London Low Life
Street Culture, Social Reform and the Victorian Underworld. Sources from the Lilly Library, Indiana University
Verlag :: Publisher
Adam Matthew Digital
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Verlagsinformation :: Publisher's information
This collection brings to life the teeming streets of Victorian London, inviting students and scholars to explore the gin palaces, brothels and East End slums of the nineteenth century's greatest city.
From salacious 'swell's guides' to scandalous broadsides and subversive posters, the material sold and exchanged on London's bustling thoroughfares offers an unparalleled insight into the dark underworld of the city. Children's chapbooks, street cries, slang dictionaries and ballads were all part of a vibrant culture of street literature.
This is also an incredible visual resource for students and scholars of London, with many full colour maps, cartoons, sketches and a full set of the essential Tallis' Street Views of London - a unique resource for the study of London architecture and commerce. There are also important Gissing manuscripts relating to London, including his famous scrapbooks.
Topics covered include:
- the underworld
- working-class culture
- street literature
- popular music
- urban topography
- the Temperance Movement
- social reform
- Toynbee Hall
- police and criminality
Judith Allen, Indiana University
Peter Bailey, University of Manitoba
Sean Shesgreen, Northern Illinois University
Lilly Library, University of Indiana
Nature of the Material:
Material is taken from several of the Lilly Library's renowned collections, including the Michael Sadleir Collection of London Low Life; the Virginia Warren Collection of Street Cries, the Chapbook Collection and the Pforzheimer Collection of George Gissing's manuscripts. It includes:
- Fast literature
- Street ephemera - posters, advertising, playbills, ballads and broadsides
- Penny fiction
- A complete collection of Tallis' Street Views
- Street Cries
- Swell's guides to London prostitution, gambling and drinking dens
- Tourist guides and topography
- Manuscripts of George Gissing
Scope of the Collection:
This wonderful digital collection brings to life the teeming streets of Victorian London, inviting students and scholars to explore the gin palaces, brothels and East End slums of the nineteenth century's greatest city.
From salacious 'swell's guides' to scandalous broadsides and subversive posters, the material sold and exchanged on London's bustling thoroughfares offers an unparallelled insight into the dark underworld of the nineteenth century city. Children's chapbooks, street cries, slang dictionaries and ballads were all part of a vibrant culture of street literature which has been remarkably preserved in the Lilly Library's collection.
London Low Life is also an incredible visual resource for students and scholars of London, depicting in full colour maps, cartoons, song sheets, street cries and a full set of the essential Tallis' Street Views of London - a unique resource for the study of London architecture and commerce.
This collection will be of interest to 19th century scholars researching: the underworld, slang, working-class culture, street literature, popular music, urban topography, 'slumming', prostitution, the Contagious Diseases Act, the Temperance Movement, social reform, Toynbee Hall, police and criminality.
The Michael Sadleir Collection of London Low Life
An essential collection of 'fast literature' and street ephemera, including broadsides, cartoons, playbills, advertising, ballads and penny fiction. Swell's guides to the city describe prostitution, gambling and drinking dens.
The Virginia Warren Collection of Street Cries
We include all London street cries from the 18th and 19th century from this important collection.
Over 200 nineteenth-century chapbooks represent the literature sold and read on the streets by the urban poor of London.
Rare guidebooks and Topography
This includes a complete run of the rare Tallis' Street Views, a series of beautifully engraved directories depicting London street by street in wonderful detail, along with details of the businesses contained within each locale. These views provide us with invaluable insight into both the architecture and the usage of London's buildings in the mid-19th century.
George Gissing Manuscripts
The celebrated Gissing 'Scrapbook' from the renowned Pforzheimer Collection has been described by Dr. David Grylls as "an evidential goldmine... the single most important manuscript source that might be made available to Gissing scholars". Clippings, ephemera and notes for works from the author of London novels New Grub Street and The Nether World are divided thematically into headings such as 'low characters', 'gambling', 'London vulgarisms and superstitions' and 'private life of working classes'.
Tracts, pamphlets and essays about London low life written by reformers reflect the Victorian middle classes' altrustic interest in the 'low life' alongside the other, more prurient fascinations displayed elsewhere.