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Interesting if unduly detailed
on 13 October 2014
This book got off to a dodgy start when the author told us that Dickens "was born in the reign of George II although by 1836 the old King was.......mad". But a few lines later she tells us (correctly) that in 1820 the Prince Regent inherited the throne as George IV. Later in the book she again muddles (twice) George II and George III.
Having said that, once you get into it, the book is detailed and informative. The author has obviously done a good deal of research and knows her Dickens. In many ways Victorian London seems to resemble the India I visited in 1978. The phrase, "the past is another country" comes to mind frequently. For example, I don't suppose that many Londoners eat eel or whelks now, and certainly oysters are no longer associated with poverty.
My criticism of the book is that if anything it goes into too much detail (the chapter on prostitutes is an example). That made me turn pages fairly quickly. This is a pity because the subject matter is very interesting.