London Labour and the London Poor

By Henry Mayhew,

Book cover of London Labour and the London Poor

Book description

With an Introduction by Rosemary O'Day.

London Labour and the London Poor is a masterpiece of personal inquiry and social observation. It is the classic account of life below the margins in the greatest Metropolis in the world and a compelling portrait of the habits, tastes, amusements, appearance, speech, humour,…

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Why read it?

2 authors picked London Labour and the London Poor as one of their favorite books. Why do they recommend it?

A sadly neglected masterpiece that describes a series of visits into the darker areas of the city where few rarely trod. In an extraordinary and vivid series of interviews, Mayhew gets the mudlarks, rat catchers, pure finders, and the whores of Shadwell and Seven Dials to tell their stories in their own voices.

From Simon's list on London for the curious.

Henry Mayhew was a journalist and writer who described the lives of London’s working people in a series of articles for the Morning Chronicle in the 1840s. His work proved so influential that the articles were published in three volumes in 1851. Today, they provide a fascinating glimpse of what life was like for ordinary working people, especially the poorest sectors of society, during the early years of Queen Victoria’s reign.

From Fiona's list on Victorian London.

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