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With an Introduction by Rosemary O'Day. London Labour and the London Poor is a masterpiece of personal inquiry and social observation. It is the classic account of life below the margins in the greatest Metropolis in the world and a compelling portrait of the habits, tastes, amusements, appearance, speech, humour, earnings and opinions of the labouring poor at the time of t With an Introduction by Rosemary O'Day. London Labour and the London Poor is a masterpiece of personal inquiry and social observation. It is the classic account of life below the margins in the greatest Metropolis in the world and a compelling portrait of the habits, tastes, amusements, appearance, speech, humour, earnings and opinions of the labouring poor at the time of the Great Exhibition. In scope, depth and detail it remains unrivalled. Mayhew takes us into the abyss, into a world without fixed employment where skills are declining and insecurity mounting, a world of criminality, pauperism and vice, of unorthodox personal relations and fluid families, a world from which regularity is absent and prosperity has departed. Making sense of this environment required curiosity, imagination and a novelist's eye for detail, and Henry Mayhew possessed all three. No previous writer had succeeded in presenting the poor through their own stories and in their own words, and in this undertaking Mayhew rivals his contemporary Dickens. 'To pass from one to the other', writes one authority, ' is to cross sides of the same street'.


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With an Introduction by Rosemary O'Day. London Labour and the London Poor is a masterpiece of personal inquiry and social observation. It is the classic account of life below the margins in the greatest Metropolis in the world and a compelling portrait of the habits, tastes, amusements, appearance, speech, humour, earnings and opinions of the labouring poor at the time of t With an Introduction by Rosemary O'Day. London Labour and the London Poor is a masterpiece of personal inquiry and social observation. It is the classic account of life below the margins in the greatest Metropolis in the world and a compelling portrait of the habits, tastes, amusements, appearance, speech, humour, earnings and opinions of the labouring poor at the time of the Great Exhibition. In scope, depth and detail it remains unrivalled. Mayhew takes us into the abyss, into a world without fixed employment where skills are declining and insecurity mounting, a world of criminality, pauperism and vice, of unorthodox personal relations and fluid families, a world from which regularity is absent and prosperity has departed. Making sense of this environment required curiosity, imagination and a novelist's eye for detail, and Henry Mayhew possessed all three. No previous writer had succeeded in presenting the poor through their own stories and in their own words, and in this undertaking Mayhew rivals his contemporary Dickens. 'To pass from one to the other', writes one authority, ' is to cross sides of the same street'.

30 review for London Labour And The London Poor (Wordsworth Classics Of World Literature)

  1. 4 out of 5

    Will Ransohoff

    This was interesting. The work doesn't have much of a central thesis, it just set out to holistically describe how a huge and diverse group of people lived. Mayhew decided to meticulously chronicle the professions and activities of people living in penury in 1840s London, and that's exactly what he did. But calling his work 'meticulous' just doesn't do it justice. I've always thought of cities as these massive, churning processes that are completely beyond comprehension, but Mayhew wasn't having This was interesting. The work doesn't have much of a central thesis, it just set out to holistically describe how a huge and diverse group of people lived. Mayhew decided to meticulously chronicle the professions and activities of people living in penury in 1840s London, and that's exactly what he did. But calling his work 'meticulous' just doesn't do it justice. I've always thought of cities as these massive, churning processes that are completely beyond comprehension, but Mayhew wasn't having any of that. You think of an orphan in Victorian London selling dolls in the streets, and it's easy to just think of them as part of the fabric of the city, one fish in an endless sea; there are tons of orphans selling dolls in the streets, and that's just one dodge. You probably don't count them, work out how much money they spend and make, how much it contributes to the city's economy, how much capital you need to start in the business of selling dolls in the streets, detail where they eat and sleep, and lay out a distribution of which areas of the city are the best for street doll selling. And you probably wouldn't go on to find the two people in the entire city who make the eyes for those dolls, what colors they make, what kinds are most popular in London, the differences that set quality doll eyes apart, or why they don't export many doll eyes to the Americas (the climate isn't good for setting the wax they make the dolls out of, so they mostly import whole dolls). But Mayhew pulls at those threads until he unravels the whole tapestry. And then he unravels those threads. And then he finds the weavers who produced them and asks about how they shear their sheep and how much their looms cost. His relentless devotion to cataloging the small area of anthropology he's set aside for himself borders on psychotic. It's astonishing. This book also had the only account of a 19th century ride along that I've ever seen. He wanted to learn more about how thieves lived. Still, this was written in the mid-1800s. It makes a point of disabusing the notion that the unfortunate were somehow deficient compared to the aristocracy, and that's good; it was definitely not widely accepted at the time. But sometimes it's uncomfortably anachronistic to the point of being outright racist or startlingly sexist. Still, as a chronicle of the struggles that the unprivileged went through around the dawn of industrialization, or even just a more detailed backdrop for your favorite Dickens novel, it's worth reading.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Jason Mills

