Discover the seamy history of nineteenth-century England that has inspired countless crime novels and films.
Victorian London: All over the city, watches, purses, and handkerchiefs disappear from pockets; goods migrate from warehouses, off docks, and out of shop windows. Burglaries are rife, shoplifting is carried on in West End stores, and people fall victim to all kinds of ingenious swindles. Pornographers proliferate and an estimated eighty thousand prostitutes operate on the city’s streets. Even worse, the vulnerable are robbed in dark alleys or garroted, a new kind of mugging in which the victim is half-strangled from behind while being stripped of his possessions.
This history takes you to nineteenth-century London’s grimy rookeries, home to thousands of the city’s poorest and most desperate residents. Explore the crime-ridden slums, flash houses, and gin palaces from a unique street-level view—and meet the people who inhabited them.