Judith Flanders - Author

About the Author

Judith Flanders is the author of the bestselling The Victorian House: Domestic Life from Childbirth to Deathbed (2003); the critically acclaimed Consuming Passions: Leisure and Pleasure in Victorian Britain (2006); A Circle of Sisters (2001), which was nominated for the Guardian First Book Award; The Invention of Murder (2011); and, most recently, The Victorian City: Everyday Life in Dickens' London (2012). She is a frequent contributor to the Sunday Telegraph, Guardian, Spectator and The Times Literary Supplement. Currently a senior research fellow at the University of Buckingham, she lives in London.

 

Author photo © Clive Barda

Featured books by Judith Flanders

The Victorian City Everyday Life in Dickens' London

The Victorian City Everyday Life in Dickens' London

Author: Judith Flanders Format: Hardback Release Date: 01/10/2012

The nineteenth century was a time of unprecedented transformation, and nowhere was this more apparent than on the streets of London. In only a few decades, London grew from a Regency town to the biggest city the world had ever seen, with more than 6.5 million people and railways, street-lighting and new buildings at every turn. In The Victorian House, Judith Flanders described in intimate detail what went on inside the nineteenth-century home. Now, in The Victorian City, she explores London's outdoors in an extraordinary, revelatory portrait of everyday life on the streets. From the moment Charles Dickens, the century's best-loved novelist and London's greatest observer, arrived in the city in 1822, he obsessively walked its streets, recording its pleasures, curiosities and cruelties. Now, with him, Judith Flanders leads us through the markets, transport systems, sewers, rivers, slums, alleys, cemeteries, gin palaces, chop-houses and entertainment emporia of Dickens' London, to reveal the Victorian capital in all its variety, vibrancy, and squalor. From the colourful cries of street-sellers to the uncomfortable reality of travel by omnibus, via the many uses for the body parts of dead horses or the unimaginably grueling working days of hawker children, no detail is too small, or too strange. No one who reads Judith Flanders's The Victorian City will view London in the same light again.

Other books by Judith Flanders

Christmas A Biography

Christmas A Biography

Author: Judith Flanders Format: Paperback Release Date: 01/11/2018

Christmas has been all things to all people: a religious festival, a family celebration, a time of eating and drinking. Yet the origins of the customs which characterize the festive season are wreathed in myth. When did turkeys become the plat du jour? Is the commercialization of Christmas a recent phenomenon, or has the emphasis always been on spending? Just who is, or was, Santa Claus? And for how long have we been exchanging presents of underwear and socks? Food, drink and nostalgia for Christmases past seem to be almost as old as the holiday itself, far more central to the story of Christmas than religious worship. Thirty years after the first recorded Christmas, in the fourth century, the Archbishop of Constantinople was already warning that too many people were spending the day not in worship, but dancing and eating to excess. By 1616, the playwright Ben Jonson was nostalgically recalling the Christmases of yesteryear, confident that they had been better then. In Christmas: A Biography, acclaimed social historian and bestselling author Judith Flanders casts a sharp and revealing eye on the myths, legends and history of the season, from the origins of the holiday in the Roman empire to the emergence of Christmas trees in central Europe, to what might just possibly be the first appearance of Santa Claus - in Switzerland! - to draw a picture of the season as it has never been seen before.

Christmas A Biography

Christmas A Biography

Author: Judith Flanders Format: Hardback Release Date: 19/10/2017

Christmas has been all things to all people: a religious festival, a family celebration, a time of eating and drinking. Yet the origins of the customs which characterize the festive season are wreathed in myth. When did turkeys become the plat du jour? Is the commercialization of Christmas a recent phenomenon, or has the emphasis always been on spending? Just who is, or was, Santa Claus? And for how long have we been exchanging presents of underwear and socks? Food, drink and nostalgia for Christmases past seem to be almost as old as the holiday itself, far more central to the story of Christmas than religious worship. Thirty years after the first recorded Christmas, in the fourth century, the Archbishop of Constantinople was already warning that too many people were spending the day not in worship, but dancing and eating to excess. By 1616, the playwright Ben Jonson was nostalgically recalling the Christmases of yesteryear, confident that they had been better then. In Christmas: A Biography, acclaimed social historian and best-selling author Judith Flanders casts a sharp and revealing eye on the myths, legends and history of the season, from the origins of the holiday in the Roman empire to the emergence of Christmas trees in central Europe, to what might just possibly be the first appearance of Santa Claus - in Switzerland! - to draw a picture of the season as it has never been seen before.