    London Labour and the London Poor began life in a newspaper around 1850 and went through several editions, culminating in four volumes. Mayhew sought to survey at first-hand the lives of the impoverished, and analyse the causes of their poverty. Modern popular editions like this one are selections from the larger work. The editors in this case have sought not merely to provide a 'colourful' selection of Mayhew's interviews with the poor, but to represent the breadth of his writings and concerns. London Labour and the London Poor began life in a newspaper around 1850 and went through several editions, culminating in four volumes. Mayhew sought to survey at first-hand the lives of the impoverished, and analyse the causes of their poverty. Modern popular editions like this one are selections from the larger work. The editors in this case have sought not merely to provide a 'colourful' selection of Mayhew's interviews with the poor, but to represent the breadth of his writings and concerns. Thus, this edition is rearranged and chaptered thematically, whilst the knowledgeable introduction explores Mayhew's life and the context of and reactions to his work. Nonetheless, the voices of the poor bubble to the surface incessantly throughout the book, their sober testimonials often shocking. There is a good deal on the subculture of costermongers, but we also hear from the Jews, the Irish, street entertainers, labourers, thieves, cabinet-makers, scavengers, "pure-finders", etc. The longest chapter here, and perhaps the most trenchantly polemical, presents Mayhew's exhaustive account of the methods by which unscrupulous employers exploit the workers, who, desperate to earn a crust, are forced to collude in cruelly inventive systems that can only depress their own wages. (One reads of the shamelessly profiteering system for hiring ballast-heavers with astonishment that such practices could be legal.) There are also chapters on criminality, domestic life, culture, etc. Mayhew's determined efforts to support his case with statistics suffer from a paucity of good data and unsophisticated methodology at the time; but with both this and his copious direct experience he still succeeds in undermining the glib arguments of contemporary economists that the poor had essentially made their own beds, and that their capitalist employers should not be expected to help. Mayhew is against charity and for the working man (indeed, he divides the poor into "deserving" and "undeserving"...), but insists that wages must not be artificially depressed by exploitation. (In the closing section of this edition he draws economists' attention to the unmentioned 600 million "steam men" introduced into the labour market by industrialisation.) Mayhew lets the poor speak for themselves - in itself a great service to social history - and earnestly draws his arguments out of his discoveries. His analytical writing is clear and cogent, while his reportage, as for instance in describing the street markets, is often vibrant and vivid, and would not disgrace the pages of Dickens. This 600-page edition's appendices are a bibliography of Mayhew's works, the full table of contents of the larger work, and an expansive list of his sources and authorities - though oddly, no index. There are also 16 illustrations and 4 maps. Though I'm not able to compare other editions, this one seems to me a satisfying, informative, diverse and persuasive selection from one of the classics of social history.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Martin Jones

    London Labour and the London Poor is Henry Mayhew’s classic investigation into the lives of nineteenth century street traders, who made their living making, finding and selling things on the streets of London. My favourite parts of the book were portraits of individuals based on interviews. All of Mayhew’s subjects speak in their own voices. The eight year old cress seller, the clothing salesman describing his dodges, the penniless old woman nursing her dying husband, and the toshers finding lost London Labour and the London Poor is Henry Mayhew’s classic investigation into the lives of nineteenth century street traders, who made their living making, finding and selling things on the streets of London. My favourite parts of the book were portraits of individuals based on interviews. All of Mayhew’s subjects speak in their own voices. The eight year old cress seller, the clothing salesman describing his dodges, the penniless old woman nursing her dying husband, and the toshers finding lost items in London’s sewers - all are particularly memorable. The life of a mudlark, tearing bare feet open on hidden glass or nails hidden in the Thames mud, is truly haunting. Mayhew has a vivid style of writing which brings these people and their world alive. We visit late night street markets, vibrant with light and energy. There is a real drama in the various struggles to run businesses. Parts of the book made me think of a nineteenth century version of The Apprentice, though the consequences of getting fired were much more severe. Other sections detail facts and figures of, for example, how much coal dust was collected by London’s dustmen each day. While these sections have the air of a Home Office report, they remain interesting The book is less good when Mayhew comes between his readers and the people he writes about. Mayhew is good-hearted, but his interjections can betray a moralising religious tone, which I would say has not aged well. This isn’t as interesting as the remarkable view he offers into largely ignored experience. Mayhew struggles to accept that some of the people he encounters actually enjoy their lives, difficult, godless and rough though they seem to be to an educated, religiously conservative Victorian. As with most writing, it is best to show rather than tell. Mayhew does best when he shows, allowing us to draw our own conclusions. He is less good when he tells.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Mary

