London Labour and the London Poor (Oxford World's Classics)
An extraordinary work of investigative journalism, literature, and sociology, London Labour and the London Poor originated in a series of articles for a local newspaper and grew into a massive record of the daily life of Victorian London's underclass. By turns alarming, touching, and funny, the pages of London Labour and the London Poor exposed a previously hidden world. Henry Mayhew conducted hundreds of interviews that provided a first-hand account of costermongers and street-sellers, of sewer-scavengers and chimney-sweeps, creating an intimate and detailed portrait that offered unprecedented insight into their day-to-day struggle for survival. Combined with Mayhew's comprehensive data gathering, these stories have an immediacy that owes much to his sympathetic understanding and effective literary style. This new selection offers a cross-section of the original volumes and their evocative illustrations, including among other features an introduction by Robert Douglas-Fairhurst that illuminates Mayhew's life and career, the genesis and development of the book, and its influence on contemporaries such as Dickens and Kingsley.
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