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London Labour and the London Poor (Hardback)
  • London Labour and the London Poor (Hardback)
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London Labour and the London Poor (Hardback)

(author)
£12.99
Hardback 528 Pages / Published: 14/10/2010
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London Labour and the London Poor is an extraordinary work of investigative journalism, a work of literature, and a groundbreaking work of sociology. It originated in a series of articles for a London newspaper and grew into a massive record of the daily life of Victorian London's underclass. Mayhew conducted hundreds of interviews with the city's street traders, entertainers, thieves and beggars which revealed that the 'two nations' of rich and poor were much closer than many people thought. By turns alarming, touching, and funny, the pages of London Labour and the London Poor exposed a previously hidden world to view. The first-hand accounts of costermongers and street-sellers, of sewer-scavenger and chimney-sweep, are intimate and detailed and provide an unprecedented insight into their day-to-day struggle for survival. Combined with Mayhew's obsessive data gathering, these stories have an immediacy that owes much to his sympathetic understanding and highly effective literary style. In its imaginative power the work can justly be regarded as the greatest Victorian novel never written. This new selection offers a cross-section of the original volumes and their evocative illustrations, and includes among other features an illuminating introduction to Henry Mayhew and the genesis and influence of his work.

Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 9780199566082
Number of pages: 528
Weight: 640 g
Dimensions: 198 x 137 x 32 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS
This edition... has a thoughtful, detailed and illuminating introduction. * Andrew Dodgshon, Tribune *
Robert Douglas-Fairhurst has a strong sense of the contradictory forces at work in Mayhew's writing, which he compares successively to a peep show, a collection of dramatic monologues and an early work of sociology...This selection is still as long as a fair-sized novel, with helpful notes and a springy, suggestive introduction that captures the energy and variety of Mayhew's world. * John Bowen, Times Literary Supplement. *
Should be required reading not just for lovers of Dickens, but for anyone who wants to understand our 19th century. * Simon Heffer, Daily Telegraph *
[A] superb new edition. * Ian Thomson, Evening Standard *
As riveting as any Dickensian novel and as salutary as any social services report, this is a unique insight into the life of the capital over a hundred years ago. * Robert Gwyn Palmer, The Resident *
A collection of some of the best descriptive writing in the English language. * Roy Hattersley, New Statesman *

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