Comedy drama set in early 19th Century London, adapted from the novel by Pierce Egan.
A tour of the sprawling post-Regency metropolis, in the years before the Victorians turned up and made everything boring, in the company of garrulous narrator Pierce Egan, a journalist and boxing fanatic; cocksure urbanite Corinthian Tom; his naive Somerset cousin Jerry Hawthorn; and their drunken compatriot Bob Logic.
From his residence on the Strand, Pierce leads us through London at the hands of Tom and Bob. Each episode focuses on a different aspect of Life In London. From the white-gloved clubs up West, to the gin-filled flop houses down East; from Covent Garden, to the Condemned Yard at Newgate; from brawling with a nightwatchman, to visiting the Fleet debtors' prison; from Tom romancing his beloved Kate, to Jerry's ill-advised dalliance with the rapacious Lady Wanton.
Pierce Egan ...... Geoffrey McGivern
Corinthian Tom ...... Greg Wise
Jerry Hawthorn ...... Mark Gatiss
Bob Logic ...... James Bachman
Corinthian Kate ...... Amanda Abbington
Old Hawthorn ...... Christopher Douglas
Mrs Belcher ...... Laura Shavin
Mr Primefit ...... Dave Lamb
Adapted for radio by Dan Tetsell.
LIFE IN LONDON - A SLANG DICTIONARY
Taken from Grose's Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue, 1823 edition, edited by Pierce Egan, here are a few of the prime terms from Life in London so that you too can patter the flash like a true Corinthian!
Abigail - a lady's waiting maid.
Bang up - quite the thing. Well done. Complete. Dashing.
Blunt - money
Bosky - in the cant of the Oxonians, being tipsy.
Bottom - a polite term for the posteriors. Also, in the sporting sense, strength and spirits to support fatigue.
Bunter - a low dirty prostitute, half whore, half beggar.
Chaffer - tongue
Chaffing - to talk aloud.
Charley - a watchman
Conk - the nose. Also a thief who impeaches his colleagues.
Corinthian Path - Regent Street
Crib - a house. To crack a crib: to break open a house.
Cyprian - a prostitute. From Venus, the Cyprus-born goddess.
Daffy - gin. Also known as blue ruin, Old Tom, max, flash of lightning, jackey.
Dipper - a pickpocket.
Duce - two-pence.
Dunagen - a privy.
Dustman - to let the dustman get hold of you: to fall asleep.
Fancy - one of the Fancy means a sporting character that is either attached to pigeons, dog-fighting, boxing etc.
Flash - knowing
Flat - an honest man.
Fly - knowing. Acquainted with another's meaning or proceeding.
Fogle - a handkerchief.
Glim - a candle.
Heavy wet - beer.
Holy Land - the well-known region of St Giles parish, London .
Isle of Bishop - port wine and roasted oranges and lemons.
Ivories - teeth. How the swell flashed his ivories; how the gentleman showed his teeth. To sluice the ivories; to drink.
Knight of the Thimble - a tailor.
Knowledge box - the head.
Macaroni - an Italian paste of flour and water. Also, a fop.
Mauleys - boxing gloves.
Miller - a boxer.
Nob - the head.
Ogles - the eyes.
Panny - a house. The prigs frisked my panny and nailed my screws; the officers searched my house and seized my picklock keys.
Phiz - the face.
Prad - a horse. The swell flashes a rum prad; the gentleman sports a fine horse.
Rattler - a coach.
Scran - food.
Slavey - a servant of either sex.
Spoony - foolish, half-witted, nonsensical.
Swell - a gentleman, but any well-dressed person is emphatically termed a swell.
Tonic - a halfpenny.
Uncle - a pawnbroker.