By 1880, London, capital of the largest empire ever known, was the richest, most populous city in the world. And yet it remained an overcrowded, undergoverned city with huge slums gripped by poverty and disease. Over the next three decades, London began its transformation into a new kind of city - one of unprecedented size, dynamism and technological advance.
In this highly evocative account, Stephen Iinwood defines an era of unique character and importance by delving into the lives and textures of the booming city. He takes us - by hansom cab, bicycle, electric tram or motor bus - from the glittering new department stores of Oxford Street to the synagogues and sweat shops of the East End, from bohemian bars and gaudy mushc halls to the well-kept gardens of Edwardian surburbia.
'Essential reading for the scholar, the historian and the lover of London. ..He is equally at home with the grand sweep and the human detail, always supported by immaculate research...Inwood can throw off with elegant ease a concise explanation of technicalities that the reader was vaguely aware of not understanding and perhaps meant to look up sometime.' Liza Picard Financial Times Magazine