    Occasionally a bit laborious (no pun intended) to read, but many of the anecdotes - people who train dancing pigs, the reminiscences of burglars, those who wade thru sewers to find valuables - are fascinating. The fourth volume is largely written by others than Mayhew, and is a bit of a different book. This section is more concerned with judging those profiled rather than allowing them to speak for themselves.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Umi

    I!!!! Finished!!!!! This!!!!! Book!!!!! Pretty much the perfect thing to read during down times at work when I'd already read all the new articles on the guardian (not just the culture and lifestyle sections, mind you!!) Anyway this is a really interesting document but after about 50 pages you're like, oh, this is kind of just the Victorian equivalent of, like, 10 jobs you'll NEVER believe people in London are doing RIGHT NOW. Also none of the street denizens ever have any funny stories about pe I!!!! Finished!!!!! This!!!!! Book!!!!! Pretty much the perfect thing to read during down times at work when I'd already read all the new articles on the guardian (not just the culture and lifestyle sections, mind you!!) Anyway this is a really interesting document but after about 50 pages you're like, oh, this is kind of just the Victorian equivalent of, like, 10 jobs you'll NEVER believe people in London are doing RIGHT NOW. Also none of the street denizens ever have any funny stories about people they encounter on their jobs? I do like more than one job currently that would merit inclusion in a modern version of this and I feel like I would share the funny as well as the factual were I a 'source.' The best part is when he describes how the rat-catchers dress (belts with rats painted on them!! velvet waistcoats with a little rat friend in the pocket!! my kinda men!!) and when he's discussing the 'benefits' of the workhouses and the housing crisis (could more or less still apply to life here today). All in all, I feel like a five-year-old who's just read a hundred page chapter book at having finished this. What else is fun to read during down times at work? Let me know, buchfreundinnen.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Ailith Twinning

    I actually had a LOT of fun reading this, I laughed out loud for the first hour straight. But it's racist crap. It *literally* opens with phrenology, and it never really improves. What makes it so much fun to listen to tho is the narrator for the audiobook, David Timson is just this jolly old colonial british man (or he sure reads this like one), like Dawkins or the Discworld's Arch-Chancellor Redcully. I just imagine this graybeard with huge eyebrows and a big-old smile as he espouses these stun I actually had a LOT of fun reading this, I laughed out loud for the first hour straight. But it's racist crap. It *literally* opens with phrenology, and it never really improves. What makes it so much fun to listen to tho is the narrator for the audiobook, David Timson is just this jolly old colonial british man (or he sure reads this like one), like Dawkins or the Discworld's Arch-Chancellor Redcully. I just imagine this graybeard with huge eyebrows and a big-old smile as he espouses these stunningly supremacist notions of the lesser sorts. Seriously - it's hysterical. Unfortunately - people take it seriously, as they do with utter bastards like Kant. Be fair, maybe Mayhew was an utter bastard and the narrator just makes that disappear. Not the point, really. People take this thing seriously, and that'd be terrifying if I didn't already know what the US Empire is like, or the genocides of the British for that matter. As it is, it is entirely expected, and rather sad. Yes I know this is a 19th century work. Funny how much it sounds like any American or British politician tho. Be fair, it's not quite hateful enough to sound like a conservative.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Royce Ratterman

