Saturday, 25 July 2009

Mayhew's Poor London

A good resource for understanding the lives of poor ancestors in 19th century London is the sociological classic London Labour and the London Poor by Henry Mayhew.

While researching for information on London prisons, I was surprised to come across another of his books The criminal prisons of London, and scenes of prison life. There's a new reprint for sale at ancestry.co.uk for £35.10.

Both books date back to the 1860s and I wondered if, as they are out of copyright, maybe they had been scanned into the Internet Archive or Google Books.

It turns out that London Labour and the London Poor, all three volumes and an extra volume are available as E-Texts. find links from the Wikipedia article on the books here.

The criminal prisons of London, and scenes of prison life is available here through Google books, and here through the Internet archive.

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