London in the nineteenth century was the greatest city mankind had ever seen. Its wealth was dazzling. Its horrors shocked the world. As William Blake put it, London was 'a Human awful wonder of God'. It was a century of genius - of Blake, Thackeray and Mayhew, of Nash, Faraday, Disraeli and Dickens. Jerry White's dazzling book is the first in a hundred years to explore London's history over the nineteenth century as a whole. We see the destruction of old London and the city's unparalleled suburban expansion. We see how London absorbed people from all over Britain, from Europe and the Empire. We see how Londoners worked and played. Most of all, we see how they tried to make sense of their city and make it a better place in which to live. Emerging clearly from this eloquent and richly-detailed overview is the London we see about us today.
Jerry White has been writing about London for thirty years. His London in the Twentieth Century: A City and Its People won the Wolfson History Prize for 2001. His oral histories Rothschild Buildings: Life in an East End Tenement Block 1887-1920 (which won the Jewish Chronicle non-fiction book prize for 1980), and Campbell Bunk: the Worst Street in North London Between the Wars, were reprinted by Pimlico in 2003. He is Visiting Professor in London Studies at Birkbeck and in 2005 was awarded the honorary degree of Doctor of Literature by the University of London.