A Cast Of Vultures

A Cast Of Vultures

Author: Judith Flanders Format: Paperback Release Date: 23/03/2017

Usually sharp-witted editor Sam Clair stumbles through her post-launch-party morning with the hangover to end all hangovers. Before the Nurofen has even kicked in, she finds herself entangled in an elaborate saga of missing neighbours, suspected arson and the odd unidentified body. When the grisly news breaks that the fire has claimed a victim, Sam is already in pursuit. Never has comedy been so deadly as Sam faces down a pair from Thugs 'R' Us, aided by nothing more than a CID boyfriend, a stalwart Goth assistant and a seemingly endless supply of purple-sprouting broccoli.

A Bed of Scorpions

A Bed of Scorpions

Author: Judith Flanders Format: Paperback Release Date: 24/03/2016

What's an editor to do with so many demands? Do you deal with the morning's pile of manuscript submissions first? Or the swine from sales who steals all the chocolate digestives? Or do you concentrate on your ex-lover, whose business partner has just been found dead in their art gallery, slumped over his desk with a gun in his hand? It's another day at Timmins & Ross publishing house, but when sharp-tongued editor Samantha Clair's CID boyfriend is brought in to investigate Frank Compton's death, her loyalties become stretched. And when one of Aidan Merriam's artists is found dead in identical circumstances, Sam takes on the art world and the CID, armed with nothing more than her reliable weapons: satire, cynicism and a stock of irrelevant information culled from novels.

A Cast Of Vultures

A Cast Of Vultures

Author: Judith Flanders Format: Hardback Release Date: 24/03/2016

There was every possibility that I was dead, and my brain hadn't got the memo. Or maybe it was that I wished I were dead. On reflection, that was more likely.Usually sharp-witted editor Sam Clair stumbles through her post-launch-party morning with the hangover to end all hangovers. Before the Nurofen has even kicked in, she finds herself entangled in an elaborate saga of missing neighbours, suspected arson and the odd unidentified body. When the grisly news breaks that the fire has claimed a victim, Sam is already in pursuit. Never has comedy been so deadly as Sam faces down a pair from Thugs 'R' Us, aided by nothing more than a CID boyfriend, a stalwart Goth assistant and a seemingly endless supply of purple-sprouting broccoli.

A Bed of Scorpions

A Bed of Scorpions

Author: Judith Flanders Format: Hardback Release Date: 19/03/2015

What's an editor to do with so many demands? Do you deal with the morning's pile of manuscript submissions first? Or the swine from sales who steals all the chocolate digestives? Or do you concentrate on your ex-lover, whose business partner has just been found dead in their art gallery, slumped over his desk with a gun in his hand? It's another day at Timmins & Ross publishing house, but when sharp-tongued editor Samantha Clair's CID boyfriend is brought in to investigate Frank Compton's death, her loyalties become stretched. And when one of Aidan Merriam's artists is found dead in identical circumstances, Sam takes on the art world and the CID, armed with nothing more than her reliable weapons: satire, cynicism and a stock of irrelevant information culled from novels.