    London Labour And The London Poor V 1-4 shall remain a continual source of research for me throughout the upcoming years. Referenced/Read for personal research and historical clarity. I found this particular volume of as much immense interest as the other three. The details given to the lives, jobs, activities, etc., portrayed are seemingly full of life - amazing tales of life's struggles and the spirit of human persistence. This work is one of my resource sources for personal writing and/or ghost London Labour And The London Poor V 1-4 shall remain a continual source of research for me throughout the upcoming years. Referenced/Read for personal research and historical clarity. I found this particular volume of as much immense interest as the other three. The details given to the lives, jobs, activities, etc., portrayed are seemingly full of life - amazing tales of life's struggles and the spirit of human persistence. This work is one of my resource sources for personal writing and/or ghost authoring. I found this book's contents helpful and inspiring - number rating relates to the book's contribution to my needs. Overall, this 1860s work is also a good resource for the researcher, enthusiast and scriptwriter. Considered (academically) as a literary source for the author Charles Dickens.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Nicole

    took me a while to get through this one. (i only get to read before bed.) one of those books that you can read 30 pages one night and be enthralled and the next night only 3 because its just tedious. a lot of info is repeated through different chapters and could probably be edited down to half its size. but it was interesting to read from the point of view of an interviewer rather than someone infiltrating the culture. i learnt alot about the working poor and the various ways they try to make a took me a while to get through this one. (i only get to read before bed.) one of those books that you can read 30 pages one night and be enthralled and the next night only 3 because its just tedious. a lot of info is repeated through different chapters and could probably be edited down to half its size. but it was interesting to read from the point of view of an interviewer rather than someone infiltrating the culture. i learnt alot about the working poor and the various ways they try to make a life. i only gave it a 3 due to the repetitiveness, had it been edited differently it would have been a 4 star

  9. 4 out of 5

    Meghan

    There is how I would critique this collection of volumes from a modern perspective, but I will focus more on how it would have been for its time. What really makes it stand out is the sheer number of individuals that Mayhew personally interviewed. It makes the information more vivid, and can be seen as an early form of sociological qualitative research. My favorite sections are those on the workhouses and asylum for the houseless poor. The majority of the text is listing earnings for each type o There is how I would critique this collection of volumes from a modern perspective, but I will focus more on how it would have been for its time. What really makes it stand out is the sheer number of individuals that Mayhew personally interviewed. It makes the information more vivid, and can be seen as an early form of sociological qualitative research. My favorite sections are those on the workhouses and asylum for the houseless poor. The majority of the text is listing earnings for each type of work. I don’t know how much value this would have had for the original readers. The fourth volume didn’t add much to the overall picture.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Steve White

    If you come across this book - I'm not sure if it's still published - I bought mine for £1 in a charity shop - it's bursting with no end of interesting facts and information. You can randomly select a chapter to read and be amazed with how life was and how families existed - but only just existed. Even the jobs and job titles which have long since disappeared and how the jobs were carried out are amazing as is the creativity of people who are without work as they try to eek out a living.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Michael Rickard

    A fascinating look at London's working poor and unemployed. A comprehensive look at the many vocations of people working the streets of London, ranging from baked potato vendors to prostitutes. An excellent companion who enjoys Victorian era fiction and wants a look at life for part of London's population.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Toby

    A quite extraordinary book - there's just so much (too much, for me) detail about wages, prices, diets, street games...it's full to bursting with information. And so many glaring similarities with today, too.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Janina Woods

    Informative, passionate, amazing. The amount of detail is astounding. Every interview reads like a short novel. Very much recommended!

  14. 5 out of 5

    Hannah

    At times a bit of a slog, overall a really fascinating glimpse into life in Victorian London.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Lucinda Elliot

    A necessary read, often grim - in fact , heartbreaking in places - and I had no sentimentalized view of the London of the Victorian age. Wonderfully informative.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Andrew

    Fascinating historical perspective

  17. 5 out of 5

    Vintagebooklvr

    There's a lot of valuable information but not something that you read for the fun of it. This is were the rating system of I like it, etc. is difficult to use. A book may be very well written and/or full of information and a seminal of it's field but that doesn't mean you actually like it.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Austen to Zafón

