1700 by Maureen Waller


Just the sort of book that gives history a good name, 1700: Scenes from London Life presents almost a glut of the kind of daily life (and death) detail which proves utterly engaging, striking chords of familiarity or describing almost unimaginable worlds. We discover where people lived and worked, how they behaved, what they wore and ate and how horrifically they suffered from illness and injury. A booming London appears modern in its commerciali...

Details 1700

Release DateFeb 1st, 2001
PublisherHodder and Stoughton
GenreHistory, Nonfiction, Literature, 18th Century, European Literature, British Literature

Reviews 1700

  • Nandakishore Varma
    "Pussycat, Pussycat, where have you been?I have been to London to take in the scene.Pussycat, Pussycat, what saw you there?Tarry a while, dear sir, with you I will share..."London is an iconic city, both for readers of literature and history and travel enthusiasts. There is hardly a book written in the UK where there is no mention of London; the city is steeped in history, and one can literally hear, touch, smell and even taste it while wandering...
  • Jill Hutchinson
    London......one of the great cities in the world in 1700.....trade was booming, William and Mary sat on the throne, beautiful buildings were being erected, many which still exist, and the city was growing by leaps and bounds. That was the positive side of London but there was a terribly dark side as well. It was a cesspool, sewage running in the streets and fouling the Thames, poverty that boggles the mind, a mortality rate that is hard to imagin...
  • Diana
    Re-read 2016 - A book about what you could have seen, eaten, heard, and smelled if you lived in London during 1700. It is a social history and the very first book I had read by this author. It made me a fan of her style of writing and I have read other books published by her since. This is my favorite by her and it is one that I love to re-read and use for papers for my history classes.
  • Elizabeth
    Interesting subject. Poor presentation.
  • Brian Willis
    A readable and fun account of the sociology of early 18th century London. This is the era when London gradually became the center of the world, and the society of that capital began to become recognizable to modern eyes more or less. The book covers marriage, childbirth, childhood, disease and medicine, death and burial, domestic arrangements, fashion, consumption of food and drink, the emergence of social gathering places such as coffee houses a...
  • Margaret
    This is a book that does what it says on the tin. When you've finished it, you'll have a pretty clear idea about the sights, smells and activities of this overcrowded city and centre of commerce as it enters the eighteenth century. You'll read about rich and poor, immigrant Huguenots, prostitutes, life in the taverns and coffee houses. You'll find out what each stage of life is like, from newborn to elderly, for the well, the ill and diseased, th...
  • Sarah
    An interesting look at the social side of 1700 life but feels thrown together.
  • Lora Shouse
    I loved this book! It discusses in depth how Londoners managed to live (or sometimes not) in and around the year 1700. The author covers many topics from marriage and childbirth to work and poverty to vice, crime, and punishment.Suicide seemed to be unusually prevalent in the years around 1700. It is unclear whether there were actually more suicides than there had been earlier or whether the large population and the newspaper coverage given to su...
  • Clay Kallam
    First, I'm really glad I'm not living in London circa 1700. Maureen Waller's in-depth examination of the everyday life of a Londoner at the turn of the 18th century is chilling. Not only was life for the vast majority of the city's citizens nasty, brutish and short, London itself was filthy, foul-smelling and crime-ridden.And what's really frightening is that other Englishmen and women flocked to the capital because life there was better than whe...
  • Just A. Bean
    There's a whole tonne of wonderful detail in this book, so that if I were writing a project that wanted what kind of signs coffee merchants had over their shops, or what you called certain hairstyles, or how much one spent on jasmine-scented gloves and what they were called, I'd want to have this book to hand as a reference. Great resource, and never dull for all that.However, the organisation as a whole felt as though it were selecting topics th...
  • Nick Fagerlund
    Frances Hardinge mentioned this one in the acknowledgements for Fly by Night, so I grabbed it from the library. It’s exactly what it says it is — there’s no underlying narrative here, just a series of themed chapters that each explore some aspect of London life at the time. I liked it a lot, but it was harder to read than something like The Ghost Map, which also makes an effort to immerse the reader in the technology and society and zeitgei...
  • René
    This was a fascinating look into the life of Londoners in the 1700s. True to the title of the book, each chapter reads like a scene depicting a certain topic. My favorites were towards the beginning, such as the chapters about marriage, childbirth, childhood, death, and disease. The chapter about childbirth was exceptionally interesting, yet brutal, and made me thoroughly glad I'll never have to live through their procedures. The biggest flaw for...
  • John Davis
    Big, dirty and merciless London at the turn of the eighteenth century. Maureen Waller covers life and death in THE metropolis of its day. The lives of servants, merchants, the wealthy and every one caught between pop out through referential use of contemporary diarists and observations recorded by foreigners. The customs of marriage,childbirth and childhood,death,fashions,the home,amusements,the working classes, and vice and punishments are explo...
  • Rick
    This is a re-read for me. A fascinating examination of all facets and classes of life in 1700 London. Britain had established itself as THE world military and economic power in the 1600s, following the defeat of the Dutch and the Spanish. "1700" covers marriage, birth, death, disease, life in the coffee houses (the first "men's clubs"), transport, art, and daily life among the "middling sort."
  • Steve Haywood
    A very interesting book. Some chapters are better than others, I particularly liked the chapters on food, coffee shops and working life. I read it from start to finish which was slow going - I'd recommend reading it a chapter or two at a time.
  • Chloe
    Although my eyes did occasionally gloss over, this was a mostly entertaining and informative account of daily life in London at the beginning of the 18th century. There are, it turns out, many similarities between then and now.
  • Melissa Taylor
    It was ok. Not a lot of stuff I didn't already know. The biography of Samuel Pepys, is more informative. (Not to be confused with Pepys' Diary). I also thought it came to a sudden end. Like there had been more, but was removed. (??) *Shrug*
  • Alisa Kester
    Really good, with lots of fascinating detail. I loved the excerpts from journals and other period writings.
  • Judi
    Excellent book if you are an anglophile like I am and love finding out about what day to day life was like during that time period. Very well written.
  • Glenda
    Very interesting account of life in london in 1700, i really enjoyed it. Well written.
  • Redsteve
    A really excellent overview of life in London at the turn of the Century.
  • Chris
    A fairly good read about life in London in 1700 - but the book is going to the charity shop as I can't imagine reading it again