SLUMMING Sexual and Social Politics in Victorian London

Author: Koven (Seth)
Year: 2006
Publisher: Princeton University Press (Princeton and Oxford)
Edition Details: 3rd Printing/1st p/b edn.
Book Condition: NrF.
ISBN: 9780691128009
Price: 25.00
Softcover. 3rd printing, 1st p/back edn. In the 1880s, fashionable Londoners left their elegant homes and clubs in Mayfair and Belgravia and crowded into omnibuses bound for midnight tours of the slums of East London. A new word burst into popular usage to describe these descents into the precincts of poverty to see how the poor lived: slumming. The author paints a vivid portrait of the practitioners of slumming and their world: who they were, why they went, what they claimed to have found, how it changed them, and how slumming, in turn, powerfully shaped both Victorian and 20th century understandings of poverty and social welfare, gender relations, and sexuality. By revealing the extent to which politics and erotics, social and sexual categories overflowed their boundaries and transformed one another, the author recaptures the ethical dilemmas that men and women confronted - and continue to confront - in trying to "love thy neighbour as thyself." The cover photograph entitled 'The Raw Material As We Find It' (c. 1875-76) depicts Dr. Barnardo's beadle, Edward Fitzpatrick, with a group of ragged boys he "rescued" from the streets and brought to Barnardo's Juvenile Mission. But contrary to the photograph's title, it was staged and did not capture the boys as they were found on the streets. Barnardo later fired Fitzgerald for gross immorality while he was forced to defend his use of such tampered images - called "artistic fictions" by his enemies - in a protracted legal battle. Part One: Incognitos, Fictions, and Cross-Class Masquerades. Part Two: Cross-Class Sisterhood and Brotherhood in the Slums. Illus., Conclusion, Manuscript Sources, Notes and Index. 399pp. trade size softcover. Nr. F. with no creasing to covers.


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