Lose yourself in the vast sewer networks that lie beneath the world's great cities - past and present. Let detailed archival plans, maps and photographs guide you through these subterranean labyrinths - previously accessible only to their builders, engineers and, perhaps, the odd rogue explorer. This execrable exploration traces the evolution of waste management from the ingenious infra-structures of the ancient world to the seeping cesspits and festering open sewers of the medieval period. It investigates and celebrates the work of the civil engineers whose pioneering integrated sewer systems brought to a close the devastating cholera epidemics of the mid-19th century and continue to serve a vastly increased population today. And let's not forget those giant fatbergs clogging our underground arteries, or the storm-surge super-structures of tomorrow.
Thames & Hudson
Country of Publication:
10 October 2019
Foreword by Sir Peter Bazalgette * Prelude: Cholera in the City * 1. Pioneers of Plumbing: I. Sanitation in the Ancient World; II. Sewage in the Streets * 2. Subterranean Infrastructures: I. The Cleansing of Paris; II. London & the Great Stink; III. Worldwide Adaptations; IV. Raising Streets * 3. Revolutions of Purity
Stephen Halliday is a specialist in industrial history and the author of a number of books, including Water: A Turbulent History, Amazing and Extraordinary London Underground Facts and The Great Stink: Sir Joseph Bazalgette and the Cleansing of the Victorian Metropolis. He regularly lectures at Cambridge University and presented with Michael Buerk the Channel 5 programme `What the Victorians Did for Us'. Sir Peter Bazalgette is the great-great-grandson of Victorian civil engineer Sir Joseph Bazalgette and the former head of both ITV and the Arts Council of England.
Reviews for An Underground Guide to Sewers: or Down, Through and Out in Paris, London, New York & co.
'Written by historian and broadcaster Stephen Halliday, it achieves the unlikely feat of engaging readers for more than 250 pages on all aspects of human waste and water disposal and, in particular, the often-impressive infrastructure created to deal with the age-old problem of sewage. It's no mean feat, helped by a lively style and excellent maps, drawings and archive photography ' - RIBA Journal 'Fascinating' - Creative Review