The nineteenth century was a time of unprecedented transformation,
and nowhere was this more apparent than on the streets of London.
In only a few decades, London grew from a Regency town to the
biggest city the world had ever seen, with more than 6.5 million
people and railways, street lighting and new buildings at every
In The Victorian House, Judith Flanders
described in intimate detail what went on inside the nineteenth
century home. Now, in The Victorian City, she
explores London's outdoors in an extraordinary, revelatory portrait
of everyday life on the streets. From the moment Charles Dickens,
the century's best loved novelist and London's greatest observer,
arrived in the city in 1822, he obsessively walked its streets,
recording its pleasures, curiosities and cruelties. Now, with him,
Judith Flanders leads us through the markets, transport systems,
sewers, rivers, slums, alleys, cemeteries, gin palaces, chop houses
and entertainment emporia of Dickens' London, to reveal the
Victorian capital in all its variety, vibrancy, and squalor.
From the colourful cries of street sellers to the uncomfortable
reality of travel by omnibus, via the many uses for the body parts
of dead horses or the unimaginably grueling working days of hawker
children, no detail is too small, or too strange. No one who reads
Judith Flanders's The Victorian City will view
London in the same light again.