Life In London, 1871

  • April 3, 2006 at 7:16 pm #1951
    SirAbrahamHughes
    Participant

    If this has been posted elsewhere, apologies, but I didn't see it. I ran across this website the other day, and it's a great collection of Victorian-related links on many, many subjects:

    Victorian Web

    One essay in particular, “Life in London,” was published in 1871 and was very interesting. As a sample:

    “A man's first residence in London is a revolution in his life and feelings. He loses at once no small part of his individuality. He was a man before, now he is a “party.” No longer known as Mr. Brown, but as (say) No. XXI., he feels as one of many cogs in one of the many wheels of an incessantly wearing, tearing, grinding, system of machinery. His country notions must be modified, and all his life-long ways and takings-for-granted prove crude and questionable. He is hourly reminded “This is not the way in London; that this won't work here ,” or, “people always expect,” and “you'll soon find the difference.” Custom rules everything, and custom never before seemed to him half as strange, strong, or inexorable. The butcher always cuts one way and the greengrocer serves him with equal rigour. His orders never before seemed of so little importance. The independence and the take-it-or-leave-it indifference of the tradesmen contrast strongly with the obsequiousness of the country shop. However great a customer before he feels a small customer now. The tradesman is shorter and more saving of his words. He serves, takes your money, and turns away to some one else, whereas in the country they indulge you with a little talk into the bargain.”

    Continued here.

    April 7, 2006 at 8:50 pm #2559
    Catherine
    Participant

    Interesting article, and useful link! Thanks for sharing!

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