    I read this years ago as an antidote to all the English literature I was reading that I loved, but that primarily concerned the upper class: Austen, Wodehouse, Bronte, Saki, Trollope, Sayers, Christie, and so on. I wanted to know more about the rest of London (and English) society. Well-known journalist Henry Mayhew first published his research into "The Condition and Earnings of Those That Will Work, Cannot Work, and Will Not Work" in the newspaper, and then expanded his work into four volumes. I read this years ago as an antidote to all the English literature I was reading that I loved, but that primarily concerned the upper class: Austen, Wodehouse, Bronte, Saki, Trollope, Sayers, Christie, and so on. I wanted to know more about the rest of London (and English) society. Well-known journalist Henry Mayhew first published his research into "The Condition and Earnings of Those That Will Work, Cannot Work, and Will Not Work" in the newspaper, and then expanded his work into four volumes. This selection from those volumes fit the bill for me. Largely vivid, first-person accounts from London's underprivileged, combined with fascinating statistics and Mayhew's practical and compassionate views. Far more than a dry historical record. One thing that I found interesting is the number of things for sale on the street: everything from children's gilt watches to groundsel & chickweed to needles to dog collars to hot eel soup & hot elderflower wine. There wasn't much you couldn't buy from a street vendor. And imagine the amazing clamor of all the voices crying out their wares!

  19. 5 out of 5

    Flora

    If you want to see the beginnings of the bourgeois fascination with urban decay -- when cities were still going up, no less -- read this. Originating as a series of controversial newspaper articles, the book was written by a London journalist who conducted field interviews with "street types," and synthesized their data into one of those strange, obsessive taxonomies the Victorians loved so much (and for which we love them). Mayhew took a photographer with him on his slum-visits, but since the t If you want to see the beginnings of the bourgeois fascination with urban decay -- when cities were still going up, no less -- read this. Originating as a series of controversial newspaper articles, the book was written by a London journalist who conducted field interviews with "street types," and synthesized their data into one of those strange, obsessive taxonomies the Victorians loved so much (and for which we love them). Mayhew took a photographer with him on his slum-visits, but since the technology at the time didn't permit their reproduction, he commissioned engravings of these street-portraits; their inclusion perfectly reflects the book's approach, and its troubling, compelling aesthetic. An amazing document.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Johanne

    It is fascinating and can be dipped into or read straight through. Mayhew was a journalist / reformer in early Victorian london. This work which is an abridged (but still 600 + pages) version of his report on the working class of London in the 1850s. Within it he identifies various categories and details the details good and bad of their lives including income, working practices and homelife. Two things are shocking - firstly the language used to describe the poor is remarkably similar to that u It is fascinating and can be dipped into or read straight through. Mayhew was a journalist / reformer in early Victorian london. This work which is an abridged (but still 600 + pages) version of his report on the working class of London in the 1850s. Within it he identifies various categories and details the details good and bad of their lives including income, working practices and homelife. Two things are shocking - firstly the language used to describe the poor is remarkably similar to that used today by rightwing politicians and secondly the language used to describe various groups and peoples which is unsettling to contemporary ears (& eyes). My only other gripe is the Lowryesque picture on the cover of my Wordsworth edition which is entirely the wrong era

  21. 5 out of 5

    Edwin John Moorhouse Marr

    Absolutely fascinating book, providing an insight into the lives and struggles of the 19th century poor. At times it is hilariously funny, and at other times, heartbreakingly sad, especially with the discussion of the mudlarks and sewer workers, in addition to the beggars, most of whom Mayhew understands as frauds. It is clear that Mayhew is coming from a particular angle, and therefore emphasises the sympathy of the people he describes, and at times I feel we are hearing Mayhew's speech, more t Absolutely fascinating book, providing an insight into the lives and struggles of the 19th century poor. At times it is hilariously funny, and at other times, heartbreakingly sad, especially with the discussion of the mudlarks and sewer workers, in addition to the beggars, most of whom Mayhew understands as frauds. It is clear that Mayhew is coming from a particular angle, and therefore emphasises the sympathy of the people he describes, and at times I feel we are hearing Mayhew's speech, more than the street workers, but nevertheless, it is a rare and fascinating insight into the lower strati of Victorian society, and I love how Mayhew presents these characters as being uncomfortably similar to their higher status counterparts.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Peter

