early age, there are also his memories of Islington and what he saw and witnessed in those days, along with what news was taking place, both national and international. With anecdotes abut his growing up, and with his thoughts about how much had changed by 1924, and his personal feelings on education and the state of the country there is a lot to take in and absorb here. Find out what it was like to travel on omnibuses and on trains, as they first started to make an impression on people's lives, as well as the number of boats that used to be on the Thames. Also we have descriptions on the original policeman's uniform along with other fashions; there is a lot to keep you interested in this book.
There is an active table of contents where there is a brief description of each chapter, so that if you just want to look at certain sections it is easy to do so. Of course as with a book of this type it shows more than what living in London was like, it also shows what life was like in all of Britain's major cities.
This is the second book in the series of e-books about Victorian London, and I have enjoyed both of the volumes that I have read so far. This book is a book of memoirs about the London of 1850 to 1890 and concerns the introduction of omnibuses and trains and the Industrialisation of the capital city. It was written about 1924 and it is clear that the author sees the Victorian era as the high point of the British Empire. A few typos but these didn't spoil the reading of the book. People interested in this era of history should enjoy the book.
Lot of typos in here (ladies becomes ladles etc.) and sometimes a line took 2-3 reads to figure out what the word should be.
But only a little moan. Really fascinating book and wonderful detail. Was fascinated by things like the author, as a little boy, collecting fliers given out by tradespeople and then, when he tired of it, giving it to the "waste paper man". Recycling is not such a new thing.
In fact, reading this, there are so many things that we think of as fairly recent inventions that were commonplace 150 years ago.
Lots of humour in there too - like when he was racing his brother up stairs on all fours and slipped and bit through his tongue and had to have stitches. When, some weeks later, he was stood on the dining room table with a brother (he was one of 7) playing "fishing" and got a fish hook through his eyelid the Dr remarked that it might be cheaper for his mother to pay him to move in with the family. Brilliant.
The only other slight downside is that every now and then the author's obsession with trains kicks in and he goes on about wheel sizes and so on.....skipped on a page at those points, although reading some of the stories of accidents with transportation was still fascinating.
Fascinating book, which is written in a very easy and approachable manner, and gives really interesting insights into London in the middle of the last century - it will be particularly of interest if you know Islington and Greenwich, where the author lived. Much about railways, which fascinated the author as a boy, but given that the railways were a technological marvel and a force for change at the time, I don't think this makes the book less appealing to an ordinary reader.
Amazing recall and an interesting life make this a unique historical work. My only quibble which is a very minor one is that I would have liked to learn a little about the author's family life. Mr Rosling made a conscious decision to be objective but a little more personal involvement in the narrative would have been welcome, at least to this reader.
This is a brilliant book about the 19th & early 20th century London. Very informative and bunged full of information by someone who lived through that period. I was totally fascinated by the comparisons between the mid 19th and the early 20th century and the way of life in Victorian times. The author covers all the historic events in the context of an observer during that period even down to being bullied by young thugs as a child.A must for anone interested in that period!
I enjoyed this book. It was different from the usual type of history book because it is someone's actual memories of the 1850's and1860's therefore so much more personal than other history books. It was also interesting due to the fact that it gave an insight into public attitudes of the 1920's when this book was written. I especially appreciated the chapter on the Crystal Palace as I used to live near there. Only four stars because there were a few sections which did not interest me - but only a few.