Take a journey through a nineteenth century city to visit its bustling coaching inns, welcoming pubs and seedy beer houses. Here you will meet the most colourful collection of characters you could imagine; landlords and brewers, tradesmand and farmers, soldiers and sailors, sweeps and surgeons, murderes, theives and prostitutes, gamblers and confidence tricksters, and visitors from afar; a living skeleton, a champion gourmet, a magician,a Polish dwarf, and three albino children. This is a real life cast of hundreds of individuals, each with their own true comic or tragic tale to tell. Step back in time, and experience a hundered years of life in a bygone age of crinoline and candlelight. This is a selection of stories taken mainly from first-hand newspaper reports, factually backed by research from many other primary sources, about people and incidents in 19th century York. Beginning with the dramatic attempted suicide of a young lovelorn Italian in his upstairs room, it continues with a graphic description of a robbery at the Black Horse inn in 1808, resulting in the capture and hanging of three of the villains.
The various chapters include every aspect of life and entertainment in the city's inns, from high class coaching hotels to seedy back-street beer houses, from humorous incidents to dramatic murders, and drawing contrasts and comparisons between life in the 18th century and modern times.