Visit our Christmas Gift Finder
Click & Collect from 2 Hours*
Free Delivery to UK Shops
Free UK Standard Delivery On all orders £20 and over Free Delivery to UK Shops Local shops and expert booksellers nationwide Free Click & Collect to UK shops From 2 hours of your order*
One Hot Summer: Dickens, Darwin, Disraeli, and the Great Stink of 1858 (Paperback)
  • One Hot Summer: Dickens, Darwin, Disraeli, and the Great Stink of 1858 (Paperback)
zoom

One Hot Summer: Dickens, Darwin, Disraeli, and the Great Stink of 1858 (Paperback)

(author)
£10.99
Paperback 352 Pages / Published: 03/07/2018
  • In stock online

Usually dispatched within 24 hours

  • This item has been added to your basket
Your local Waterstones may have stock of this item. Please check by using Click & Collect
A unique, colorful view of Victorian London when residents both famous and now-forgotten endured "the Great Stink" across one hot summer

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. And yet, historian Rosemary Ashton reveals in this compelling microhistory, 1858 was marked by significant, if unrecognized, turning points. For ordinary people, and also for the rich, famous, and powerful, the months from May to August turned out to be a summer of consequence.

Ashton mines Victorian letters and gossip, diaries, court records, newspapers, and other contemporary sources to uncover historically crucial moments in the lives of three protagonists-Charles Dickens, Charles Darwin, and Benjamin Disraeli. She also introduces others who gained renown in the headlines of the day, among them George Eliot, Karl Marx, William Thackeray, and Edward Bulwer Lytton. Ashton reveals invisible threads of connection among Londoners at every social level in 1858, bringing the celebrated city and its citizens vibrantly to life.

Publisher: Yale University Press
ISBN: 9780300238662
Number of pages: 352
Weight: 408 g
Dimensions: 197 x 127 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS
"Superbly researched . . . argues that the year was a crucial one in the lives of the three great Victorians: Dickens, Disreali and Darwin."-Paula Byrne, Times
"Rosemary Ashton's new book charts four boiling hot months in 1858 when the sewage of London went awry and . . . can often feel much closer to how people actually lived and breathed than grander, more panoramic narratives."-Craig Brown, Mail on Sunday
"England was changing in that smelliest of summers, and Ashton gives us a finely scented snapshot of it all."-Simon Heffer, Daily Telegraph
"[The Great Stink] is a terrific subject for Ms. Ashton . . . She excels at unearthing and explaining the daily distractions of the nose-holding populace over the course of the summer: horse races, art shows, murder and divorce trials . . . Her detailed atomic record produces thought-provoking coincidences and reminds us of figures who deserve to be better known . . . In short: This book does not stink. Far from it."-Alexandra Mullen, Wall Street Journal
"A wide-ranging narrative, written with [Ashton's] customary flair."-John Bugg, TLS
"Not just another book about the Victorians, but one that could just as easily have been written by them. Turning its pages is like opening a window on to their world."-Robert Douglas-Fairhurst, Guardian
"The book's real strength is its description of London quivering between modernity and the dark ages . . . There is plenty to enjoy in this panorama of Victorians in their heyday."-The Economist

"Finding space for clubland quarrels alongside state affairs and scientific advances, her lively study is elegantly executed, informative and entertaining."-Anne Somerset, Literary Review
"A wondrous, illuminating and evocative saga . . . Ashton has delved with comprehensive skill into the now-digitised copies of the newspapers of the day to discover the far from fake facts."-Gerald Isaaman, Islington Tribune

"[Ashton] is the best at navigating the hidden rapids of life, politics, art and popular culture."
-Judith Flanders, "Best History Books 2017", History Today


"The new celebrity cult developed by the popular press collided with the revolting state of the Thames, in that hot summer. Rosemary Ashton's brilliant description of the result is a 'must-read', whatever this summer brings."-Liza Picard, author of Victorian London
"Rosemary Ashton's evocative and intriguing portrait of public, private and political tensions in the long hot summer of 1858 delivers fascinating insights into the interconnected lives of her subjects."-Lee Jackson, author of Dirty Old London
"History-writing too often confines itself to great events set in motion by great people. In One Hot Summer Rosemary Ashton has produced history-writing of the most important kind, as she explores what happens in between those great events, and great people, and connects previously unconnected subjects and ideas. It reads as easily as fiction, as excitingly as a thriller. It is history as it should be written, but so rarely is."-Judith Flanders, author of The Victorian City

You may also be interested in...

IWM London Guidebook
Added to basket
£5.00
Paperback
The Motorbike Book
Added to basket
DK
£25.00
Hardback
Orientalism
Added to basket
£10.99
Paperback
The Making Of The British Landscape
Added to basket
Auschwitz
Added to basket
£9.99
Paperback
Map Of A Nation
Added to basket
£10.99
Paperback
Night
Added to basket
£8.99
Paperback
A Spy Among Friends
Added to basket
Night
Added to basket
£8.99
Paperback
A Problem from Hell
Added to basket
The Secret Rooms
Added to basket
The Scramble For Africa
Added to basket
Guns, Germs and Steel
Added to basket
How to Be a Good Husband
Added to basket
£4.99
Hardback
Londoners
Added to basket
£9.99
Paperback
The Edge of the World
Added to basket

Please sign in to write a review

Your review has been submitted successfully.