244 Following

SusannaG - Confessions of a Crazy Cat Lady

Just another GR refugee.  Other than that, I had a stroke in 2004, and read almost anything I can get my hands on, though I have a particular weakness for history, mystery, and historical fiction.

Currently reading

Ice Ghosts: The Epic Hunt for the Lost Franklin Expedition
Paul Watson
Progress: 6 %
I Contain Multitudes: The Microbes Within Us and a Grander View of Life
Ed Yong
Progress: 40 %
Wizard's First Rule
Terry Goodkind
Progress: 49 %
Thomas Cromwell: The Untold Story of Henry VIII's Most Faithful Servant
Tracy Borman
Progress: 14 %
Storm in a Teacup: The Physics of Everyday Life
Helen Czerski
Progress: 20 %
The Hanover Square Affair
Ashley Gardner
Progress: 10 %
Medieval Tastes: Food, Cooking, and the Table (Arts and Traditions of the Table: Perspectives on Culinary History)
Beth Archer Brombert, Massimo Montanari
Progress: 10 %
Scars of Independence: America's Violent Birth
Holger Hoock
Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind
Yuval Noah Harari
Progress: 9 %
Elizabeth: The Forgotten Years
John Guy
Progress: 20/512 pages

The Victorian City

The Victorian City: Everyday Life in Dickens' London - Judith Flanders

Judith Flanders wrote Inside the Victorian Home, which pondered what exactly went on in each room of a Victorian house (leaving the question of why Jane Carlyle had 10 dining chairs in her bedroom unanswered, alas); this book is the companion, looking at the Victorian street, where so much of public life went on.


I can't recommend this one more.  It is a fascinating read.


For a great many people of Victorian London lived most of their lives out on the streets.  (For many people could not afford a house, but only a room, or part of one.  Or none at all.)  They walked (most of them many miles a day), ate (many inadequately), worked (for insane hours, up to 20 hours a day), and entertained themselves there, too.


Covers all sorts of territory, from one of the most ostentatious non-royal funerals ever (that of the Duke of Wellington, in 1852), to a discussion of what exactly was a prostitute, how did men recognize them when they saw them, and how many whores there were in London.


"Dickens' London" is not just a phrase for a catchy title: this book is about the London of his lifetime (only very occasionally do we stray later than the early 1870s, or earlier than about 1810), and a number of relevant episodes from his life and writings are mentioned.


Thoroughly illustrated, with black and white illustrations in the text, maps of Victorian London in the front, and a couple of color inserts.  Plentiful endnotes.