On the trail of the Brontes and Austen

Lovers of classic novels will have fun at must-visit literary landmarks in England

That was indubitably a romanticised vision since London in the 18th century was an overcrowded city bursting at the seams from unplanned urban expansion, non-existent sewage systems and a polluted Thames river that also supplied the city's drinking water. The dangers of drinking water indirectly contributed to the popularity of gin.

Gin, as I discovered on a recent trip, is experiencing a resurgence in, not just London, but across England.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on January 06, 2019, with the headline 'On the trail of the Brontes and Austen'. Print Edition | Subscribe