RRP : £32.96
Titles In This Set:
Bedlam - London And Its Mad
Globe - Life In Shakespeare's London
City of Sin - London And Its Vices
Necropolis - London And Its Dead
Necropolis London and its Dead
From Roman burial rites to the horrors of the plague, from the founding of the great Victorian cemeteries to the development of cremation and the current approach of metropolitan society towards death and bereavement -- including more recent trends to displays of collective grief and the cult of mourning, such as that surrounding the death of Diana, Princess of Wales -- NECROPOLIS: LONDON AND ITS DEAD offers a vivid historical narrative of this great city's attitude to going the way of all flesh. As layer upon layer of London soil reveals burials from pre-historic and medieval times, the city is revealed as one giant grave, filled with the remains of previous eras -- pagan, Roman, medieval, Victorian. This fascinating blend of archaeology, architecture and anecdote includes such phenomena as the rise of the undertaking trade and the pageantry of state funerals; public executions and bodysnatching. Ghoulishly entertaining and full of fascinating nuggets of information, Necropolis leaves no headstone unturned in its exploration of our changing attitudes to the deceased among us. Both anecdotal history and cultural commentary, Necropolis will take its place alongside classics of the city such as Peter Ackroyd's LONDON.
Bedlam: London and Its Mad
'Bedlam!' The very name conjures up graphic images of naked patients chained among filthy straw, or parading untended wards deluded that they are Napoleon or Jesus Christ. We owe this image of madness to William Hogarth, who, in plate eight of his 1735 Rake's Progress series, depicts the anti-hero in Bedlam, the latest addition to a freak show providing entertainment for Londoners between trips to the Tower Zoo, puppet shows and public executions.
That this is still the most powerful image of Bedlam, over two centuries later, says much about our attitude to mental illness, although the Bedlam of the popular imagination is long gone. The hospital was relocated to the suburbs of Kent in 1930, and Sydney Smirke's impressive Victorian building in Southwark took on a new role as the Imperial War Museum.
Following the historical narrative structure of her acclaimed Necropolis, BEDLAM examines the capital's treatment of the insane over the centuries, from the founding of Bethlehem Hospital in 1247 through the heyday of the great Victorian asylums to the more enlightened attitudes that prevail today.
City of Sin: London and Its Vices
In the third book of her fascinating London trilogy, award-winning popular historian Catharine Arnold turns her gaze to the city's relationship with vice through the ages. From the bath houses and brothels of Roman Londinium, to the stews and Molly houses of the 17thand 18thcenturies, London has always traded in the currency of sex. Whether pornographic publishers on Fleet Street, or fancy courtesans parading in Haymarket, its streets have long been witness to colourful sexual behaviour.
In her usual accessible and entertaining style, Arnold takes us on a journey through the fleshpots of London from earliest times to present day. Here are buxom strumpets, louche aristocrats, popinjay politicians and Victorian flagellants -- all vying for their place in London's league of licentiousness. From sexual exuberance to moral panic, the city has seen the pendulum swing from Puritanism to hedonism and back again. With later chapters looking at Victorian London and the sexual underground of the 20thcentury and beyond, this is a fascinating and vibrant chronicle of London at its most raw and ribald.
Globe - Life In Shakespeare's London
Globetakes its readers on a tour of London through Shakespeare's life and work. In fascinating detail, Catharine Arnold tells how acting came of age, how troupes of touring players were transformed from scruffy vagabonds into the finely-dressed 'strutters' of the Globe itself. We learn about James Burbage, founder of the original Theatre, in Shoreditch, who carried timbers across the Thames to build the Globe among the bear-gardens and brothels of Bankside. And of the terrible night in 1613 when the theatre caught fire during a performance of King Henry VIII. Rebuilt once more, the Globe continued to stand as a monument to Shakespeare's genius until 1642 when it was destroyed on the orders of Oliver Cromwell. And finally we learn how 300 years later, Shakespeare's Globe opened once more upon the Bankside, to great acclaim, rising like a phoenix from the flames.