Dirty Old London

Dirty Old London

The Victorian Fight Against Filth

Book - 2014
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"In Victorian London, filth was everywhere : horse traffic filled the streets with dung, household rubbish went uncollected, cesspools brimmed with 'night soil', graveyards teemed with rotting corpses, the air itself was choked with smoke. In this intimately visceral book, Lee Jackson guides us through the underbelly of the Victorian metropolis, introducing us to the men and women who struggled to stem a rising tide of pollution and dirt, and the forces that opposed them." --from inside jacket flap.
Publisher: New Haven : Yale University Press, [2014]
ISBN: 9780300192056
Branch Call Number: 363.7009 JACKS
Characteristics: 293 pages, 24 unnumbered pages of plates ; 24 cm


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Dec 16, 2018

Extended review pending. I still have to go through the Notes and Bibliography. This was so much fun to read. I love books on the history of cities, sewer systems, plumbing, public health. One of my favourite history books ever is a micro history called Poop Culture. I think people might bypass it based on the cover art, but it’s well-researches and written and covers so many exciting developments in our social history! I loved Dirty Old London. What a putrid magical place.

May 30, 2015

This is a real struggle to wade through details that author does nothing to make very interesting. (Bill Bryson makes this stuff interesting.) I skimmed lots, just to get the basic facts. Help to be interested in public hygiene, history, London or Anglophile.

May 19, 2015

A very interesting look at the beginnings of sanitation, social housing and public health in the London area during the Victorian period. The basic premise is that the population boom at the start of the Industrial Revolution created a huge problem in municipal sanitation some of which--like garbage and sewage--are still with the City (and every other city in the world). One caveat, some of the chapters are a bit gruesome and not for the weak of stomach.


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