Victorian Babylon by Lynda Nead

Victorian Babylon is a great book by Lynda Nead who teaches history of art at Birkbeck College, University of London.

It really is a fresh look at the great Victorian Era. Here are some review:

In this innovative look at nineteenth-century London, Lynda Nead offers a fresh account of modernity and metropolitan life. Taking a highly interdisciplinary approach, Nead charts the relationship between London’s formation into a modern city in the 1860s and the emergence of new ways of producing and consuming visual culture. “There has been a raft of books on London …But none is likely to be as scholarly, as clever or as necessary as Lynda Nead’s Victorian Babylon …Nead has written a wonderful book that changes the way we think about cities.” Kathryn Hughes, The Daily Telegraph”

“compelling …Nead is writing as an academic, and so it is fascinating to find what might otherwise be dismissed as a novelist’s fantasy here given a theoretical underpinning in impeccably sourced and measured prose.Tom Holland, Literary Review “

This genuinely interdisciplinary study …makes a major contribution to our knowledge of the lived experience of the Victorian city.” Timothy Barringer, Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians”

“Provocative and brilliant.” Susan P. Casteras, Nineteenth Century Studies “Splendid …Nead brings an art historian’s fine sense of visual detail; indeed, one of the most striking features of the book is the wonderful illustrative material. ” John Marriott, History Today”

“An intriguing study of London at the crossroads of modern history …Well-researched and insightful.” Rebecca Ittner, Victorian Homes “An evocative and visually stunning account of the shifting geographies, temporalities, and visions of mid-Victorian London …Well-researched and beautifully written.” Erika, D. Rappaport, Albion”

“Nead not only provides a more accurate regendering of the historical townscape but enriches our understanding of modern urban experience.Peter Bailey, Journal of Social History”

Some great reviews and I have to say this book is worthy of them. It is the story of the London in the middle of the 19th century as it expands and reflects upon the effect on the Metropolis.

The images here are wonderful and really help tell the story the Nead is telling, they how London expanded almost by accident, from a rambling mass to the marauding capital it a today.

It is available from Amazon.

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