Unflinching reports of London’s poor from a prolific and influential English writer
London Labour and the London Poor originated in a series of articles, later published in four volumes, written for the Morning Chronicle in 1849 and 1850 when journalist Henry Mayhew was at the height of his career. Mayhew aimed simply to report the realities of the poor from a compassionate and practical outlook. This penetrating selection shows how well he succeeded: the underprivileged of London become extraordinarily and often shockingly alive.
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About the Author
Henry Mayhew, journalist and social investigator, humorist, dramatist, novelist, and author of works of travel and popular instruction, was born in 1812. The son of a London solicitor, he was educated at Westminster School, from which he eventually ran away. Mayhew then went to sea and traveled to India before entering his father’s office, which, however, he soon quit to embark on a long and prolific literary career. He wrote a very successful farce, The Wandering Minstrel, in 1834, and was one of the cofounders of Punch in 1841. His famous book London Labour and the London Poor began publication in 1849 in The Morning Chronicle and in 1851 was released in a collected, incomplete edition, which was completed in 1861. He was also the author of The Criminal Prisons of London in 1862 and German Life and Manners in 1864. He died in 1887.
Victor E. Neuburg was born in Sussex in 1924. He was a senior lecturer at the University of North London, and a visiting professor at State College, Buffalo, Dalhousie University, Nova Scotia, and Ruhr University, Bochum, as well as the Simon Foster Haven Fellow of the American Antiquarian Society. His publications included Popular Education in Eighteenth Century England, Popular Literature, The Batsford Companion to Popular Literature, and A Guide to the Western Front. He died in 1996.