A Murder of Magpies

A Murder of Magpies

Author: Judith Flanders Format: Paperback Release Date: 19/02/2015

Previously published as Writers' Block. You know when you have one of those days at the office? You spill coffee on your keyboard, the finance director goes on an expenses rampage and then, before you know it, your favourite author is murdered. Don't you just hate when that happens? Introducing the much-anticipated debut novel by Judith Flanders, acclaimed author of the non-fiction bestsellers A Circle of Sisters and The Victorian House. Drawing on her past experience as editor at prestigious publishing houses, this pitch-perfect crime caper offers a witty, intelligent and entertaining glimpse into the publishing world. When Samantha Clair decides to publish journalist Kit Lovell's tell-all book on the death of fashion-designer Rodrigo Aleman, she can scarcely imagine the dangers ahead. Cue a rollercoaster ride into the dark realms of fashion, money-laundering and murder, armed with nothing but her e-reader and her trusty stock of sarcasm -

Writers' Block

Writers' Block

Author: Judith Flanders Format: Hardback Release Date: 01/03/2014

Latterly published as A Murder of Magpies. You know when you have one of those days at the office? You spill coffee on your keyboard, the finance director goes on an expenses rampage and then, before you know it, your favourite author is murdered. Don't you just hate when that happens? Introducing the much-anticipated debut novel by Judith Flanders, acclaimed author of the non-fiction bestsellers A Circle of Sisters and The Victorian House. Drawing on her past experience as editor at prestigious publishing houses, this pitch-perfect crime caper offers a witty, intelligent and entertaining glimpse into the publishing world. When Samantha Clair decides to publish journalist Kit Lovell's tell-all book on the death of fashion-designer Rodrigo Aleman, she can scarcely imagine the dangers ahead. Cue a rollercoaster ride into the dark realms of fashion, money-laundering and murder, armed with nothing but her e-reader and her trusty stock of sarcasm -

The Victorian City Everyday Life in Dickens' London

The Victorian City Everyday Life in Dickens' London

Author: Judith Flanders Format: Paperback Release Date: 01/08/2013

The nineteenth century was a time of unprecedented transformation, and nowhere was this more apparent than on the streets of London. In only a few decades, London grew from a Regency town to the biggest city the world had ever seen, with more than 6.5 million people and railways, street-lighting and new buildings at every turn. Charles Dickens obsessively walked London's streets, recording its pleasures, curiosities and cruelties. Now, Judith Flanders follows in his footsteps, leading us through the markets, transport systems, sewers, slums, cemeteries, gin palaces and entertainment emporia of Dickens' London. The Victorian City is a revelatory portrait of everyday life on the streets, bringing to life the Victorian capital in all its variety, vibrancy, and squalor. No one who reads it will view London in the same light again.

The Invention of Murder How the Victorians Revelled in Death and Detection and Created Modern Crime

The Invention of Murder How the Victorians Revelled in Death and Detection and Created Modern Crime

Author: Judith Flanders Format: Paperback Release Date: 01/09/2011

`We are a trading community, a commercial people. Murder is doubtless a very shocking offence, nevertheless as what is done is not to be undone, let us make our money out of it.' Punch Murder in the 19th century was rare. But murder as sensation and entertainment became ubiquitous - transformed into novels, into broadsides and ballads, into theatre and melodrama and opera - even into puppet shows and performing dog-acts. In this meticulously researched and compelling book, Judith Flanders - author of `The Victorian House' - retells the gruesome stories of many different types of murder - both famous and obscure. From the crimes (and myths) of Sweeney Todd and Jack the Ripper, to the tragedies of the murdered Marr family in London's East End, Burke and Hare and their bodysnatching business in Edinburgh, and Greenacre who transported his dismembered fiancee around town by omnibus. With an irresistible cast of swindlers, forgers, and poisoners, the mad, the bad and the dangerous to know, `The Invention of Murder' is both a gripping tale of crime and punishment, and history at its most readable.

Invention of Murder

Invention of Murder

Author: Judith Flanders Format: eBook Release Date: 06/01/2011

A deeply engaging and completely original book about nineteenth-century Britain's fascination with good quality murder.Murder in nineteenth-century Britain was ubiquitous - not necessarily in quantity but in quality. This was the era of penny-bloods, early crime fiction and melodramas for the masses. This was a time when murder and entertainment were firmly entwined.In this meticulously researched and compelling book, Judith Flanders, author of Consuming Passions, takes us back in time to explore some of the most gripping, gruesome and mind-boggling murders of the nineteenth-century. Covering the crimes (and myths) of Sweeney Todd and Jack the Ripper, as well as the lesser known but equally shocking acts of Burke and Hare, and Thurtell and Hunt, Flanders looks at how murder was regarded by the wider British population - and how it became a form of popular entertainment.Filled to the brim with rich source material - ranging from studies of plays, novels and contemporary newspaper articles, A Social History of Murder brings to life a neglected dimension of British social history in a completely new and exciting way.

