London Underworld in the Victorian Period: Authentic First-Person Accounts by Beggars, Thieves and Prostitutes

Overview


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

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Overview


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."
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780486440064
  • Publisher: Dover Publications
  • Publication date: 7/25/2005
  • Pages: 416
  • Sales rank: 709,413
  • Product dimensions: 5.48 (w) x 8.46 (h) x 0.81 (d)

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, &c.
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