<iframe src="//www.googletagmanager.com/ns.html?id=GTM-K3L4M3" height="0" width="0" style="display:none;visibility:hidden">


London fog: from the Big Smoke to the Big Choke

The sour yellow miasma forever (wrongly) associated with Sherlock Holmes and Jack the Ripper had been poisoning the capital for centuries, according to Christine Corton’s London Fog

7 November 2015

9:00 AM

7 November 2015

9:00 AM

London Fog: The Biography Christine L. Corton

Harvard, pp.408, £22.95, ISBN: 9780674088351

‘A foggy day in London town,’ croons Fred Astaire in the 1937 musical comedy A Damsel in Distress, puffing nonchalantly on a cigar as he wanders through a wood that has already been half obliterated by belching Hollywood smoke machines. Today Gershwin’s lyrics conjure up a nostalgic vision of life in the city, involving pale fingers of fog wrapping themselves around lamp posts and the muffled clop of hooves on cobbles.

Already a subscriber? Log in

Subscribe for just $2 a week

Try a month of The Spectator Australia absolutely free and without commitment. Not only that but – if you choose to continue – you’ll pay just $2 a week for your first year.

  • Unlimited access to spectator.com.au and app
  • The weekly edition on the Spectator Australia app
  • Spectator podcasts and newsletters
  • Full access to spectator.co.uk

Unlock this article


Available from the Spectator Bookshop, £19.95 Tel: 08430 600033

You might disagree with half of it, but you’ll enjoy reading all of it. Try your first month for free, then just $2 a week for the remainder of your first year.


Don't miss out

Join the conversation with other Spectator Australia readers. Subscribe to leave a comment.

Already a subscriber? Log in