Were things really better in the ‘good old days’.
The Victorian era is often thought of as an age of propriety, inventions and the British stiff upper lip.
However, in a world of extremes between the rich and poor, for most people it was often hellish, violent and filled with death.
In The Good Old Days she reveals exactly what it was like for those on the streets that history has forgotten. Meet:
The madame whose mysterious East End chambers were visited nightly by the aristocracy.
The psychic who ‘solved’ the Jack the Ripper murders.
The conwoman, bigamist and murderer who left twenty-one bodies in her wake.
The Lambeth Poisoner, sewer-hunters, oyster sellers and many other colourful characters.
O’Neill leads us through fog-bound streets into rat-infested slums, boozers, penny gaffs and brothels to expose the teeming underbelly of London in the reign of Queen Victoria.
Praise for The Good Old Days
‘A world of hunger, squalor, disease and pain’ – Daily Telegraph
‘Terrific. A delightful foray through nineteenth century murder and mayhem’ – Spectator
‘Packed with shocking and tragic tales’ – Big Issue
Praise for Gilda O’Neill
‘[Gives a] voice to memories of a changing East End’ – The Guardian
'A shocking book which, for once, should dispel the myth that life in the East End was one long knees-up' – Daily Express
'O'Neill chronicles the filth and poverty with leery aplomb, then sobers things up with sharp social commentary' – The Scotsman
Gilda O’Neill (1951-2010) took three university degrees and was awarded an honorary doctorate for her work on the East End. In 1990 O’Neill began writing full-time. She published thirteen novels and six works of non-fiction, including East End Tales. She also broadcasted, gave talks and wrote articles about east London history. She tragically died in 2010 from a sudden illness.