Tales from Victorian London brings together accounts of 19th century London from two Victorian writers, Henry Mayhew and James Greenwood.Both Mayhew and Greenwood were concerned with daily life in London, and both had an ability to find bizarre, interesting and surprising stories.

Tales from Victorian London covers different subjects, ranging from supposedly immoral behaviour in London’s lodging houses and the tricks practised by London’s street sellers, to tales from the poor and the sights and sounds of Victorian street life.

SLUM LIFE

Tiny rooms with broken floors and blackened walls
Lodging dens which no decent man dare enter
Buff ball in Golden Lane– naked dancing with a fiddle and tin whistle
The filth, dishonesty and immorality of low lodging houses

DODGES AND DECEITS

Costermonger tricks
Drunken Dave the fish seller
The night cabman
On the buses: petty thieving by London’s omnibus conductors

FOOD AND DRINK

“I’ve seen better days”: selling sheep’s trotters in pubs
Milk from the cow in St James’s Park
Hot eels and pea soup
Street oysters
London’s whelk eaters
Ginger beer fountains

PUBS AND DAYS OUT

Black-eyed Susan: “as course as a coal whipper”
Mr. Popshort’s “Sly House”, or how to get a drink in London on a Sunday
A Londoner’s Sunday outing
A Cockney holiday

OTHER TALES

The Smithfield Races
Street urchins and ragamuffins at the Angel Islington
Street patterers
Jack ashore: sailors in the Port of London