Title: London Labour and the London Poor
Author: Henry Mayhew
Pages: 528 pages
Year: (1850s) 2012
Item Code: OUP064
Link to website
London Labour and the London Poor’ originated in a series of newspaper articles written by the great journalist Henry Mayhew between 1849 and 1850. A dozen years later, it had grown into the fullest picture we have of labourers in the greatest city of the nineteenth century.
It gives first-hand accounts of the hopes, customs, grievances and habits of the working-classes that allows them to tell their own stories.
Combining practicality with compassion, Mayhew worked unencumbered by political theory, focusing on the lives of the London poor, their occupations and trades. This selection shows how well he succeeded. From costermongers to ex-convicts, from chimney-sweeps to vagrants, the underprivileged of London are uniquely brought to life – their plight expressed through through a startling blend of their accounts, Mayhew’s perceptions and sharp statistics.
This new selection offers a cross-section of the original volumes and their evocative illustrations, and includes an illuminative introduction to Henry Mayhew and the genesis and influence of his work.