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Elizabeth's London: Everyday Life in Elizabethan London

Elizabeth's London: Everyday Life in Elizabethan London
Author: Liza Picard
ISBN 13: 9780312325664
ISBN 10: 312325665
Edition: Reprint
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
Publication Date: 2005-06-01
Format: Paperback
Pages: 368
List Price: $23.99


"Wisely, she parcels out her findings in units that seldom come to more than one to three pages...there is an excellent index, a handy means of dealing with treasure that is piled high...You can open the book and start reading anywhere" —Richard Buell, Boston Globe

"Lively guide to Elizabethan England." -The Washington Post


"Lively...[Picard] gives an excellent indication about what Londoners thought." —The Washington Times

"Quintessential...[Picard] does a marvelous job of unearthing material about London."—Buffalo News

"[Samuel] Johnson stated, 'When a man is tired of London he is tired of life; for there is in London all that life can afford.' Picard shows why."—Charleston Post & Courier


"Lively and informative, with a distinctly eccentric feel...entertaining."—Publishers Weekly

"[An] engaging survey."—Kirkus Reviews

Publishers Weekly

Picard's latest historical guided tour, of 16th-century London, entertainingly rounds out her trilogy (with Dr. Johnson's London and Restoration London) revisiting the great city's past. Although Elizabethan London boasts no single great diarist like Samuel Pepys or James Boswell, Picard ably sifts through an enormous variety of records, letters, books and other accounts to re-create the urban expanse. Starting with topography and architecture, Picard takes her readers across the Thames and through the neighborhoods of the emergent metropolis, noting the housing and development boom touched off by Henry VIII's appropriation of papal real estate. Her tour continues through every aspect of Elizabethan life, from clothes and food to family and education, from crime and law to jobs and welfare. In such a wide-ranging scheme, the theater, along with other entertainments, is only one aspect of a flourishing society. Picard's discursive, conversational tone prevents even the topic of the water supply, with its newly engineered pipes, from seeming too dry, and her eye for facts (and factoids) can spot intriguing details in even immigrant census data. Despite the book's comprehensive structure, Picard's impressionistic style leads to the occasional oversight. Her section on religion is comparatively brief (though still interesting) for the era's most important political and social issue. Although she discusses the endemic smallpox, which scarred even the queen, she hardly touches on "the French pox," i.e. syphilis, which had been recently introduced. Nonetheless, this vibrant social history makes the city of five centuries ago seem as alive as today's, if not more. 32 pages of color photos, maps. Agent, Catherine Clark, with Felicity Bryan, U.K. (June) Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.