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Following her acclaimed history of London and its dead, NECROPOLIS, Catharine Arnold now turns her attention to the city's lunatic fringe, and how we have dealt with the mad among us from pre-history to the present day.
If Paris is the city of love, then London is the city of lust. For over a thousand years, England's capital has been associated with desire, avarice and the sins of the flesh. Richard of Devises, a monk writing in 1180, warned that 'every quarter [of the city] abounds in great obscenities'. As early as the second century AD, London was notorious for its raucous festivities and disorderly houses, and throughout the centuries the bawdy side of life has taken easy root and flourished. In the third book of her fascinating London trilogy, award-winning popular historian Catharine Arnold turns her gaze to the city's relationship with vice through the ages. From the bath houses and brothels of Roman Londinium, to the stews and Molly houses of the 17th and 18th centuries, London has always traded in the currency of sex. Whether pornographic publishers on Fleet Street, or fancy courtesans parading in Haymarket, its streets have long been witness to colourful sexual behaviour. In her usual accessible and entertaining style, Arnold takes us on a journey through the fleshpots of London from earliest times to present day. Here are buxom strumpets, louche aristocrats, popinjay politicians and Victorian flagellants - all vying for their place in London's league of licentiousness. From sexual exuberance to moral panic, the city has seen the pendulum swing from Puritanism to hedonism and back again. With latter chapters looking at Victorian London and the sexual underground of the 20th century and beyond, this is a fascinating and vibrant chronicle of London at its most raw and ribald.
A vivid historical narrative of how London has dealt with its dead from pagan burial rites through the Black Death to the Blitz and the death of Diana.
Sarah-Jane Le Blanc grew up with no particular interest in animals. A down-to-earth mother of two with a job working with disadvantaged children, other people's pets didn't feature very highly in her thoughts - until an event in 2005 which changed the direction of her life. Over the course of several evenings, just before going to sleep, Sarah Jane kept getting a clear image in her mind of a dog called Dan, who had a sad story and was trying to contact someone. This experience led her to investigate animal/human communication. From taking on her first 'client' - a claustrophobic horse - Sarah-Jane's skills went from strength to strength. She soon realised she had a rare gift for animal 'clairsentience', being able to detect the emotions and past traumas of those who cannot speak, and to heal them with her thoughts. Sarah-Jane tells her amazing story of how she became a real-life Doctor Dolittle. She uses what she calls 'soul-to-soul' therapy, which has helped countless pets and their owners resolve problems. Sarah-Jane's message is that animals suffer emotional pain and anxiety, just like we do. Her work proves that we can reach out across the species to communicate with the creatures that share our lives, as they too, can help us to heal ourselves.
A quirky, fascinating portrait of the English capital's dark and criminal underbelly throughout history Beginning with an atmospheric account of Tyburn, this grisly excursion through London as a city of ne'er do wells takes in beheadings and brutality at the Tower, Elizabethan street crime, cutpurses and con-men, 18th century highway robbery, and the rise of prisons, the police, and the Victorian era of incarceration. It also examines the influence of London's criminal classes on the literature of the 19th and 20th century, through to the Krays and Soho gangs of the 1950s and 1960s. London's crimes have changed over the centuries, both in method and execution. This lively popular history traces these developments, from the highway robberies of the 18th century, made possible by the constant traffic of wealthy merchants in and out of the city, to the beatings, slashings, and poisonings of the Victorian era.
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