''Five million barrels of porter'' (p. 140)
This is a timely and necessary book after nearly a quarter of a century during which a steady stream of specialist monographs and articles on Irish communities in individual British towns and cities has appeared.
For a very long time, writers have sneered at the suburbs. They have looked down on suburbanites for being materialistic, unimaginative, and boring. They have complained about the social and physical monotony of the suburban scene while deploring its individualism and lack of community.
Over the past generation of scholarship, the history of consumption and material culture has emerged as a rich subfield of European history.
What a great idea! The only wonder is why no publishing house thought of commissioning a book on the topic before. The reader’s delight starts straight from looking at the cover illustration – a ‘translation’ of Harry Beck’s celebrated London Tube Map, in which Waterloo Station becomes Gare de Napoléon.
Towards the end of this fascinating study, Heather Shore reflects on the difficulty of ‘trying to uncover or reconstruct something that does not exist in a concrete form’ (p. 192). For Shore, the ‘underworld’ is a ‘cipher’, through which the press, the police, the government, and the wider society represents, and tries to understand, crime as a social problem.
Death and Survival is a collection of eight previously published articles and chapters with a new preface, introduction and conclusion. Luckin is without a doubt one of the most important urban environmental historians of London.
The age of lesbian and gay, in which those were the dominant terms for homoeroticism and other things that seemed (sometimes arbitrarily) to be related to it, appears to be over.