How did you clean your teeth in the 1660s? What make-up did you wear? What pets did you keep?

Making use of every possible contemporary source, Liza Picard presents an engrossing picture of how life in London was really lived in an age of Samuel Pepys, the libertine court of Charles II and the Great Fire of London. The topics covered include houses and streets, gardens and parks, cooking, clothes and jewellery, cosmetics, hairdressing, housework, laundry and shopping, medicine and dentistry, sex education, hobbies, etiquette, law and crime, religion and popular belief. The London of 350 years ago is brought (and sometimes horrifyingly) to life.

‘A joy of a book … It radiates throughout that quality so essential in a good historian: infinite curiosity’ Observer


A potpourri of the ordinary and the extraordinary, the predictable and the astonishing
Literary Review
Imagine Samuel Pepys re-incarnated as a 20th-century woman lawyer, and looking back at 17th-century London not as a diarist but as a social analyst. Imagine P. D. James deciding to set a thriller in the time of Charles II and assembling her background materials ... There is almost no aspect of life in Restoration London that is not meticulously described in these 300-odd pages
This is a joy of a book. Its style is both simple and evocative ... and it radiates throughout that quality so essential in a good historian: infinite curiosity
Roy Porter, Observer
An encyclopedic overview of the London of Pepys and Wren ... Answers all those questions about the Great Fire of London you wanted to ask but never knew where to look for the answer
Andrew Roberts, MAIL ON SUNDAY
Anyone who enjoys the minutiae of life in the past will have great fun exploring
Juliet Townsend, SPECTATOR
A beautifully produced reference work ... [an] entertaining historical bran tub
A densely textured accumulation of physical detail for the period, a history of the prosaic written with clarity and modesty ... An engagingly eccentric book which adds texture to existing accounts of the time
Picard has a delicious sense of humour, an insatiable curiosity and an acute eye for detail. And she tells you all the things you really want to know about everyday life in London between 1660 and 1670 ... A truly wonderful book
Sydney Morning Herald
How our seventeenth-century ancestors ate, slept, travelled, worshipped, loved, clothed themselves, tried to keep healthy ... A marvellous source-book for historical novelists and film-makers out for authenticity, and a near-perfect bedside book for anyone else
Sunday Telegraph