As a first-time visitor to London, De Amicis was awestruck by the bustle and magnificence of the Victorian metropolis and wrote a number of sketches in his trademark witty, observational style, which made him one of the best-selling travel writers of his age. Originally conceived as a series of newspaper articles and later published in volume form, De Amici's 'Memories of London' brings back to life all the bygone charm of the capital of the British Empire. De Amici's impressions are paired here with a piece written by one of his contemporaries, the French writer Louis Laurent Simonin, which leaves the city's opulence and granduer behind and offers an uncompromising look at the poverty and squalor of its most deprived areas.
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