The London Underworld in the Victorian Period: v. 1

The London Underworld in the Victorian Period: v. 1 : Authentic First-person Accounts by Beggars, Thieves and Prostitutes

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The first and possibly the greatest sociological study of poverty in 19th-century London, this survey by a journalist invented the genre of oral history a century before the term was coined. Henry Mayhew vowed "to publish the history of a people, from the lips of the people themselves -- giving a literal description of their labour, their earnings, their trials and their sufferings, in their own 'unvarnished' language." With his collaborators, Mayhew explored hundreds of miles of London streets in the 1840s and 1850s, gathering thousands of pages of testimony from the city's humbler residents. Their stories revealed aspects of city life virtually unknown to literate society. A sprawling, four-volume history resulted from Mayhew's investigations. This extract focuses on the criminal class--pickpockets, prostitutes, rag pickers, and vagrants, whose true stories of degradation, horror, and desperation rival Dickensian fiction. A classic reference source for sociologists, historians, and criminologists, Mayhew's work is immensely readable. As Thackeray wrote, these urban vignettes conjure up "a picture of human life so wonderful, so awful, so piteous and pathetic, so exciting and terrible, that readers of romances own they never read anything like to it."show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 416 pages
  • 138 x 210 x 20mm | 439.99g
  • Dover Publications Inc.
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • Illustrations, unspecified
  • 0486440060
  • 9780486440064
  • 132,241

Table of contents

Prostitutes Prostitution in London.--By Bracebridge Hemyng   Seclusives, or those that Live in Private Houses and Apartments   Board Lodgers   Those who live in Low Lodging Houses   Sailors' Women   Soldiers' Women   Thieves' Women   Park Women The Dependants of Prostitutes   Bawds   Followers of Dress Lodgers   Keepers of Accommodation Houses   Procuresses, Pimps, and Panders   Fancy-men   Bullies Clandestine Prostitutes   Female Operatives   Maid-Servants   Ladies of Intrigue and Houses of Assignation Cohabitant Prostitutes   Narrative of a Gay Woman Criminal Returns Traffic in Foreign Women Thieves and Swindlers.--By John Binny Introduction Sneaks, or Common Thieves   Stealing from Street-Stalls   Stealing from the Tills   Stealing from the Doors and Windows of Shops   Stealing from Children   Child Stripping   Stealing from Drunken Persons   Stealing Linen, &c.   Robberies from Carts   Stealing Lead from House-tops, Copper from Kitchens, &c.   Robberies by False Keys   Robberies by Lodgers   Robberies by Servants   Area and Lobby Sneaks   Stealing by Lifting Windows, &c.   Attic or Garret Thieves   A Visit to the Rookery of St. Giles   Narrative of a London Sneak Pickpockets and Shoplifters   Omnibus Pickpockets   Railway Pickpockets   Shoplifters   A Visit to the Thieves' Dens in Spitalfields   Narrative of a Pickpocket Horse and Dog Stealers   Horse Stealing   Dog Stealing Highway Robbers   A Ramble among the Thieves' Dens in the Borough Housebreakers and Burglars   Narrative of a Burglar   Narrative of another Burglar Prostitute Thieves   The Prostitutes of the Haymarket   Hired Prostitutes   Park Women   Soldiers' Women   Sailors' Women Felonies on the River Thames   The Mudlarks   Sweeping Boys   Sellers of Small Wares   Labourers on Board Ship, &c.   Dredgemen or Fishermen   Smuggling   Felonies by Lightermen   The River Pirates   Narrative of a Mudlark Receivers of Stolen Property   Dolly Shops   Pawnbrokers, &c.   Narrative of a Returned Convict Coining   Forgers     Bank Notes     Cheques     Forged Acceptance     Forged Wills Cheats   Embezzlers   Magsmen, or Sharpers     The Card Tricks     Skittles     Thimble and Pea     The Lock   Swindlers Beggars and Cheats.--By Andrew Halliday Introduction Origin and History of the Poor Laws   Statistics of the Poor Laws   Report of the Poor Law Board (1860) Street Beggars in 1816 Mendicant Pensioners Begging-Letter Writers in 1816 Mendicity Society   A Deserving Case   Another   An Imposter   Another Imposter   A Well-Educated Beggar Begging-Letter Writers   Decayed Gentlemen   Broken-down Trademen   Distressed Scholar   The Kaggs Family Advertising Begging-Letter Writers Ashamed Beggars The Swell Beggar Clean Family Beggars Naval and Military Beggars   Turnpike Sailor   Street Campaigners Foreign Beggars   The French Beggar   Destitute Poles   Hindoo Beggars   Negro Beggars Disaster Beggars   A Shipwrecked Mariner   Blown-up Miners   Burnt-out Tradesmen   Lucifer Droppers   Bodily Afflicted Beggars   Seventy years a Beggar   Having swollen Legs   Cripples   A Blind Beggar   Beggars subject to Fits   Being in a Decline   "Shallow Coves"   Famished Beggars   The Choking Dodge   The Offal-Eater Petty Trading Beggars   An Author's Wife Dependants of Beggars   Referees Distressed Operative Beggars   Starved-out Manufacturers   Unemployed Agriculturists and Frozen-out Gardeners   Hand-loom Weavers, & more

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