The following is an excerpt from my new eBook, “An Unusual Journey Through Royal History,” which features 18 essays on a variety of royal history-related subjects spanning a thousand years.
These are the first few paragraphs of the chapter entitled The Monarchy, Sewers and Modernization. Enjoy!
It may be slightly surprising to see the words “monarchy” and “sewer” appear together in the same sentence, but the two have actually shared a very close connection for quite some time. This is due largely, but not entirely, to the historically close proximity of the strongholds of the British monarchy to the River Thames, which, up until about 140 years ago, was London’s biggest sewer. More tangentially, both the British monarchy and London’s sewers owe their current form to the Victorian Era and both have, for some time, been in need of modernization.
The reign of Queen Victoria presided over not only a period of major industrial development, technological advancement and enlightened thinking, but also of major improvements and modernization to the monarchy. By the time of the Great Stink in 1858, when the smell from rotting sewage in the Thames was so bad that Parliament had to be abandoned, the monarchy had evolved from a rather disrespected, if not entirely dissolute, institution to a progressive and meaningful symbol of government and family values.
As the monarchy advanced into a more modern institution, a forward-thinking man named Joseph Bazalgette was tasked with doing the same for London’s foul and deadly sewage system – creating an incredibly modern and revolutionary design that transformed the Thames from a cesspit into a free-flowing river and London from a deathtrap to a modern European city.
But, once again, the fates of both the monarchy and the sewers are intertwined. Somehow, once both the monarchy and the sewers were updated to sufficiently accommodate the modern era, they just stopped growing. Sewers that were built to accommodate 2,000,000 people are now expected to serve more than 60,000,000, and a monarchy that was well-suited for the Victorian mentality has continued on in much the same way ever since.
To read the rest of The Monarchy, Sewers and Modernization, download a copy of “An Unusual Journey Through Royal History, available for Kindle, Nook and other eReaders at the links below (you don’t even need an e-reader since both Kindle and Nook can be downloaded on most devices for free).
“An Unusual Journey Through Royal History” by Victoria Martínez can be purchased through the following links:
Barnes and Noble: http://search.barnesandnoble.com/An-Unusual-Journey-through-Royal-History/Victoria-Martinez/e/2940012509307
Who Dares Wins Publishing: https://whodareswinspublishing.com/index.php?route=product/product&product_id=115