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London Labour and the London Poor (Oxford World's Classics) Paperback – 12 Apr 2012


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Product details

  • Paperback: 528 pages
  • Publisher: OUP Oxford (12 April 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0199697574
  • ISBN-13: 978-0199697571
  • Product Dimensions: 19.6 x 2.5 x 13 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 163,221 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

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.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

52 of 54 people found the following review helpful By Big Jim TOP 50 REVIEWER on 11 Oct 2010
Format: Hardcover
Amazon should look to separating this edition from the Penguin edition of Mayhew's studies because this is almost a totally different selection of Mayhew's writings with a better and more in depth introduction and potted biography of Mayhew by the editor, Robert Douglas-Fairhurst. One of the main points that Douglas-Fairhurst makes is that Mayhew considered himself a reporter rather than a reformer or campaigner but what a reporter. Using language that resonates of the time, much of it verbatim transcripts of interviewees, Mayhew shines a dazzling light on the street life of Victorian London. Dickens and Thackeray were notable devotees of Mayhew's work and incorporated much of his studies into their own work.

I would strongly recommend anyone with even the slightest interest in the period to get this volume, all the more so because although there is some overlap with the Penguin edition, there is lots of "new" material in here (costermongers' cries for example) so that even if you already have that edition it is well worth getting this one as well.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By David Thorpe on 11 April 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I first read portions of Mayhew when at school. Now that I am retired I am revisiting his work. He presents a vivid and
fascinating picture of life amongst the poor in Victorian London, discussing the hustle and bustle of life and the hopes
and fears of vast numbers of the disadvantaged poor. His work recounts stories of trades and professions common
in his lieftime but no longer seen.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is a book I had always meant to read, but maybe having read so much about this subject I don't really think it has given me much new info. It is interesting though, and perhaps gives more insight in to speech of the period than the usual books on this subject.
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By edmund on 19 Jun 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
A splendid book. It's very much a descriptive book of each of the facets of the characters you'd come across in 19th century London. From the deserving cripple to the shiftless beggar, Mayhew lists them all. It's a real eye-opener; the types of people we see in London today are not so far removed from their ancestors described in this book.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book and I found as illuminating as I did compelling.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
It's very well converted for Kindle. He is a rarity - an honest journalist who listens. I hope people of all ages will read it. I had it as a hardback and now need it on the Kindle as my house is filled with books.
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By GB on 26 July 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Not an easy read but well worthwhile. May be the good old days had their downsides too. On balance I will stick with now!
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