Like its popular and acclaimed predecessor Restoration London, this book is the result of the author's passionate interest in the practical details of the everyday life of our ancestors, so often ignored in more conventional history books. Based on every possible contemporary source - diaries, almanacs, newspapers, advice books, memoirs, government papers and reports - Liza Picard examines every aspect of life in London: the streets, houses and gardens; cooking, housework, laundry and shopping; clothes and jewellery, cosmetics and hairdressing; medicine, sex, hobbies, education and etiquette; religion and popular beliefs; law and crime. This book spans the years 1740 to 1770, starting when the gin craze was gaining ground and ending when the east coast of America was still British.
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Liza Picard was born in 1927. She read law at the London School of Economics and qualified as a barrister, but did not practise. She worked for many years in the office of the Solicitor of the Inland Revenue and lived in Gray's Inn and Hackney, before retiring to live in Oxford. Restoration London, the result of many years' interest and research into London life, was her first book.From Publishers Weekly:
In a follow-up to her Restoration London, Picard delivers an encyclopedic distillation of mid-18th-century daily life in Europe's largest, most dynamic city i.e., she conveys what it was like to be Sam Johnson's neighbor. Her zoom lens focuses on living and working conditions of both rich and poor, health and welfare systems (such as they were), crime and punishment, pleasures, cuisine, fads and fashions, manners and customs. She also features the gray fogs, rank smells, black filth, grinding poverty, nearly nonexistent hygiene (among all classes) and rampant disease. Her sources include travelers' accounts, local diarists, the Gentleman's Magazine, the Ladies Dispensary, or Every Woman Her Own Physician and Boswell's frank journals. Readers will not look again at historical portraits of Londoners without shuddering at what most history books conceal. Much of Picard's jocularity succeeds, as when she considers prices: "enough gin to get drunk on" cost a penny, "enough gin to get dead drunk on" cost tuppence; two-and-a-half shillings slightly more than a journeyman tailor's daily pay could get a tooth extracted or buy a chicken; a shilling and a pint of cheap wine afforded one a prostitute. This pleasingly plotless book offers fascinating snapshots of the appealing and the repellant in a particular time and place. 32 pages of color and b&w photos not seen by PW. (July)Forecast: The audience for this may be less specialized than it would seem, as film-goers and readers of period novels will find this chatty book an intriguing contrast to romantic depictions. It may also get a boost from a minor Johnson/Boswell revival, including the publication late last year of Peter Martin's A Life of James Boswell and Adam Sisman's forthcoming Boswell's Presumptuous Task: The Making of the Life of Dr. Johnson.
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Book Description Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 2000. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # P110297842188
Book Description Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 2000. Book Condition: Brand New. Bookseller Inventory # 86002
Book Description Orion, 2000. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Dr. Johnson's London: Life in London, 1740-1770 Brand new item sourced directly from publisher. Packed securely in tight packaging to ensure no damage. Shipped from warehouse on same/next day basis. Bookseller Inventory # 1111-9780297842187