Great Britain: The Beautiful Cough

''London's inhabitants breathe nothing but an impure and thick mist accompanied with a fuliginous and filthy vapor, so that catharrs, phthisicks, coughs, and consumption are more in this city than the whole earth besides."

Diarist John Evelyn of the 17th century knew not what the 20th would bring. London last week looked as if it had slithered to the bottom of the Thames. Smothered by smog as fetid and impenetrable as river sludge, traffic stopped, airports closed, and more than 100 ships swung helplessly at anchor. For four days and nights, the dark, satanic peasouper dumped grit and...

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