Writer Samuel Johnson once declared expansively that "when a man is tired of London, he is tired of life; for there is in London all that life can afford".
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.
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