Looking back at history, ask yourself what era you would rather live in more than today. The truth is that people today, on average, are faring much better than they were at any point in history.

The world has seen dramatic improvements over the last couple centuries, including better access to healthcare, less malnutrition less violence, less war, less pollution, more education equality, more human rights, more democracy, and more freedom.

Between 1770 and 1840, more than 35,000 death sentences were thought to have been handed down. In London the death penalty reached its peak during the Georgian period, when the number of capital offences swelled to over two hundred!

It is hard not to see the escalation as a ploy to cut the cost of imprisoning offenders. Citizens of London could be hanged for trivial crimes as the theft of five shillings or impersonating a Chelsea Pensioner.

You might reach the conclusion that life was better in the past. But if you had actually lived in the past, you would not have liked it.

Your partners would have been chosen for you if you had lived in the past. Your elders would have obligated you to partners who benefited them.

You would have felt filthy all the time if you lived in the past. Without hot running water or toilet paper, you would have had that camping-trip feeling your entire life. Your food would have been laced with vermin droppings and your drinking water would bring intestinal worms and more.

Death would have snatched those around you, and people would explain this with theories that made it even scarier. Home wasn’t safe because of famines and routine domestic violence.

Life expectancy has more than doubled in the last 150 years. Child mortality has plummeted in the last 200 years to about 4% of children dying before 5 years old, down from over 40% in 1820. Illiteracy has plunged to 14% today, down from 88% in 1800. Extreme poverty has dropped to about 10% today, down from close to 90% in 1820.

London Crime Fiction Books by Paul:


The Carters’: Wars in West London

Family is everything to the Carters’. Alf Carter runs his criminal empire with the help of his two sons Kenny and Billy. But when family is everything the ties that bind might be the deadliest of all. When Billy Carter should feel everything is before him, including the love of his life it’s taken away, when terrifying gangland violence threatens his life.

Bagley’s Lane: Blood On The Streets

After three brutal murders in quick succession. DI Luca Rossi’s catapulted into a world that threatens him and his family’s way of life. With sheer squirm-in-your-seat moments throughout. Bagley’s Lane is a mesmerising, old-fashioned brutal story of loss, obsession and survival.

Love You Till I Die

Billy Pearce is a well-respected heavyweight boxer from London. After his one and only love is taken, his life is thrown into the menace and treachery of London’s criminal underworld. Love You Till I Die is a novel about loyalty and reliability about people that love and care for each other but who, when push comes to shove, will do whatever to protect their own.

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