Raleigh Street, London, N1. Photo © Roger Dean 2014
Horrible London – George R. Sims, 1889:
In the early part of the present year I spent some two months in visiting the worst slums of London, and in investigating the condition of the inhabitants. I not only went from cellar to attic, but I traced back the family history of many of the occupants. I followed the workers to their work, the thieves and wantons to their haunts, the children to their schools, and the homeless loafers to the holes and corners, the open passages and backyards where they herded together at night. I began my task with a light heart; I finished it with a heavy one.
[Horrible London was originally published in the Daily Mail and later in How The Poor Live; and Horrible London which was published by London, Chatto & Windus in 1889. The full text can be read at www.victorianlondon.org. R.D.]