Dickens' Dictionary of London 1888
ISBN 10: 1873590040 / 1-873590-04-0
ISBN 13: 9781873590041
Publisher: Old House Books
Publication Date: 2006
An unconventional Victorian guidebook which vividly captures the atmosphere and vitality of what was then the largest city in the world, the heart, not just of the nation, but also of a great empire. Through a series of over 700 detailed entries contained in 272 pages printed facsimile from the original 1888 edition, we build up a living portrait of Victorian London, from the fashionable gentlemen's clubs of St James's to the markets and slums of the East End. The remarks on the principal buildings, the churches and the great railway stations, the banks, theatres and sporting facilities are informative and well observed, the comments of someone who obviously knew London like the back of his hand. Equally revealing and very entertaining are the wealth of tips on social behaviour. There is essential advice on everything from the hiring of servants (a parlour maid's recommended salary was 12 per annum), the benefits of cycling (most welcome in view of the saving of cruelty to horseflesh), how to cope with milk contaminated with diphtheria and typhoid, fogs (much appreciated by the predatory classes) through to avoiding the attention of carriage thieves. This very detailed guidebook, and its companion volume "Dickens's Dictionary of the Thames" (Old House Books) were published by Charles Dickens' son at the time of Queen Victoria's Golden Jubilee and is a mine of information for all lovers of London and its past.
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