Full of detail and colour about everyday life in Dickens's London, and leaves you with a sense not only of how hard life was then, but how strange. Even if you've read Dickens and the contemporary historians of the poor, there is still more to marvel at here.' Sebastian Faulks, Mail on Sunday Books of the Year 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 turn. Charles Dickens obsessively walked London's streets, recording its pleasures, curiosities and cruelties. Now, Judith Flanders follows in his footsteps, leading us through the markets, transport systems, sewers, slums, cemeteries, gin palaces and entertainment emporia of Dickens' London. The Victorian City is a revelatory portrait of everyday life on the streets, bringing to life the Victorian capital in all its variety, vibrancy, and squalor. No one who reads it will view London in the same light again.
Judith Flanders is the author of the bestselling The Victorian House: Domestic Life from Childbirth to Deathbed (2003); the critically acclaimed Consuming Passions: Leisure and Pleasure in Victorian Britain (2006); A Circle of Sisters (2001), which was nominated for the Guardian First Book Award; and, most recently, The Invention of Murder (2011). She is a frequent contributor to the Sunday Telegraph, Guardian, Spectator and The Times Literary Supplement. Currently a senior research fellow at the University of Buckingham, she lives in London.