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Restoration London: From Poverty To Pets, From Medicine To Magic, From Slang To Sex, From Wallpaper To Women's Rights

4.13  ·  Rating Details ·  425 Ratings  ·  31 Reviews
Here is seventeenth-century London as you've never seen it. Using diaries, almanacs, newspapers, government papers, personal documents and more, Liza Picard brilliantly portrays the human side of both ordinary daily living and catastrophic events. From the splendor of lovely English gardens to pollution filled air and streets clogged with waste and rubbish; from graceful l ...more
ebook, 330 pages
Published February 4th 2014 by St. Martin's Press (first published June 9th 1997)
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(showing 1-30)
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Petra Eggs
What I like about Liza Picard's books is that she tells you what is was like to live in the period she was writing about including all the interestesting minutae to do with sex, love and if not rock n roll, then what everyone did for fun. But she does not, as with most historians, include the political minutae of the times. Politics are described with broad strokes and which politician said what and to whom about which war in some far flung outpost of empire is thankfully absent from Picard's hi ...more
Diana
I love this book, I've read it multiple times and enjoy it every time. The author describes how life was in Restoration London, for not just the aristocracy, but also the poor and middle class. She describes how their every day lives were, not just the special parts, like marriage. I recommend this for history buffs and for students needing information for reports.

Re read 2016. I do enjoy this book, but it's not my favorite by the author. I don't know if it's because it was her first book and s
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Lolly's Library (Dork Kettle)
Whoa. This is certainly not a book you could read in one go...unless you want your eyes to bleed from overuse. Reading this was the equivalent of a rich, heavy fruitcake which had been crumbled up and stirred into the batter of another rich, heavy fruitcake, with the resulting confection then covered with an inch-thick layer of cream cheese frosting...and then trying to eat it. (I know, you don't frost fruitcakes, but just go with it.) What I'm saying is, small bites is the only way to safely co ...more
Scarlett
This marvelous study of Restoration London should be advertised as a trip into the past where all you need is a comfortable chair and perhaps a cup of good tea to feel more like the English (I drank gallons while reading this).

It is truly incredible what enormous, meticulous research Picard was able to undergo in order to put together all those pieces of one huge 1660s puzzle, scattered all over in dusty books with yellow, fragile pages full of indeciphrable handwriting, bound in heavy leather,
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Caroline
Mar 31, 2012 Caroline marked it as did-not-finish  ·  review of another edition
This is an excellent book, but I couldn’t read it.

I couldn’t even follow the reading rule that I have picked up here on Goodreads “read 50 pages before you decide to give up on a book, (or if you are over 50 read one page for every year of your age)”. I couldn’t do it. By page 16 I was flaking. Even after two cups of coffee and a decent breakfast I was flaking.

The book is densely packed with information. It looks like Liza Picard has really done her research, but for me it read much more like a
...more
Karen
May 12, 2009 Karen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
London, 1660 and I'm glad I wasn't alive then. The usual age to marry was 26 and a woman was four times as likely to die in the 1st decade of marriage than men. If she made it to 30 (middle age) she had a pretty good chance of living to 60. Lots of interesting facts about the black plague and you will be surprised to learn what the principal cause of death was...hint..."cough, cough...I can't breath and my lungs hurt". In her usual great style, Liza Picard does an amazing job of putting you on t ...more
Rachel
Feb 26, 2011 Rachel rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
Finished this a while ago, and just read Bill Bryson's At Home. They're a nice companion set about life in England in the "olden days". The jacket of Restoration London tries to sell it as a catalog of all the crazy things Britons did and thought in the 17th century, but the book is really a solidly researched history of domestic life. I recommend it.
Tony
Jan 19, 2013 Tony rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history
RESTORATION LONDON. (1997; this ed. 2012). Liza Picard. *****.
This was a reprint of this title in a new edition by the Folio Society in 2012. If found it to be a fascinating look into the everyday lives of people living in London during the days of The Restoration – defined for this book as the years between 1660-1670. From the introduction: “The Restoration was full of color and excitement, but also of turmoil and disaster; of the wars against the Dutch, the Plague and the Great Fire of London
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Alisa Kester
Jun 02, 2008 Alisa Kester rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
I am so annoyed right now I had to write a mini-review of page 67 (which is as far as I have gotten, so far). Page 67 says, speaking of the difficulty of getting into a small boat: "Imagine yourself in a long, full skirt and stays that prevent you from bending".

Some of you are probably already laughing (Bonnie?), knowing how the rest of this review is going to go.

