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The Much-Lamented Death of Madam Geneva The Eighteenth-Century Gin Craze

Dillon, Patrick

Verlag: Review, London, 2002
ISBN 10: 0747235457 / ISBN 13: 9780747235453
Gebraucht / Hardcover / Anzahl: 1
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Titel: The Much-Lamented Death of Madam Geneva The ...

Verlag: Review, London

Erscheinungsdatum: 2002

Einband: Hardcover

Zustand: Very Good

Zustand des Schutzumschlags: Very Good


Good to very good in dust jacket-clean copy -no markings; B&W Illustrations; 8.50 X 5.75 X 1.50 inches; 354 pages. Buchnummer des Verkäufers 40882

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Inhaltsangabe: Between 1720 and 1751, the gin craze nearly overwhelmed London. Based on extensive research, this title follows the history of gin, or "geneva" - from its introduction from Holland after the "Glorius Revolution", to its role as the sustenance of the poor, a quick trip to oblivion in the squalid and diseased poverty of 18th-century London. This is the story of "Madam Geneva's" rise and fall. Gin-drinkers and sellers, politicians and distillers all add their voices to this account of London's first drug craze, which takes us from the corridors of power to the cornfields of Norfolk, from the pulpits of reformers to the tenements of St Giles in the Fields.

Rezension: In the England of Sir Robert Walpole, addiction to gin (particularly by women) caused as much concern in the national psyche as crack cocaine does today. Patrick Dillon's The Much-Lamented Death of Madam Geneva is not the first account of this epidemic, nor does it, as the dust-jacket promises, take the story fully through to the Victorian era when the problem loomed large once more. But the book is a racy account of gin in Hogarth's London, where farmers, distillers, politicians, magistrates, backstreet spirit-sellers, magistrates and evangelicals battled over the production of the cheap spirit. Dillon argues that gin held up a mirror to Hanoverian London--a city of rapid growth, fluid fortunes and helpless squalor. Gin became blamed for social tensions the causes of which lay elsewhere, and as a result moral panic and heavy-handed policing of the problem just drove the trade off the high street and into the homes and backyards of the metropolis, where women and children fell victim to its crude charms. Dillon is quite good on the economics of gin production and consumption, and has dug out some interesting detail from the courts. But his style is too clichéd and colloquial to put him in the Dava Sobel league, and he lacks subtlety as a social historian--one can only wonder how the late great Roy Porter or Robert Darnton might have told this tale. -- Miles Taylor

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