Margaret's Reviews > Elizabeth's London: Everyday Life in Elizabethan London

Elizabeth's London by Liza Picard
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's review
Jul 03, 08

bookshelves: british-history, london, tudors, elizabethans, history, authors-op
Read in July, 2008

I found this a lively though not very scholarly guide to London in the time of Elizabeth I. Picard adopts a chatty tone which is very readable and often funny, and she includes lots of quotes from primary sources. However, I often wanted her to try to go deeper into her subject. For instance, after spending an entire chapter on the poor of London and concluding that "there was a splendid, comprehensive, welfare system in place," she quotes a primary source which wonders why "the streets yet swarm with beggars," and says that she has no answer. It seems as though this should be the starting point, not the ending. But I'm probably asking too much of a work of popular history, and even with that quibble, I did enjoy Picard's evocation of Elizabethan London and would certainly read her books on London in other time periods.
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