Punch,  35 (1858), 18–19.

The 'Last Man' in the House (Fragment from his Autobiography)



Reminiscences, Spoof


Pollution, Public Health, Sanitation, Government, Politics, Futurism

    The reminiscences of an old parliamentarian evidently written late in the nineteenth century. He describes the 'mighty, deadly, subtle, and irresistible' enemy of the Thames that had been 'increasing upon us for years' and which Members of Parliament kept trying to 'do something' about. Describes some of the measures taken to disinfect and deodorize the building, but these had little effect on the 'subtle poison'. (18) Proceeds to describe the 1889 session, when the Thames stench had become so bad that politicians were leaving in droves for healthier climes, eventually forcing Parliament to close.

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