Craze: Gin and Debauchery in an Age of Reason

Dr Jessica Warner

Published by Profile Books Ltd, 2004
ISBN 10: 1861976011 / ISBN 13: 9781861976017
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Synopsis: An intimate, irreverent history of the 'gin craze' in eighteenth-century London 'Gin took London by storm in the first half of the 18th century. It 'was the original urban drug,' says Warner in this intriguing slice of social history. 'Cheap, potent, and readily available,' it aided London's poor in escaping the wretchedness of their lives and was considered a public menace by Daniel Defoe and Samuel Johnson. (Hogarth's famous print Gin Lane imagined a nightmarish world destroyed by a demonic drink.) Warner gives us the whole story of gin: where it came from (Holland), who drank it (a large percentage were women), how it was perceived (as a threat to the nation), and how legislative efforts to curb consumption fared (badly).

From the Inside Flap: Rotgut gin—cheap, widely available, and remarkably potent—was the overwhelming drug of choice among London’s working poor in the early 1700s. Sold for pennies in taverns and squalid gin shops, on street corners and even in jails, gin was the original opiate of the masses, plunging England’s capital into chaos and giving rise to the first modern drug scare. Craze is an engaging social history of gin and the men and women whose lives it touched: the poor who drank it, the distillers who made it, the members of Parliament who feared it, and the prime minister who relied on its tax revenues to line his pockets. Offering a rich political, social, and economic history of gin and the London of Hogarth and Dr. Johnson, Craze will intoxicate you with its blend of erudition, style, and wit.

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Title: Craze: Gin and Debauchery in an Age of ...
Publisher: Profile Books Ltd
Publication Date: 2004
Binding: Paperback
Book Condition: Good

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