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London In The Nineteenth Century: A Human Awful Wonder of God Hardcover – 4 Jan 2007

4.3 out of 5 stars 36 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 640 pages
  • Publisher: Jonathan Cape Ltd; 1st edition edition (4 Jan. 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0224062727
  • ISBN-13: 978-0224062725
  • Product Dimensions: 16 x 4 x 24.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars 36 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 133,293 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description


'Both exhaustive and detailed: both scholarly... and human...
irresistible" -- BBC History Magazine

'My Favourite Londoner' -- Time Out

'White manages to make the familiar seem entirely fresh' -- The Sunday Times

'impressively researched, wide-ranging volume' -- Sunday Telegraph

'Energy, élan and watertight scholarship go hand in hand'
-- Sunday Times

A poetic evocation -- FT

Magisterial...White's passion for his subject is evident -- Observer

Majestic study of the metropolis -- Good Book Guide

Meticulously researched and full of often engaging detail -- Guardian

`from a prize winning historian, a fresh and energetic look at a
century of frenzied growth'.
-- Sunday Times


London in the nineteenth century was the greatest city mankind had ever seen. Its growth was stupendous. Its wealth was dazzling. Its horrors shocked the world. In one hour's walk from west to east, London revealed a cavalcade of life chances - from all the prizes that civilisation could offer on the one hand to a barbarous struggle for existence on the other. As William Blake put it, London was 'a Human awful wonder of God'. The nineteenth century was London's greatest so far. It was a century of genius - poets, novelists, journalists in the front rank, but also architects, scientists, philanthropists, and politicians too. This was the London of Blake, Thackeray and Mayhew, of Nash, Faraday, Barnardo and Disraeli. Most of all it was the London of Dickens. And it was in the nineteenth century that Londoners began to address the contradictions and extremes of metropolitan life and try to impose some order on their turbulent city. The story of London in these hectic decades must first of all uncover how far the war on disorder succeeded. And how far it failed.

Jerry White's dazzling new book is the first in a hundred years to explore London's history over the nineteenth century as a whole. We see the destruction of old London and the city's unparalleled suburban expansion. We see how London absorbed people from all over Britain, from Europe and the Empire. We see how Londoners worked and played. Most of all, we see how they tried to make sense of their city and make it a better place in which to live. Emerging clearly from this eloquent and richly-detailed overview is the London we see about us today.

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36 customer reviews

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