View Full Version : Seeking books on Victorians/London or both.
19-06-2009, 11:39 PM
I am running out of reading material on my two favourite topics, London (especially south London) and Victorian history.
Can anyone recommend any books on one or the combined subjects please? Maybe Ackroyd's "London, the Biography", has said it all but I am happy to disprove this idea.
20-06-2009, 12:00 AM
More than enough to keep you going :D
Can I add Jerry White's London in the 19th Century (paperback, Vintage Books, 2008). Longish, but a brilliant read. Good for train journeys :)
20-06-2009, 1:10 AM
I love the online site victorianlondon.org. I have found several references to incidents very similar to those my ancestors were involved in.
I am not sure that it is produced in a book yet but I know that there is a CD available.
P.S. It is in book form, 'A Dictionary of Victorian London'
20-06-2009, 1:20 AM
Goodness, I shall be in my element with that lot! I won't get much else done but I'll certainly be contented.
Thank you one and all, I shall be book-buying tomorrow morning! |hug|
20-06-2009, 1:26 AM
Can you save some time for us & still be contented Spangle? |book2|
20-06-2009, 10:10 AM
If ever I run out of reading matter, my first stop is Parish Chest's Bookshop (http://www.parishchest.com/shop/index.php?cmd=listdepts&cat=D1680).
Both my father and brother have a list of titles in which I am interested, which they hold ready for Christmas and birthday time.
Next on my list is "Happy Homes and How to Make Them (http://www.parishchest.com/shop/index.php?cmd=viewproduct&cat=&id=P7811&pageOffset=0)" by J. W. Kirton, which looks to be a really good insight into Victorian social history. :)
I can also recommend any of the works of Elizabeth Gaskell, particulaly Mary Barton and Ruth, all still widely available. Although fiction, they give really good descriptions of social conditions of the time. Personnally, I find then more readable than Dickens.
For non-fiction, try Tristram Hunt's Building Jerusalem (all about the development of the Victorian City); Asa Briggs 3 books, Victorian Cities, Victorian People and Victorian Things; and AN Wilson's The Victorians. I have a long reading list from when I did modules on The Victorian Countyside and The Victorian City for my degree. The lists cover all sorts of topics, such as public health, housing, political reform, prostitution, religion etc., etc., so if there are any specific subjects you are interested in I can probably suggest something.
21-06-2009, 2:56 AM
Thornbury & Walford's multivolume "Old and New London" was published in weekly parts by Cassell in 1878, with a revised edition about 15 years later. The first edition can be read at the British History Online website (Google for "old and new london walford", without the quotes).
An interesting little book of "factoids" is Dickens's Dictionary of London, which was published annually from 1879 to at least 1907. The 1879 edition is downloadable (Google for "dickens directory of london"). The 1880 one is available as a modern reprint.
03-07-2009, 12:05 AM
I've so far got through Lisa Picards excellent book and have just read one on the Victorian house (name and title escapes me at present, sorry!). That latter describes everything from visiting etiquette to washing practices... that's what I love about the Victorians, so close that many of us knew someone born in those times and you feel you can almost touch them but so remote from our own existances.
I should be reading more and used to be able to read a book a day easily but so often find that by the time the children are in bed I am too damn tired to concentrate. Mayhew is next on my list, to be bought when I go into town on Saturday. I can't see much housewoork getting done this weekend but who cares!
03-07-2009, 12:16 AM
I have Lisa Picards book as well as Jack The Ripper and The East End, plus Mapping London which has many Victorian London maps.
03-07-2009, 12:23 AM
My step-father is interested in art and so has in the past loaned me many books on the Ripper case and especially the Sickert conspiracy theory. It is only fairly recently that I discovered that my Jewish ancestors lived and worked in the Commercial Road and surrounding area. This knowledge has made me wonder what they might have experienced - I should think it likely that they were amongst the chief suspects and viewed with much suspicion.
