'A Human Awful Wonder of God'
The first book in a hundred years to examine the greatest century in London's history.
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.
“A dazzling and dramatic narrative of a century of high-speed change... A must-have for anyone seriously interested in London's history”
Melanie McGrath, 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”
Kelly Grovier, 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 ”
Frances Wilson, 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”
“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”