Slumming: Sexual and Social Politics in Victorian London / Edition 1

Slumming: Sexual and Social Politics in Victorian London / Edition 1

by Seth Koven
     
 

ISBN-10: 0691115923

ISBN-13: 9780691115924

Pub. Date: 08/16/2004

Publisher: Princeton University Press

"In the 1880s, fashionable Londoners left their elegant homes and clubs in Mayfair and Belgravia and crowded into omnibuses bound for midnight tours of the slums of East London. A new word burst into popular usage to describe these descents into the precincts of poverty to see how the poor lived: slumming. In this book, Seth Koven paints a portrait of the…  See more details below

Overview

"In the 1880s, fashionable Londoners left their elegant homes and clubs in Mayfair and Belgravia and crowded into omnibuses bound for midnight tours of the slums of East London. A new word burst into popular usage to describe these descents into the precincts of poverty to see how the poor lived: slumming. In this book, Seth Koven paints a portrait of the practitioners of slumming and their world: who they were, why they went, what they claimed to have found, how it changed them, and how slumming, in turn, powerfully shaped both Victorian and twentieth-century understandings of poverty and social welfare, gender relations, and sexuality." "Slumming elucidates the histories of a wide range of preoccupations about poverty and urban life, altruism and sexuality that remain central in Anglo-American culture, including the ethics of undercover investigative reporting, the connections between cross-class sympathy and same-sex desire, and the intermingling of the wish to rescue the poor with the impulse to eroticize and sexually exploit them." By revealing the extent to which politics and erotics, social and sexual categories overflowed their boundaries and transformed one another, Koven recaptures the ethical dilemmas that men and women confronted - and continue to confront - in trying to "love thy neighbor as thyself."

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780691115924
Publisher:
Princeton University Press
Publication date:
08/16/2004
Pages:
424
Product dimensions:
6.10(w) x 9.30(h) x 1.20(d)

Table of Contents

Introduction : slumming : eros and altruism in Victorian London1
Pt. 1Incognitos, fictions, and cross-class masquerades23
Ch. 1Workhouse nights : homelessness, homosexuality, and cross-class masquerades25
Ch. 2Dr. Barnardo's artistic fictions : photography, sexuality, and the ragged child88
Ch. 3The American girl in London : gender, journalism, and social investigation in the late Victorian metropolis140
Pt. 2Cross-class sisterhood and brotherhood in the slums181
Ch. 4The politics and erotics of dirt : cross-class sisterhood in the slums183
Ch. 5The "new man" in the slums : religion, masculinity, and the men's settlement house movement228

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