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1700: Scenes from London Life
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1700: Scenes from London Life

3.83  ·  Rating Details ·  223 Ratings  ·  22 Reviews
Just the sort of book that gives history a good name, 1700: Scenes from London Life presents almost a glut of the kind of daily life (and death) detail which proves utterly engaging, striking chords of familiarity or describing almost unimaginable worlds. We discover where people lived and worked, how they behaved, what they wore and ate and how horrifically they suffered ...more
Hardcover, 394 pages
Published February 1st 2001 by Hodder and Stoughton (first published February 17th 2000)
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Jill Hutchinson
Nov 10, 2016 Jill Hutchinson rated it really liked it
Shelves: world-history of the great cities in the world in was booming, William and Mary sat on the throne, beautiful buildings were being erected, many which still exist, and the city was growing by leaps and bounds. That was the positive side of London but there was a terribly dark side as well. It was a cesspool, sewage running in the streets and fouling the Thames, poverty that boggles the mind, a mortality rate that is hard to imagine, and rampant crime.

The author has divided the bo
Jul 30, 2011 Diana rated it really liked it
Re-read 2016 - A book about what you could have seen, eaten, heard, and smelled if you lived in London during 1700. It is a social history and the very first book I had read by this author. It made me a fan of her style of writing and I have read other books published by her since. This is my favorite by her and it is one that I love to re-read and use for papers for my history classes.
A vivid, readable description of London at the turn of the century - not the 21st century, or even the 20th, but the 18th. Twelve years after the Glorious Revolution, 35 years after the Plague Year, 51 years after the execution of Charles I. Each chapter follows a different theme, and the book is full of fascinating snippets of real London life - marriages happy and unhappy, childbirth and childhood, work, leisure, food and drink, prostitutes, highwaymen, pickpockets and all. A great read for an ...more
Interesting subject. Poor presentation.
Lora Shouse
Oct 14, 2016 Lora Shouse rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved this book! It discusses in depth how Londoners managed to live (or sometimes not) in and around the year 1700. The author covers many topics from marriage and childbirth to work and poverty to vice, crime, and punishment.

Suicide seemed to be unusually prevalent in the years around 1700. It is unclear whether there were actually more suicides than there had been earlier or whether the large population and the newspaper coverage given to suicides at the time just made it seem that way. A f
Clay Kallam
Oct 18, 2012 Clay Kallam rated it it was ok
Shelves: history
First, I'm really glad I'm not living in London circa 1700. Maureen Waller's in-depth examination of the everyday life of a Londoner at the turn of the 18th century is chilling. Not only was life for the vast majority of the city's citizens nasty, brutish and short, London itself was filthy, foul-smelling and crime-ridden.

And what's really frightening is that other Englishmen and women flocked to the capital because life there was better than where they were from.

On top of all that, Waller's may
Just A. Bean
Dec 17, 2014 Just A. Bean rated it liked it
There's a whole tonne of wonderful detail in this book, so that if I were writing a project that wanted what kind of signs coffee merchants had over their shops, or what you called certain hairstyles, or how much one spent on jasmine-scented gloves and what they were called, I'd want to have this book to hand as a reference. Great resource, and never dull for all that.

However, the organisation as a whole felt as though it were selecting topics the author was interested and ignoring other areas,
Nick Fagerlund
Oct 27, 2012 Nick Fagerlund rated it liked it
Frances Hardinge mentioned this one in the acknowledgements for Fly by Night, so I grabbed it from the library. It’s exactly what it says it is — there’s no underlying narrative here, just a series of themed chapters that each explore some aspect of London life at the time. I liked it a lot, but it was harder to read than something like The Ghost Map, which also makes an effort to immerse the reader in the technology and society and zeitgeist of another time but does so in the context of a guidi ...more
Feb 10, 2016 René rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a fascinating look into the life of Londoners in the 1700s. True to the title of the book, each chapter reads like a scene depicting a certain topic. My favorites were towards the beginning, such as the chapters about marriage, childbirth, childhood, death, and disease. The chapter about childbirth was exceptionally interesting, yet brutal, and made me thoroughly glad I'll never have to live through their procedures.

The biggest flaw for me in this book was the amount of time I had to s
John Davis
Feb 22, 2016 John Davis rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Big, dirty and merciless London at the turn of the eighteenth century. Maureen Waller covers life and death in THE metropolis of its day. The lives of servants, merchants, the wealthy and every one caught between pop out through referential use of contemporary diarists and observations recorded by foreigners. The customs of marriage,childbirth and childhood,death,fashions,the home,amusements,the working classes, and vice and punishments are explored. Entertaining and gritty,it was a good read.
Apr 25, 2013 Rick rated it really liked it
Shelves: british-history
This is a re-read for me. A fascinating examination of all facets and classes of life in 1700 London. Britain had established itself as THE world military and economic power in the 1600s, following the defeat of the Dutch and the Spanish. "1700" covers marriage, birth, death, disease, life in the coffee houses (the first "men's clubs"), transport, art, and daily life among the "middling sort."
Steve Haywood
Jan 08, 2012 Steve Haywood rated it liked it
Shelves: history
A very interesting book. Some chapters are better than others, I particularly liked the chapters on food, coffee shops and working life. I read it from start to finish which was slow going - I'd recommend reading it a chapter or two at a time.
Jan 21, 2016 Chloe rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Although my eyes did occasionally gloss over, this was a mostly entertaining and informative account of daily life in London at the beginning of the 18th century. There are, it turns out, many similarities between then and now.
Melissa Taylor
Jul 08, 2016 Melissa Taylor rated it it was ok
It was ok. Not a lot of stuff I didn't already know. The biography of Samuel Pepys, is more informative. (Not to be confused with Pepys' Diary). I also thought it came to a sudden end. Like there had been more, but was removed. (??) *Shrug*
Alisa Kester
Jan 02, 2011 Alisa Kester rated it it was amazing
Really good, with lots of fascinating detail. I loved the excerpts from journals and other period writings.
Jun 26, 2013 Judi rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Excellent book if you are an anglophile like I am and love finding out about what day to day life was like during that time period. Very well written.
A really excellent overview of life in London at the turn of the Century.
Jul 17, 2013 Chris rated it liked it
A fairly good read about life in London in 1700 - but the book is going to the charity shop as I can't imagine reading it again
Alicja rated it it was amazing
Jan 02, 2016
Julie Munckton
Julie Munckton rated it really liked it
Mar 31, 2013
Andy rated it liked it
Jul 09, 2016
Robert Humphries
Robert Humphries rated it really liked it
Apr 29, 2012
Tim rated it liked it
Jun 13, 2016
Chris Sawle
Chris Sawle rated it it was ok
Nov 07, 2012
Caroline Martin
Caroline Martin rated it liked it
Sep 16, 2012
Sunnuva rated it liked it
Oct 17, 2007
Naomi rated it really liked it
Sep 28, 2014
Nailuj Llerad
Nailuj Llerad rated it it was amazing
Oct 11, 2014
Claire rated it liked it
Jul 14, 2014
Teresa Rimel
Teresa Rimel rated it really liked it
Jan 10, 2014
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Maureen Waller was educated at University College London, where she studied medieval and modern history. She received a master's degree at Queen Mary College, London, in British and European history 1660--1714. After a brief stint at the National Portrait Gallery, she went on to work as an editor at several prestigious London publishing houses. Her first book was the highly acclaimed 1700: Scenes ...more
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