Gin: The Much-lamented Death of Madam Geneva

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Justin, Charles & Co., 2004 - History - 354 pages
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The famous Geneva spirit, or gin, as it soon became known, arrived in London from Holland after the restoration of the monarchy in 1662. Originally hailed as a means of providing an economic boost for England's grain farmers, gin drinking soon reached epidemic proportions in the slums of London, where it was sold from shops and market stalls, from basements, and carts on the street.
Within twenty years, thousands of men, women, and children died as a result of the drink, and English society was deeply riven by the debate over its control. Economic interests grew fat and powerful on gin's profits and clamored for a loosening of all restriction. On the other side, reformers pointed to the appalling social costs. Yet every attempt to ban gin outright ended in riots.
Brilliantly researched, with far-reaching implications for the drug wars of our time, this is a fast-paced chronicle of the making, selling, and regulating of a powerful drug, and of its disastrous effects on ordinary people.

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User Review  - Cecilturtle - LibraryThing

I'm not a big history buff so it took me a while to read this book. The short chapters, poignant stories and recurring themes make it an interesting and easy read. If the author showed something it's ... Read full review

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User Review  - john257hopper - LibraryThing

This fascinating work of social history explores the infamous gin craze of the 18th century, immortalised in such sayings as "drunk for a penny, dead drunk for tuppence" and in Hogarth's famous sketch ... Read full review


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About the author (2004)

Patrick Dillon is a successful architect, with a special expertise in the history of eighteenth-century architecture. He is the author of two previous works of crime fiction. He lives in London with his family

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