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TOUR OF THE MONTH
ON THIS DAY IN LONDON
142 The Strand
The home of John Chapman, 19th century literary + social magnet
Location: 142 The Strand, London, WC2R 1HH
Description: 142 Strand was the home of the brilliant, unconventional young publisher John Chapman. All the daring and avant-garde writers and thinkers of Victorian London gathered here, among them Thomas Carlyle, Dickens, Thackeray, John Stuart Mill, Herbert Spencer, and the scientist Thomas Henry Huxley (Darwin's 'bulldog'), as well as visiting Americans like Emerson, refugees from revolutionary Europe like Mazzini, and radical feminists like Barbara Leigh Smith, later founder of Girton College, Cambridge.
They contributed to Chapman's campaigning Westminster Review and attended his lively evening parties.
In 1851, Chapman brought Marian Evans - the future George Eliot - to London to edit the Review. Her arrival caused rows in the household, which included Chapman's wife and also his mistress.
The story is immortalised in the 2006 book by Rosemary Ashton.