I thought better of this author, I really, really did. The previous 66 pages were fabulous, and I learned a great deal, or at least...
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Autumn
Oct 16, 2009 Autumn rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Fantastically interesting and breezy read about life in London, 1660-1670. The author does a great job of describing what daily life was like for Londoners of all socio-economic groups. She has a very sly sense of humour, and because she covers a relatively short period of time, is able to cover a lot of ground. Topics include food, medicine, taxes, marriage, the law, gardening, and astrology.
Jeanne Adamek
Oct 19, 2016 Jeanne Adamek rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I tremendously enjoyed the time I spent reading this book! I am a curious person, and have to admit that sometimes when reading history I am not always totally satisfied. There is always something I want to know and I see that I seem to share this with the author Liza Picard. She answered questions that I would think of and wrote the whole thing in a droll compelling way that kept me reading. I would recommend this book to anyone who is interested in the time period, likes history or, like me, i ...more
Karen Brooks
Jan 28, 2016 Karen Brooks rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Having read and thoroughly enjoyed Liza Picard’s Elizabethan London, I knew I was in for a real treat when I discovered her book, Restoration London: Everyday Life in the 1660s. I wasn’t disappointed. Using sources from the era (in particular, extracts from Samuel Pepys diary) as well as almanacs, government papers, letters, tourists of the times’ impressions, Picard paints a wonderful picture of one of the most eminent cities in the world from 1660-1670, London.
Emerging out of the chaos of the
...more
Adrian
Picard, a lawyer by trade not an historian has written a series of social histories. She writes plainly and with wit. This decade in England saw the return of the King, the great fire of 1666 and the plague of 1665. The fire had one truly great benefit it killed the rats which carried the plague and London was never hit again. Fascinating facts abound. Women used cosmetics which killed them due to their lead content. Sewage was buried under houses. Street lighting didn't exist and yet mail moved ...more
Bettie☯
Aug 26, 2011 Bettie☯ rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: History buffs
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Karli
Aug 01, 2014 Karli rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: brit-lit
Picard is always an interesting read. Hers is a history of the bits that happen between the dates learned in history class. Quite a bit of the telling is through the diarist Samuel Pepys. However, it is all tempered with an uncompromising wit and a bit of understanding for feminine views that not all historians would explore. And as Picard says herself, she isn't an historian. This may be exactly why I like her.
Carole Gill
Nov 07, 2011 Carole Gill rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I love Liza Picard's books I have to re-read one shortly: Johnson's London.
This was new to me and I selected it for research for my novel sequel.
History can be pretty dry. This isn't. It was packed with good, concise information about the period and some vivid descriptions
about the plague of 1665 and the Great Fire.
It told me what i wanted to know in a fresh and interesting way.
I enjoyed reading it.
Diana Sandberg
Jun 21, 2009 Diana Sandberg rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history
Oh, good stuff, this. Ms. Picard is not a historian but a lawyer who developed a desire to know what life was like in the 17th century and set about finding out. She compiled her massive research into a very readable book. My teens were fascinated to hear the bits I kept having to read out and share. I love this sort of thing.
Gilbert Wesley Purdy
This book is chock-full of great information, from underarm deodorant to when girls used to begin menstruating to when wallpaper first came into use to marriage law, etc. One of the better of its type and well written into the bargain.
Lezley
Mar 07, 2014 Lezley rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book puts you right into the middle of the action during the Restoration period. Although it could be a dry read Liza Picard spices it up with a great sense of humour, lots of interesting gossipy tidbits and the star of the show, Samuel Pepys. I enjoyed every minute of a great read!
Gareth Parkes
Feb 04, 2013 Gareth Parkes rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed the book immensely, although I admit it did read it piecemeal... I still read bits of it as I travel into different parts of London or read a reference to London for that period. She has done a lot of research and it is excellent to read.
Ian
Essentially a book of facts regarding every day life in London between 1660 and 1670. I was a bit disappointed as the only time London seemed to come alive was when the book quoted from the diary of Samuel Pepys. There is some interesting information in here but I found it mostly a bit flat.
Philip Cook
May 30, 2014 Philip Cook rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned
Interesting. Not as good as Ian Mortimer's Time Travels, this dwelled on the lifestyles of the aristocracy although she also gave us an insight into the lives of the lower classes.
Ben
May 22, 2013 Ben rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very interesting, nitty gritty about what live was like in London. A bit too reliant on Samual Pepyes' diary
Mary Ann
Dec 05, 2012 Mary Ann rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a good read, no pun intended. It is a bit dry and tedious in places, but overall gives the reader a glimpse into everyday life in late 1600's London.
Bess
Bess rated it really liked it
Dec 04, 2012
Kate
Kate rated it liked it
Mar 27, 2014
Mark Seefeld
Mark Seefeld rated it really liked it
Aug 26, 2014
Ginny
Ginny rated it really liked it
Jun 24, 2012
Ryan
Ryan rated it liked it
May 05, 2011
Karen
Karen rated it really liked it
Mar 02, 2012
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Liza Picard was born in 1927. She read law at the London School of Economics and qualified as a barrister, but did not practise. She spent many years working in the office of the Solicitor of the Inland Revenue and lived in Gray’s Inn and Hackney, before retiring to live in Oxford.

Her legal training encouraged her to seek original evidence, rather than rely on other peoples' research. This she sa
...more
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