    An excellent presentation of the underclasses of London during the mid 1800's by a meticulous contemporary author. The book serves as a very tactile descriptioin of the times including the sounds, the sights, the smells and the feel of the grittiness of the times, while offering a pure, unvarnished look at the social functions and institutions serving and served by the poor. The view is presented in a straightforward unsentimental manner that allows the reader to form his or her own thoughts and An excellent presentation of the underclasses of London during the mid 1800's by a meticulous contemporary author. The book serves as a very tactile descriptioin of the times including the sounds, the sights, the smells and the feel of the grittiness of the times, while offering a pure, unvarnished look at the social functions and institutions serving and served by the poor. The view is presented in a straightforward unsentimental manner that allows the reader to form his or her own thoughts and feelings.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Gwenyth

    One of those books that convinces me that nothing in the world is new. Mayhew describes two types of street-singers: those who sing really well (so you tip them) and those who sing really badly (so you tip them to make them leave). I read this book in little restaurants and corners while I was working in Peru and tipped at least two very loud, tone-deaf performers in the process of preserving my peace. This was much more readable and enjoyable than I was expecting, and both very funny and kind o One of those books that convinces me that nothing in the world is new. Mayhew describes two types of street-singers: those who sing really well (so you tip them) and those who sing really badly (so you tip them to make them leave). I read this book in little restaurants and corners while I was working in Peru and tipped at least two very loud, tone-deaf performers in the process of preserving my peace. This was much more readable and enjoyable than I was expecting, and both very funny and kind of depressing in its way.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Martine Bailey

    I cannot say I've read this from cover to cover, but as a research source on the life and work of nineteenth century Londoners, Mayhew is unparalleled. Having a deep interest in food history, the first-hand accounts by real people such as gingerbread sellers, milk vendors (operating in London parks), sweetstuff makers and suchlike, are priceless. Then there are the criminals - the screeve-fakers, swindlers and burglars who are revealed in all their callous glory. The best parts are those that re I cannot say I've read this from cover to cover, but as a research source on the life and work of nineteenth century Londoners, Mayhew is unparalleled. Having a deep interest in food history, the first-hand accounts by real people such as gingerbread sellers, milk vendors (operating in London parks), sweetstuff makers and suchlike, are priceless. Then there are the criminals - the screeve-fakers, swindlers and burglars who are revealed in all their callous glory. The best parts are those that record first-hand accounts in historical vernacular. A treasure.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Karli

    Fairly odd mix of opinion, statistics and personal stories. Still this is quite compelling reading. Mayhew is enthralled and horrified at the state in which e finds his countrymen. He documents this with every literary tool he has to hand. It's not always artfully done but it most certainly captivating. And honestly it is far too often that the storyteller is taken with their method instead of with their subject. This chunk of history is more skillfully wrought than most. It's impression is cert Fairly odd mix of opinion, statistics and personal stories. Still this is quite compelling reading. Mayhew is enthralled and horrified at the state in which e finds his countrymen. He documents this with every literary tool he has to hand. It's not always artfully done but it most certainly captivating. And honestly it is far too often that the storyteller is taken with their method instead of with their subject. This chunk of history is more skillfully wrought than most. It's impression is certainly more lasting.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Nicole Gervasio

    Mayhew approaches his sociological study of London's poorest quarters in the genres of both picaresque and catalogue. His enumeration of these workers' skills, habits, passions, diets, needs, and accoutrements is exhaustive. But mainly, his truly curious (read: peculiar) observations about the debaucheries cherished by these lower classes and his unfulfilled missionary impulses are pretty intriguing.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Dustin Hanvey

    Reads like a history text of 19th century England-- lots of first hand accounts of street laborers, poor children, and lodging houses in London. Mayhew has sympathy for the people he describes, but isn't afraid to trace the causes of poverty as far and wide. 150 years later, we can still learn much from his work.

  28. 5 out of 5

    !Tæmbuŝu

    KOBOBOOKS Reviewed by The Independent (20 Apr 2012) KOBOBOOKS Reviewed by The Independent (20 Apr 2012)

  29. 4 out of 5

    Liam Guilar

    It makes me want to read the four volume, unabridged version. While this contains a fair selection across the original it is a selection. This book also leaves out most of volume four, which admittedly was mostly written by others. VOl 4 is available separately as 'the London Underworld in the Victorian period" but it's also an 'Unabridged selection".....whatever that means.

  30. 4 out of 5

    S.W. Fairbrother

    Considering this is a non-fiction book written over a hundred years ago, it remains an absorbing read. Anyone who is interested in social history, or the history of London should read this book. The breakdown of ordinary people's lives remains fascinating, especially as so many of the traditions have since been lost. A very, very interesting book.

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