Roger Creet's study of pawnbroking as it relates to working class life in late Victorian and Edwardian London is a model for diligent historical scholarship that illuminates cultural practices often ignored by those who typically write history from the top down. Here we see the world of Downton Abbey not from the perspective of Lord Grantham but as it might have been lived by his cook or footman. Yet the author's appreciation of the creative ways underserved communities, out of necessity, develop systems and processes to support themselves when denied access to mainstream institutions is instructive for all eras. In its scope and precision, Creet's analysis has relevance for contemporary economic conditions that also deny marginalized constituencies the opportunity to accrue and protect wealth.
Kimberly Rae Connor
School of Management
University of San Francisco
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