I love this book. Just to let you know that up front.
This is a marvelous history of London, the city and the people, from 1840 to 1870. Picard writes in a familiar, casual style what is was like to be in the city during those years. You can get a sense of the style of the book by just listing the first few chapter titles: "Smells", "The River", "The Streets", "The Railways", "Buildings", "Practicalities", etc. Picard relates fascinating details with superb storytelling skills. The book reads as if some well educated close friend was telling you about the city with evident knowledge, but with a distinct desire not to bore or become too tied down in trivia. The book achieves this in ways that Victorian America (see my review) was unable to reach.
I heartedly recommend this book to those who wish to learn more about England and her people, but also to anyone who has a desire to read a very well written non-fiction book.
Link to LibraryThing entry for this book
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