Books Magazine

The London Reading List No.45

Posted on the 01 May 2012 by Lwblog @londonwalks

Tuesday is great London books day on The Daily Constitutional. Give us your own recommendations at the usual email address
The London Reading List No.45
The Crimson Petal and the White by Michael Faber (2002)
The London Reading List No.45 “Michel Faber has produced the novel that Dickens might have written had he been allowed to speak freely.” Thus opened The Guardian’s review for the acclaimed 2002 novel The Crimson Petal and the White. “Where once the Victorian novel was lace-like with decorous gaps and tactful silences, now it is packed hard with crude fact and dirty detail… a supremely literary novel.”
Over to London Walks guide Richard III:
“This exquisite piece of writing right at the end of The Crimson Petal and the White, a wonderful book set in Victorian London (by Michael Faber) sums up the London by Gaslight walk perfectly:
‘Night has fallen over St. Giles, over London, over England, over a fair fraction of the world. Lamp-lighters are roaming the streets, solemnly igniting, like an army of Catholic worshippers, innumerable votive candles fifteen feet in height. It's a magical sight, for anyone looking down on it from above, which, sadly, no one is. Yes, night has fallen, and only those creatures who are of no consequence are still working. Chop-houses are coming to life, serving ox cheeks and potatoes to slop-shop drudges. Taverns, ale-houses and gin palaces are humming with custom…’

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