Dickens, Darwin, Disraeli and the Great Stink of 1858

352pp 28 ILLUS 2017 LIST PRICE: £25.00 HC74



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A micro-history of Victorian London during the record-breaking summer of 1858, when residents both famous and now-forgotten endured ‘The Great Stink’ together. While 1858 in London may have been noteworthy for its broiling summer months and the related stench of the sewage-filled Thames River, the year is otherwise little remembered. For ordinary people, however, and also for the rich and powerful, the months from May to August turned out to be a summer of consequence. Ashton uncovers crucial moments in the lives of three protagonists -- Charles Dickens, Charles Darwin and Benjamin Disraeli and introduces others who gained renown in the headlines of the day. 

England was changing in that smelliest of summers, and Ashton gives us a finely scented snapshot of it all. DAILY TELEGRAPH