Catherine Peters

House of Eliot

142 Strand: A Radical Address in Victorian London

By

Chatto & Windus 386pp £20 order from our bookshop

It is important to be reminded from time to time of the strength of the radical, non-conformist element in Victorian society, so influential and so far from the ‘Victorian values’ of comfortable cliché. No one is better qualified to remind us than Rosemary Ashton, who has now added to her studies of George Eliot, G H Lewes and the Carlyles an intriguing account of the publisher John Chapman and his circle.

No 142 Strand was, for a few years in the mid nineteenth century, one of the most important addresses in literary London. The building itself has long since disappeared, but from 1847 to 1854, when John Chapman lived and worked there, it became a centre for radical ideas in political and scientific thought. 

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