London in the nineteenth century was the greatest city mankind had ever seen. Its wealth was dazzling. Its horrors shocked the world. As William Blake put it, London was 'a Human awful wonder of God'. It was a century of genius - of Blake, Thackeray and Mayhew, of Nash, Faraday, Disraeli and Dickens. Jerry White's dazzling book is the first in a hundred years to explore London's history over the nineteenth century as a whole. We see the destruction of old London and the city's unparalleled suburban expansion. We see how London absorbed people from all over Britain, from Europe and the Empire. We see how Londoners worked and played. Most of all, we see how they tried to make sense of their city and make it a better place in which to live. Emerging clearly from this eloquent and richly-detailed overview is the London we see about us today.
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A dazzling and dramatic narrative of a century of high-speed change... A must-have for anyone seriously interested in London's history - Evening Standard
Magisterial... Using fragmented maps as a visual thread connecting the separate sections, White manages, street by street, to decode the crumbling cobblestones and invest fatigued and overly familiar ground with unexpected meaning - Observer
Jerry White is to London as Boswell is to Johnson... London in the Nineteenth Century should sit on your shelf alongside Debrett's, the Oxford dictionary, and your complete set of Dickens
- Daily Telegraph
White's magnificent prequel to his Wolfson History Prize-winning London in the Twentieth Century... Charged with infectious enthusiasm for its subject, this is an unmissable treat which ought to be top of every Londoner's reading list - Time Out
A brilliant account of the bursting, overflowing city, with its glittering wealth and harrowing poverty... A work of undoubted academic authority...yet it is also a poetic evocation - Financial Times
Professor Jerry White teaches London history at Birkbeck, University of London. His London in the Twentieth Century: A City and Its People won the Wolfson History Prize in 2001 and his bestselling London in the Nineteenth Century was published to critical acclaim in 2007. His oral histories, Rothschild Buildings: Life in an East End Tenement Block 1887-1920 (which won the Jewish Chronicle non-fiction book prize in 1980) and Campbell Bunk: the Worst Street in North London Between the Wars, were reprinted by Pimlico in 2003. He was awarded the honorary degree of Doctor of Literature by the University of London in 2005 and is a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society.