Christopher Hart

Rolling in It

Dirty Old London: The Victorian Fight against Filth

By Lee Jackson

Yale University Press 293pp £20 order from our bookshop

Lee Jackson is a celebrated ‘Victorianist’ who knows London as well as any cab driver. He has previously given us A Dictionary of Victorian London and Walking Dickens’ London. Now he has written a dark and faeculent history of the mud-spattered underbelly of the great waddling beast. Jackson has a keen eye for human behaviour, and his descriptions of the suffering of the poor in this often nightmarish environment are genuinely horrifying and moving.

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