Best of British 1

June 29, 2007

I'm afraid you erred in subtitling William Hogarth's Beer Street (1751) "Dirt, din and drunken revellers" ("The past is another (smellier) country", Books, June 15). For the chauvinistic Hogarth, Beer Street is a place of hearty industry and commerce, in which stout merchants prosper on English ale and roast beef. If you are looking for the 18th-century equivalents of lager louts, you have to go to Gin Lane.

Philip Martin
Pro vice-chancellor
De Montfort University

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