Liza Picard born is an English historian specialising in the history of London. Liza Picard was born in She read law at the London School of Economics after which she was called to the bar by Gray's Inn when she was Picard worked for the office of the Solicitor of Inland Revenue until her retirement in Upon retirement Picard began researching the history of Restoration London , publishing a book on the subject in
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She writes the old history, descriptive and unanalytical, painted in exhilarating colours. Picard enjoys recounting the gruesome daily mechanics of living in what Cobbett described as "the great wen".
Thus the book proceeds, by typifying anecdotes, which are well chosen and impeccably annotated, and all linked together by Picard's untroubling, readable prose. The glories of Picard's magpie style are immediately apparent. She paints a picture with deft, sure strokes, then finds the perfect quotation. Her vivid panorama of London between and Vividness is the book's aim, and this is achieved splendidly. A wonderful achievement. Whether she is describing the music halls, such as the Alhambra in Leicester Square, or the criminal underworld, or the foundation of London University, or the lives of the costermongers, or the expansion of the middle-class suburbs, she never loses her eye for the telling detail.
Reading her book is like gazing at one of those energetic, crowded canvases by the Victorian painter William Powel Frith, who brought the age to life through a multiplicity of detail. She is an engaging companion, always wondering out loud about the sort of questions which you've asked yourself Liza Picard's Victorian London is a mine of information and very readable.
This is a comprehensive history by anecdote, so the enlightening facts come thick and fast, from the suggestion that Queen Victoria had a slight German accent to the idea that linoleum is best washed with milk. And while there is certainly no pretence at some grand narrative, there is a genuine sense of time and place. It makes it a book to pick at - where else could one find out about velocipedes, costermongers and the "Monster School"?
Victorian London by Picard Liza, First Edition
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Stink or swim
Like her previous books, this book is the product of the author's passionate interest in the realities of everyday life - and the conditions in which most people lived - so often left out of history books. This period of mid Victorian London covers a huge span: Victoria's wedding and the place of the royals in popular esteem; how the very poor lived, the underworld, prostitution, crime, prisons and transportation; the public utilities - Bazalgette on sewers and road design, Chadwick on pollution and sanitation; private charities - Peabody, Burdett Coutts - and workhouses; new terraced housing and transport, trains, omnibuses and the Underground; furniture and decor; families and the position of women; the prosperous middle classes and their new shops, e. Peter Jones, Harrods; entertaining and servants, food and drink; unlimited liability and bankruptcy; the rich, the marriage market, taxes and anti-semitism; the Empire, recruitment and press-gangs. Dr Johnson's London.
Victorian London: The Tale of a City 1840-1870
Published by Orion Pub Co Seller Rating:. About this Item: Orion Pub Co, Condition: Very Good. No Jacket. Corner clipped, Some light wear to edges and corners of dustjacket, top of spine creased, some light wear to covers and spine, mainly edges and corners, top of spine a little bumped, internally in good condition, pages crisp and clear. Seller Inventory