Cover: The Shows of London in HARDCOVER

The Shows of London

Add to Cart

Product Details

HARDCOVER

$192.00 • £153.95 • €173.00

ISBN 9780674807310

Publication Date: 01/01/1978

Short

568 pages

161 halftones, 34 line illustrations

Belknap Press

World

A berserk elephant gunned down in the heart of London, a machine for composing Latin hexameters, and the original rock band (1841)—these are but three of the sights that London curiosity-seekers from every walk of life paid to see from the Elizabethan era to the mid-Victorian period. Examining hundreds of the wonderfully varied exhibitions that culminated in the Crystal Palace of 1851, this generously illustrated book sheds light on a vast and colorful expanse of English social history that has thus far remained wholly unsurveyed.

Drawing on a wealth of never-before-used information, Richard D. Altick traces London exhibitions as they evolved from the display of relics in pre-Reformation churches, through the collections of eighteenth-century virtuosi, to the first science museums and public art galleries. He also narrates for the first time the history of the panorama and diorama as an influential genre of nineteenth-century popular art. At every point, the London shows are linked to the prevailing intellectual atmosphere and to trends in public taste.

The material is fresh and fascinating; the range—from freaks to popular science, from the funeral effigies at Westminster Abbey to Madame Tussaud’s waxworks—impressive. Like the exhibitions that best served the Victorian ideal of mass culture, The Shows of London is both entertaining and informative.

From Our Blog

Jacket: The Privileged Poor: How Elite Colleges Are Failing Disadvantaged Students, by Anthony Abraham Jack, from Harvard University Press

Book Club Spotlight: The Privileged Poor

As students around the world deliberate their options for further education, only made more challenging in a pandemic, we’re reminded that getting in is only half the battle. In The Privileged Poor: How Elite Colleges Are Failing Disadvantaged Students, Anthony Abraham Jack asks how—and why—do disadvantaged students struggle at elite colleges? What can schools can do differently if these students are to thrive? As back to school season begins, we spoke to two university book clubs that read and discussed The Privileged Poor this summer.