London Lives is a fascinating new study which exposes, for the first time, the lesser-known experiences of eighteenth-century thieves, paupers, prostitutes and highwaymen. It charts the experiences of hundreds of thousands of Londoners who found themselves submerged in poverty or prosecuted for crime, and surveys their responses to illustrate the extent to which plebeian Londoners influenced the pace and direction of social policy. Calling upon a new body of evidence, the book illuminates the lives of prison escapees, expert manipulators of the poor relief system, celebrity highwaymen, lone mothers and vagrants, revealing how they each played the system to the best of their ability in order to survive in their various circumstances of misfortune. In their acts of desperation, the authors argue that the poor and criminal exercised a profound and effective form of agency that changed the system itself, and shaped the evolution of the modern state.
|Publisher:||Cambridge University Press|
|Product dimensions:||5.98(w) x 8.98(h) x 1.02(d)|
About the Author
Robert Shoemaker is Professor of Eighteenth-Century British History at the University of Sheffield. Holder of a PhD from Stanford University, California he is an expert on London history, gender, and crime and criminal justice in the 'long' eighteenth century. In addition to his collaborations with Tim Hitchcock, he is the author of Prosecution and Punishment: Petty Crime and the Law in London and Rural Middlesex, c.1660�725 (Cambridge, 1992), Gender in English Society, 1650�850: The Emergence of Separate Spheres? (1998), and The London Mob: Violence and Disorder in Eighteenth-Century England (2004). With Hitchcock and others, he is currently working on a new project, 'The Digital Panopticon: The Global Impact of London Punishment, 1780�925' (www.digitalpanopticon.org).
Table of Contents1. Introduction; 2. Beggarman, thief, 1690-1713; 3. Protest and resistance, 1713-31; 4. Vestries, justices and their opponents: 1731; 5. Reformers and their discontents: 1748-63; 6. Finding a voice: 1763-76; 7. The State in chaos, 1776-89; 8. Epilogue, the 1790s; Bibliography.