Becoming a member of the LoveReading community is free.

No catches, no fine print just unadulterated book loving, with your favourite books saved to your own digital bookshelf.

New members get entered into our monthly draw to win £100 to spend in your local bookshop Plus lots lots more…

Find out more

The First Bohemians Life and Art in London's Golden Age

by Vic Gatrell

eBooks of the Month History

The First Bohemians Life and Art in London's Golden Age Synopsis

This is the colourful, salacious and sumptuously illustrated story of Covent Garden - the creative heart of Georgian London - from Wolfson Prize-winning author Vic Gatrell. It is shortlisted for the hessell tiltman prize 2014. In the teeming, disordered, and sexually charged square half-mile centred on London's Covent Garden something extraordinary evolved in the eighteenth century. It was the world's first creative 'Bohemia'. The nation's most significant artists, actors, poets, novelists, and dramatists lived here. From Soho and Leicester Square across Covent Garden's Piazza to Drury Lane, and down from Long Acre to the Strand, they rubbed shoulders with rakes, prostitutes, market people, craftsmen, and shopkeepers. It was an often brutal world full of criminality, poverty and feuds, but also of high spirits, and an intimacy that was as culturally creative as any other in history. Virtually everything that we associate with Georgian culture was produced here.

The First Bohemians Life and Art in London's Golden Age Press Reviews

An irresistible history, fizzing with life -- Philip Pullman Observer BOOKS OF THE YEAR


Gatrell's love for this dangerous but brilliant age is matched by his expert knowledge of its culture, both high and low -- Dan Jones Daily Telegraph HISTORIES OF THE YEAR


A rich and surprising book ... a sumptuous Christmas treat -- Dominic Sandbrook Sunday Times HISTORY BOOKS OF THE YEAR


Could be bought for its illustrations alone -- Francis Wilson Times Literary Supplement BOOKS OF THE YEAR


Compelling ... scholarly and bawdy -- Tristram Hunt Mail on Sunday BOOKS OF THE YEAR

If you loved this, you might like these...

The World Aflame The Long War, 1914-1945
The Lost Pianos of Siberia
Glastonbury 50 The Official Story of Glastonbury Festival
The Boundless Sea

All versions of this book

ISBN: 9780718195830
Publication date: 05/06/2014
Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd
Format: Paperback

Book Information

ISBN: 9780718195830
Publication date: 5th June 2014
Author: Vic Gatrell
Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd
Format: Paperback
Pagination: 512 pages
Genres: eBook Favourites, History,
Categories: Social & cultural history,

About Vic Gatrell

Vic Gatrell's last book, City of Laughter won both the Wolfson Prize for History and the PEN Hessell-Tiltman Prize; his The Hanging Tree won the Whitfield Prize of the Royal Historical Society. He is a Life Fellow of Caius College, Cambridge.

More About Vic Gatrell

Share this book