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Victorian Babylon: People, Streets and Images in Nineteenth-Century London
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Nead details the changes that came to the city because of its huge sewer system, or the installation of gas lighting. For instance, gas made night shopping and strolling possible, and enabled men and women to dance, drink, and generally be naughty at the Cremorne Pleasure Gardens. The moralists of the time fought against Cremorne's various licenses, and eventually it went under, but not before inspiring Whistler's famous _Nocturne in Black and Gold_ which led to his lawsuit against Ruskin. The moralists were in further quandary over Holywell Street, the history of which is the most engaging part of the book. It was the home of pornographers who put their wares in the windows, hazarding youth and especially (according to the view of the time) women, who loved bright colors.Read more ›