A novel of Henry VII. Also check our best rated Biography reviews. Kindle Edition File Size: Victorian London Ebooks 1 Jan. Amazon Media EU S. Customers who bought this item also bought. Daily Life in Victorian London: Share your thoughts with other customers. Write a customer review. There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later. As with the former work this is also a collection of pieces written over a few years, and then gathered together in one collection. I should point out that there are some typos in this work, but nothing that will seriously hamper your reading pleasure.
This edition has a fully active table of contents so that you can easily locate any pieces that you are interested in and want to read again. I beleive that this was quite popular on first publication but as with many other works has fallen by the wayside, over the years. What is so good about this book though is that Manby Smith really brings what he is talking about to life. You can easily envision the characters that he mentions and what things must have been like.
He tells us of a trip on an omnibus, both below and on the top deck. He shows us people trying to make an honest living, and others making a dishonest one. From doctoring booze to scams that were practised on the unwary, you also find that junk mail is nothing new, and neither is the phenomenon of people having the plants stolen out of their gardens. Currently there seems to have been an upsurge of interest in the Victorian period, especially with costume dramas and novels, and this book may better help you get a feel and taste of the era.
If you are interested in the history of London, the Victorian period, and indeed if you are writing a novel of the period, this book will probably be of much use to you. I find this a considerable understatement of the merits of this long-lost volume. You will not need to be interested in social history nor 'of London' nor 'of Victorian' nor 'of 'low life' - Not at all. Here is a picture of a bygone city in a totally transformed country a hundred and fifty years ago that in so many ways is different from our own times. It has no comparable technology, no comparable welfare nor health schemes and nothing like the complexity of life in a modern city.
But it has "reality" in the sense developed by the modern media.
These are real people struggling to make a living through honest or dishonest means, surrounded by the contemptuous, the gullible and the totally uncaring people on whom they rely. Manby Smith is the central character, observing, describing, commenting, complaining, admiring, envying and displaying every emotion, just as we do when we watch so many television programmes that expose our own society.
The reader's reaction will be sympathetic, prurient, fascinated, dismissive,credulous, contemptuous - feelings just like those when watching Big Brother, Jeremy Kyle or a Piers Morgan interview.
Curiosities of London Life by Charles Manby Smith
At every section -and there are thirty nine - attentive readers will find themselves comparing their experiences of city life to that so different time. Likewise, they will question the reaction of Manby Smith to the many characters he meets to their own reaction to those they meet every day in their town or city.
They will also not fail to recognise that, although there are many differences that make this London almost a fantasy city and a costume drama, there are as many things that have not changed. My own favourites include the music-grinder, the umbrella man, the sad trombonist,the loss of the pieman reminds me of Greggs ,Sunday trading, a different mode of advertising, the mock auction and the several pieces describing the effects of expansion on the old villages.
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Prepare yourself for some of the most descriptive language you'll ever read - certainly over the top - written for a more leisurely age. It will fill many a pause in your life when you are waiting for Godot. It also was refreshing to read how similar many things were then to how they are now. There are no rose tinted glasses with this book, nor the maudling sentimentality that Dickens sometimes is guilty of.
I found every detail to be an accurate record of fact but written in a chatty albeit an early Victorian form of chatty friendly way. There is no judgement passed on the poor in the main, it is not patronising, in fact in many ways it is inspiring. The book was inspiring as it showed just how good most people are of finding a way if they are free to do so, but it was also deeply moving in places when you read of the suffering. See all 19 reviews. Would you like to see more reviews about this item?
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Curiosities of London Life
One of English literature's great overlooked diarists, a fascinating slice of Edwardian life, composed by a writer with a fine wit and waspish sense of humour. A hour tour of the metropolis, beginning at 4am in Billingsgate, and moving around the city with each passing hour. A voyage through the low life of London, including prostitution, baby-farming and rat-baiting. Daily Life in Victorian London: Over 17, copies sold of this entertaining anthology of the mundane and the astonishing.
Discover how your ancestors really lived. A journalist explores the nooks and corners of the capital, from the rise of the pie-shop, to the dastardly trade of dog-stealing.
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