Rome: Stay: The poet Shelley used to rent the top floor of what is now the Natale family’s friendly and comfortable Hotel Navona, hidden on a quiet side street just a block from Piazza Navona in the heart of Rome. If it’s full, the Natales will book you into their elegant Residence Zanardelli annex in a Liberty-style Art Nouveau building nearby.
A friend recommended this one - it was truly fascinating. Set in England during the 1830's, the protagonist is a woman who works as a potter’s assistant during the day and a street walker at night. The descriptions of the people around her, the living circumstances and the prevalence of death and disease are described in incredible detail. It was very entertaining, engrossing and disturbing.