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London's Shadows: The Dark Side of the Victorian City
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London's Shadows: The Dark Side of the Victorian City

3.60  ·  Rating details ·  53 ratings  ·  7 reviews
In 1888 London was the capital of the most powerful empire the world had ever known, and the largest city in Europe. In the west a new city was growing, populated by the middle classes, the epitome of ‘Victorian values'. Across the city the situation was very different. The East End of London had long been considered a nether world, a dark and dangerous region outside the ...more
Hardcover, 288 pages
Published September 2nd 2010 by Bloomsbury Academic (first published June 10th 2010)
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3.60  · 
Rating details
 ·  53 ratings  ·  7 reviews

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Alessandro Mana
Aug 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing
London's Shadows: The Dark Side of the Victorian City is well-researched and accessible to everyone, which makes it a welcome addition to existing historiography.

It highlights the tremendous social cost of the industry that, although contemporaries had recognized, could not find a valid remedy. Although London's streets could be cleaner and slums replaced by modern buildings and renovations, London's Shadows volume approach offers a remarkable reminder of issues such as poverty, deprivation and
Feb 14, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: 3-stars, nonfiction
A good book, allowing someone to get a 'feel' of this time and place. With pictures from newspapers and pamphlets it is both entertaining and informative.

The style however is very academic and dry and unfortunately I've found the book having some repetitions - how many times do I need to learn why were Jew immigrants disliked by the Londoners?

All in all, quite an interesting read.
Sarah Smith
May 18, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: history
Typical researcher that I am, I'm afraid I have been dipping in and out of this book to find out what it was like to be in the East End during the 1880s. But incomplete as my reading is, I have decided to review Drew Gray's book. You see, this it well written an well researched - in a word it is a joy.

Most books that deal with this period of London's history are sensationalist, focussing on the Ripper and his activities rather than looking at the context of the murder, the state of the East End
Janice Liedl
Mar 13, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: history
A few typos threw me for a loop but otherwise this is a highly enjoyable social history of late Victorian London inspired by the Ripper murders. From that launching point, you will learn a lot about disparate elements - the immigrant communities and the rich working-class culture of the East End, the role of the press and popular writing in driving social concerns and a host of other topics ably expanding on the questions of crime and culture in the nineteenth century capital. There's a bang-up ...more
Roy A. Hughes
Dec 31, 2012 rated it liked it
This is an informative work, well researched and structured. Written in the way of an academic paper, the book makes many references to works by others as though we should be familiar with them. Whilst this should stimulate further reading, one is left wondering if the point made by this author is well taken. Nevertheless, the range and amount of knowledge imparted through this themed work is considerable and leaves the reader with a good sense of London life around 1880/ 90.

My own ancestors a
Rather than rehashing the Ripper murders and police investigation, this book looks at London's east end during the time all this was occurring. More of a social history study than a true crime tale, this tells of the people who inhabited Whitechapel and surround and the attitudes of a broader society towards them.
London's Shadows is a useful and interesting resource on all aspects of criminal London in the Victorian period. I found the chapter on newspaper reporting during the era most useful. It contains some fascinating stories about what defined crime in the age, and although I wasn't researching Jack the Ripper, would be a helpful resource for those who are looking at the city surrounding the crimes.
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