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Liza Picard (1927–2022)

Författare till Victorian London: The Tale of a City 1840--1870

9 verk 2,667 medlemmar 38 recensioner 7 favoritmärkta

Om författaren

Liza Picard was born in 1927. She read law at London School of Economics and was called to the Bar by Gray's Inn, but did not practice. She worked in London for many years in the office of the Solicitor of Inland Revenue until she retired in 1987. She now lives in Oxford.


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A shallow but extremely broad look at all the various aspects of life in 1750-1770ish London. The book is divided into 3 sections on the poor, the middle classes and the richest (with the last section being very short relatively) and each chapter focuses on a particular aspect of life for them. She covers a lot of topics although obviously nothing at greater length than a couple of pages. Although there were obviously times I'd want more detail I never felt like I was being left on the hook and it'd be impossible to really cover everything in detail. The picture she paints is pretty miserable and it's a wonder anyone, even the richest, lived very long. The book is mostly based around primary sources, particularly from The Gentleman's Magazine, with her dry commentary livening things up and connecting. It works well. There are some genuinely funny stories repeated - my favourite was probably the story of "Mr Manpferdt", a supposed centaur advertised in a handbill.

The only criticisms I have are minor - every so often it feels a bit jarring to read some 18th century bigotry and not have push back from the author, although she does much of the time. As said before it's shallow by necessity but gives a good idea of the broad sweep.

As she's not a historian by trade and she's covering so many different topics which obviously nobody could be an expert in all of I wonder how much of the analysis and stuff is backed up by modern historiography but obviously it's not reasonable to expect 100% accuracy to modern research. Just something to keep in mind I guess
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tombomp | 7 andra recensioner | Oct 31, 2023 |
Picard is a lawyer turned author and searcher through original sources to note the minutiae of everyday life in London. This particular volume is good but I felt it perhaps falls short of the others which she has written on Georgian and Elizabeth London, which I also have. There's a bit more randomness to this one. Her authorial interpolations are always to the point. Worth buying and reading.
ponsonby | 10 andra recensioner | Jul 1, 2023 |
Useful survey of daily life in London at all levels of society. Based on much original research. There is perhaps too much anecdote and too little synthesis, but this does not pretend to be a work of deep scholarship
ponsonby | 7 andra recensioner | Sep 29, 2021 |
Useful survey of the daily life of Londoners in Elizabeth 1's reign. Has a wide range of subjects, although they are treated a little unevenly due to the author's reliance on specific primary sources. Written from a contemporary viewpoint, but avoids anachronistic opinions. Worth reading, as are the same author's books on London in other periods. Her books are also notable as an example of someone taking up serious authorship later in life.
ponsonby | 6 andra recensioner | Sep 26, 2021 |


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