Mayhew’s London edited by Peter Quennell

Mayhew’s London is a selection of writings from Henry Mayhew’s comprehensive studies of everyday life in Victorian London. The lives described are at once horrifying in their abject poverty and yet so filled with the urge to survive and make ends meet that they become utterly compelling reading.

Of particular interest to me were the descriptions of the lives of ‘Pure Finders’ (people who would comb the streets looking for dog poo to selling the tanneries) and the ‘Mudlarks’ (children often as young as 6 who would trudge through the banks of the Thames looking for anything worth selling).


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