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Interesting, but not well written.
on 5 October 2014
Interesting but not well written in my opinion. I fluctuated between a 3 and a 4 star review for this as I did find it interesting but did become more and more irritated with her writing style throughout. She simply is not a very good writer, it did feel at times like I was reading a school essay, lots of repeated uses of 'however', or 'by 18xx' and as another review points out, at times there seemed to be a lot of padding.
My experience is probably made worse as I have read a couple of Sarah Wise' books previously and at the same time as reading this by Fiona Rule I am also reading 'The Blackest Streets' by Sarah Wise and the difference in quality of articulation between them is significant.
That said, if like me you are interested in these areas of Victorian London then it provides colour, interest and information. My ancestors are unfortunately from Dorset Street and the surrounds and the Old Nichol areas and its unbelievable at times that anyone survived these areas when the conditions were as described.
I would have liked to see more confirmation of where the information was from in this book. There are a lot of statements about the actions of various characters in and around the 'story' but no confirmation of how this information was gathered. Also it would have helped to have better and clearer maps for context.