Tag: London

Total 17 Posts

Help write Victorian history

What fun. The British Library (here) is calling all budding Victorianists to join them on 4 June for a massive edit-in. The idea from the library’s point of view is to help spread the word about the depth and breadth of the various Victorian collections quietly waiting for readers at… Read more

Staging death, Victorian style

When Palmerston, Prime Minister from 1855-8, and 1859-65, died, in 1865, White’s, Boodle’s and Brookes’s clubs in St James’s all covered the front of their buildings in black drapery. The Reform club, however, topped that: it covered its street frontage with ‘a sable curtain, bearing a viscount’s coronet and the… Read more

Stealing in motion, 19th-century style

Not that long ago, my neighbour’s car was stolen. Not a very unusual, or even a interesting story. He parked, he went into his house, went to bed, woke up, car was gone. Happens all the time. But until this morning, short of a dramatic, gangland-style car-jacking, I thought you… Read more

A Victorian Puzzle: Westminster Abbey for whom?

A puzzle for untangling, suggestions extremely welcome. On 2 January 1858, the Illustrated London News reported that ‘Great exertions have been made’ at Westminster Abbey, ‘to adapt the nave…to the purpose of popular worship’. As the Abbey had been a place of worship for 1,000 years, this at first (and… Read more

Workhouse saved

The good news has just come through that the Cleveland Street Workhouse, one of the very few surviving 18th-century workhouses, has been listed, and gained therefore a stay of execution. Instead of being turned into another (yawn) block of ‘luxury’ flats (does anyone ever put up flats that are projected… Read more

Kids, don’t try this at home!

As more and more smokers congregate outside, should we worry about the hazards of smoking? In 1843 it wasn’t lung-cancer, it was exploding houses that smokers trailed in their wake. A man in Clerkenwell lit his cigar at a gas light on the outside of a shop, using a paper… Read more

Did Twemlow live in the London Library?

In Our Mutual Friend, Twemlow (who is, it is my firm contention, the real hero of the book) lives in Duke Street, St James’s, over a livery-stable. The London Library now backs into Mason’s Yard, which is indeed in Duke Street, St James’s. I’ve looked at maps of the period… Read more
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