Strand is a street in Westminster that starts at Trafalgar Square and joins Fleet Street at Temple Bar, though its historical length has been longer than that. This short thoroughfare was once the center of London's night life, and it still has many theaters and restaurants as well as office buildings. Strand takes its name from the old Germanic root for "shore". Before the 19th century the street ran directly alongside the River Thames (until the construction of the Victoria Embankment). In the Victorian era, the Strand became a fashionable address. Many avant-garde writers and thinkers gathered here, among them Thomas Carlyle, Charles Dickens, William Makepeace Thackeray, John Stuart Mill, Herbert Spencer, and the scientist Thomas Henry Huxley. It is popularly referred to as The Strand.
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