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, TLS 17/12/2010
Should be required reading not just for lovers of Dickens, but for anyone who wishes to understand how our nineteenth century truly was. (Simon Heffer, Telegraph 14/01/2011
superb new edition (Ian Thomson, Evening Standard 02/12/2010
superb introduction (Michael Dirda, Washington Post 26/01/2011
some of the best descriptive writing in the English language (Roy Hattersley, New Statesman 18/10/2010
About the Author
Henry Mayhew was a journalist, novelist, dramatist, and social investigator, born in London in 1812. He was one of the founding editors of
and went on to produce some of the most important journalism of the nineteenth century. His series of articles on 'Labour and the Poor' attracted wide notice and eventually grew into a massive four-volume work. He died in 1887.