Category: History: Europe: England: London
Copyright/published Year: 1998 by Alan Sutton
London of One Hundred Years Ago gives a vivid insight into ì the life of the metropolis in the late Victorian and Edwardian ì era. A fascinating selection of early photographs and other ì illustrations, combined with memorable quotations from the ì writing of the day, recall a lost generation of Londoners and ì their great city. The book recaptures the spirit of a past age. ì The London that had so hugely expanded during the nineteenth ì century excited a wide range of intense responses. Its sheer size ì and variety, and its extremes of grandeur and ugliness, poverty ì and extraordinary wealth, provoked astonished reactions from ì visitors and provided an inexhaustible topic for writers who knew ì the capital well. Their accounts recall the stink and congestion ì of the streets, the sprawl of new building, the burgeoning ì population, the masses of commuters and shoppers, the ì undercurrents of disorder and crime, and the sometimes worthy ì attempts made by the city's governors and benefactors to improve ì social conditions and to enhance the appearance of the principal ì capital of the British Empire.
The fine selection of illustrations that have been brought ì together for this book record the startling contrasts of the ì time. The pictures show royalty and the aristocracy, the ì professionals and the growing middle class, the office-workers ì and street-sellers and the vast working population. They also ì offer an unforgettable glimpse of trends in fashion and ì entertainment, and recall changing modes of transport and types ì of work at the beginning of the twentieth century. The ì accompanying text reveals, too, the attitudes, opinions and ì habits of Londoners and brings their ordinary concerns and ì activities back to life.
London of One Hundred Years Ago will appeal to everyone ì who is keen to learn more about the city's history and about ì England in an age which now seems so remote. The book creates a ì powerful impression of this period of unprecedented developments, ì but it also illustrates the strength of an underlying culture ì that has resisted change and is recognizable today.
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