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Christine L. Corton: The rise and fall of the classic London fogs

Christine L. Corton: The rise and fall of the classic London fogs

In popular imagination the world over, London is a city of fog, and these fogs became one of the great urban spectacles of the industrial age. Frequently the fogs were so thick that people could not see their own feet. The story of the classic London fogs, thick yellow “pea-soupers,” from the industrial age of the nineteenth century to the clean air legislation that ended them attracted the imagination of writers as varied as Charles Dickens, Henry James, Oscar Wilde, Robert Louis Stevenson, Joseph Conrad, Arthur Conan Doyle, T. S. Eliot and Lynne Read Banks. Artists including Whistler and Monet were fascinated by their visual effects. This lecture describes these epic London fogs, their dangers and beauty, analyses the reasons why it was so difficult to control the air pollution that caused them, and assesses their impact on our culture and imagination.

Christine L. Corton is a Senior Member of Wolfson College, Cambridge, and the author of London Fog: The Biography (Harvard University Press, 2015), recently issued in paperback and translated into Chinese. She worked in publishing houses including Hamish Hamilton and Penguin, and was Production Director at Boxtree Books, before taking her PhD at the University of Kent at Canterbury. She is Chair of the Cambridge branch of the Dickens Fellowship and had published articles in The New York Times, The Guardian, and a variety of periodicals.

Date Wednesday, 11 October 2017
Time 5:30pm - 6:30pm
Audience Public
Event Category Humanities
Event Type Lecture
DepartmentHistory & Art History
LocationArchway 1

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