Consuming Passions Leisure and Pleasure in Victorian Britain

Consuming Passions Leisure and Pleasure in Victorian Britain

Author: Judith Flanders Format: Paperback Release Date: 01/10/2007

A delightful and fascinating social history of Victorians at leisure, told through the letters, diaries, journals and novels of nineteenth-century men and women, from the author of the bestselling `The Victorian House'. Imagine a world where only one in five people owns a book, where just one in ten has a knife or a fork - a world where five people out of every six do not own a cup to hold a hot drink. That was what England was like in the early eighteenth century. Yet by the close of the nineteenth century, the Industrial Revolution had brought with it not just factories, railways, mines and machines but also fashion, travel, leisure and pleasure. Leisure became an industry - a cornucopia of excitement for the masses - and it was spread by newspapers, advertising, promotions and publicity - all of which were eighteenth-century creations. It was Josiah Wedgwood and his colleagues who invented money-back guarantees, free delivery and celebrity endorsements. New technology such as the railways brought audiences to ever-more-elaborate extravaganzas, whether it was theatrical spectaculars with breathtaking pyrotechnics and hundreds of extras - `hippodramas' recreating the battle of Waterloo - or the Great Exhibition itself, proudly displaying 'the products of all quarters of the globe' under twenty-two acres of the sparkling 'Crystal Palace'. In `Consuming Passions', the bestselling author of `The Victorian House' explores this dramatic revolution in science, technology and industry - and how a world of thrilling sensation, lavish spectacle and unimaginable theatricality was born.

The Victorian House Domestic Life from Childbirth to Deathbed

The Victorian House Domestic Life from Childbirth to Deathbed

Author: Judith Flanders Format: Paperback Release Date: 02/08/2004

The bestselling social history of Victorian domestic life, told through the letters, diaries, journals and novels of 19th-century men and women. The Victorian age is both recent and unimaginably distant. In the most prosperous and technologically advanced nation in the world, people carried slops up and down stairs; buried meat in fresh earth to prevent mould forming; wrung sheets out in boiling water with their bare hands. This drudgery was routinely performed by the parents of people still living, but the knowledge of it has passed as if it had never been. Running water, stoves, flush lavatories - even lavatory paper - arrived slowly throughout the century, and most were luxuries available only to the prosperous. Judith Flanders, author of the widely acclaimed `A Circle of Sisters', has written an incisive and irresistible portrait of Victorian domestic life. The book itself is laid out like a house, following the story of daily life from room to room: from childbirth in the master bedroom, through the scullery, kitchen and dining room - cleaning, dining, entertaining - on upwards, ending in the sickroom and death. Through a collage of diaries, letters, advice books, magazines and paintings, Flanders shows how social history is built up out of tiny domestic details. Through these we can understand the desires, motivations and thoughts of the age. Many people today live in Victorian terraces, and so the houses themselves are familiar, but the lives are not. `The Victorian House' will change all that.

A Circle of Sisters Alice Kipling, Georgiana Burne-Jones, Agnes Poynter and Louisa Baldwin

A Circle of Sisters Alice Kipling, Georgiana Burne-Jones, Agnes Poynter and Louisa Baldwin

Author: Judith Flanders Format: Paperback Release Date: 02/05/2002

The Macdonald sisters -- Alice, Georgiana, Agnes and Louisa -- started life among the ranks of the lower-middle classes, with little prospect of social advancement. But as wives and mothers they made a single family of the poet Rudyard Kipling, the Pre-Raphaelite painter Edward Burne-Jones, Edward Poynter, President of the Royal Academy, and the Prime Minister, Stanley Baldwin. In telling their remarkable story, Judith Flanders displays the fluidity of Victorian society, and explores the life of the family in the 19th century.

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