12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars
Good information, poor writing style, 11 Feb 2011
I purchased Gangs of London because of a story about female gangs in Victorian England published in the Guardian newspaper. It was a well written article that grabbed the attention and compared today's social context with that of the Victorian era. It quoted this book as the main source. However, having now read the book, I realise that the journalist had only used a few of the facts and added a lots of other research. They had also a much better writing style.
The main problem with the book is that there is very little social context or other background. The biographies of the various villains and gangs are sketchy and jump from one to the next without any real narrative to hold the story together. There are characters mentioned in passing that sound interesting and influential, but are skipped over.
There is enough information in the book to inspire further research into what is a fascinating aspect of England's history. It's just a shame that it's written in a rather amatuerish and unengaging style.