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.
For once I'm not complaining that I can't find a book on Kindle (it's a great read) - now I'm complaining that I can't buy a hard copy for my mother-in-law and father-in-law, who were born in South East London and have over the years talked about lots of the places mentioned in this book - they'd love it!
This is a most fascinating book. Written by an engineer with an interest in steam engines, ships, telephones and more. A personal delight in the London of his youth gives a more vivid account than a professional writer or historian could achieve. This is a book I shall re-read many times.
Recollections of a gentlemans childhood in the 1850's. His memories throughout are amazing giving you a whole new perpective on this period in history. His memoirs cover everything from topical news, inventions and engineering to just the ins and outs of his daily life. Also lots of interesting words are used and often in contexts that we wouldn't consider for them today.
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.
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.