03-07-2009, 12:32 AM
Oh yes! My Great Nan was born in the latter days of Victoria's reign.... hers were the days of not eating in the street, of always wearing a hat (with hatpin of course!) and gloves and thinking tights just not the thing, Ducks, as she would say. No, it was corsets and stockings for Great Nan!
To think that she was born in a time when horses and carriages were transport (although it was mainly Shank's pony for her, a working class girl, I'd imagine), and died having seen the jet plane, a man on the moon and the modern motor car (to say nothing of swapping a scrubbing board for a washing machine) is amazing.
She kept a haberdashers shop when I was a child. I recall her selling pins on cardboard strips, not in plastic boxes, likewise buttons and poppers.... those were the days!
03-07-2009, 12:39 AM
An interesting little book of "factoids" is Dickens's Dictionary of London, ... The 1880 one is available as a modern reprint.
Sorry, the reprinted Dickens' is 1888.
If your interests extend to the suburbs, I've just remembered a book on my shelves: "The Suburban Homes of London -- A residential guide to favourite London localities, their society, celebrities, and associations; with notes on their rental, rates, and house accommodation." Pub: Chatto & Windus, Piccadilly, 1881. Think of it as an estate agent's handbook. It has brief histories and descriptions of suburbs over a 9 mile radius, including names of the bigwigs who lived there and/or were responsible for the development.
For maps, "The Village London Atlas", Alderman Press, 1986, ISBN 0-946619-26-3, covers Greater London from 1822 to 1903 at 2 inches to the mile which is good enough for an overview, though only the bigger buildings are identified.
03-07-2009, 12:45 AM
Thank you Chris. As places like Camberwell and Norwood etc were probably considered in the suburbs then, yes I am definately interested. The maps would be super to browse through too.
I have a couple of copies of maps of South London circa 1881 with some of the residents names and addresses on the back - they are fascinating and I have spent ages poring over them discovering what was in a particular place over 100 years ago, what road names have changed and so on and comparing this to what I know of South London today.
03-07-2009, 3:20 AM
Camberwell (with Peckham) and an assortment of Norwoods are indeed in "Suburban Homes".
In addition, Alan Warwick's "The Phoenix Suburb", which is all about Norwood and its environs, has just been revised and reprinted by The Norwood Society (2008, ISBN 978-0951538449). The earlier editions (1st is 1972, Blue Boar Press, Richmond, Surrey) are not that difficult to come by either.
03-07-2009, 12:20 PM
I have several old Ordinance Survey maps of London from the 1870s. They include maps of places from Camden Town to Lambeth.
03-07-2009, 1:11 PM
I dont mind fictional Victorian London novels but I prefer to read factual ones.
03-07-2009, 7:04 PM
An interesting little book of "factoids" is Dickens's Dictionary of London, which was published annually from 1879 to at least 1907. Available from Parish Chest (http://www.parishchest.com/shop/index.php?cmd=viewproduct&cat=&id=P82678&pageOffset=0) - as is Dicken's Dictionary of the Thames 1887 (http://www.parishchest.com/shop/index.php?cmd=viewproduct&cat=&id=P82679&pageOffset=0). ;)
03-07-2009, 7:28 PM
I have seen republications of Dickens Dictionary Of London in bookshops in Charing Cross in London.
16-03-2010, 3:35 AM
I can also recommend any of the works of Elizabeth Gaskell, particulaly Mary Barton and Ruth, all still widely available. Although fiction, they give really good descriptions of social conditions of the time.
also fiction, but set in and around Camberwell and the South London suburbs in the late 1800's: The Dark Lantern by Henry Williamson.
The Blackest Streets by Sarah Wise - the title refers to Charles Booth's poverty maps and the book tells the story of Bethnal Green's Nichol, one of London's poorest areas, from its beginnings in the C17 and C18, through to the clearance of the slums and redevelopment of the area at the end of the C19. A fascinating, informative read.
06-04-2010, 4:35 PM
If it hasn't been mentioned Kellow Chesney's "The Victorian Underworld" is a really good study of those on the fringes of Victorian society
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