Voices of Victorian London
In Sickness & In Health
Date of publication: August 2011
Publisher: Hesperus Press
History is written by historians, and the voices of ordinary people rarely feature. But this unique collection of interviews from the middle of the nineteenth century allows their voices to be heard. The journalist Henry Mayhew tramped the streets of London interviewing working people; this Hesperus selection from his work London Labour and the London Poor shows how they coped with the ups and downs of health and illness while continuing with the daily trial of scratching a living and feeding their families.
The people Mayhew met showed remarkable resilience and a surprising sense of humour about their lot in life. Jonathan Miller, theatre director, writer and doctor, writes an introduction giving the social background to the 'undiscovered country of the poor', as Mayhew called the streets of the capital.