Outcast LondonGareth Stedman JonesPeregrine, £3

12. Gareth Stedman Jones, Outcast London (Oxford,1971), 219-220, 325.

Outcast London: A Study in the Relationship Between Classes in Victorian Society

$29.95
  • Review
  • TAG : Outcast London » Torrent Downloads | TorrentHulk
ADD TO CART
  • That something needs to be done for this pitiable outcast population must be evident to all who have read these particulars as to their condition — at least, to all who believe them. We are quite prepared for incredulity. Even what we have indicated seems all too terrible to be true. But we have sketched only in faintest outline. Far more vivid must be our colours, deeper and darker far the shades, if we are to present a truthful picture of "Outcast London;" and so far as we have been able to go we are prepared with evidence, not only to prove every statement, but to show that these statements represent the general condition of thousands upon thousands in this metropolis. Incredulity is not the only difficulty in the way of stirring up Christian people to help. Despair of success in any such undertaking may paralyse many. We shall be pointed to the fact that without State interference nothing effectual can be accomplished upon any large scale. And it is a fact. These wretched people must live somewhere. They must live near the centres where their work lies. They cannot afford to go out by train or tram into the suburbs ; and how, with their poor emaciated, starved bodies, can they be expected — in addition to working twelve hours or more, for a shilling, or less, — to walk three or four miles each way to take and fetch? It is notorious that the Artizans Dwellings Act has, in some respects, made matters worse for them. Large spaces have been cleared of fever-breeding rookeries, to make way for the building of decent habitations, but the rents of these are far beyond the means of the abject poor. They are driven to crowd more closely together, in the few stifling places still left to them; and so Dives makes a richer harvest out of their misery, buying up property condemned as unfit for habitation, and turning it into a gold-mine because the poor must have shelter somewhere, even though it be the shelter of a living tomb.

    That something needs to be done for this pitiable outcast population must be evident to all who have read these particulars as to their condition — at least, to all who believe them. We are quite prepared for incredulity. Even what we have indicated seems all too terrible to be true. But we have sketched only in faintest outline. Far more vivid must be our colours, deeper and darker far the shades, if we are to present a truthful picture of "Outcast London;" and so far as we have been able to go we are prepared with evidence, not only to prove every statement, but to show that these statements represent the general condition of thousands upon thousands in this metropolis. Incredulity is not the only difficulty in the way of stirring up Christian people to help. Despair of success in any such undertaking may paralyse many. We shall be pointed to the fact that without State interference nothing effectual can be accomplished upon any large scale. And it is a fact. These wretched people must live somewhere. They must live near the centres where their work lies. They cannot afford to go out by train or tram into the suburbs ; and how, with their poor emaciated, starved bodies, can they be expected — in addition to working twelve hours or more, for a shilling, or less, — to walk three or four miles each way to take and fetch? It is notorious that the Artizans Dwellings Act has, in some respects, made matters worse for them. Large spaces have been cleared of fever-breeding rookeries, to make way for the building of decent habitations, but the rents of these are far beyond the means of the abject poor. They are driven to crowd more closely together, in the few stifling places still left to them; and so Dives makes a richer harvest out of their misery, buying up property condemned as unfit for habitation, and turning it into a gold-mine because the poor must have shelter somewhere, even though it be the shelter of a living tomb.

  • That something needs to be done for this pitiable outcast population must be evident to all who have read these particulars as to their condition — at least, to all who believe them. We are quite prepared for incredulity. Even what we have indicated seems all too terrible to be true. But we have sketched only in faintest outline. Far more vivid must be our colours, deeper and darker far the shades, if we are to present a truthful picture of "Outcast London;" and so far as we have been able to go we are prepared with evidence, not only to prove every statement, but to show that these statements represent the general condition of thousands upon thousands in this metropolis. Incredulity is not the only difficulty in the way of stirring up Christian people to help. Despair of success in any such undertaking may paralyse many. We shall be pointed to the fact that without State interference nothing effectual can be accomplished upon any large scale. And it is a fact. These wretched people must live somewhere. They must live near the centres where their work lies. They cannot afford to go out by train or tram into the suburbs ; and how, with their poor emaciated, starved bodies, can they be expected — in addition to working twelve hours or more, for a shilling, or less, — to walk three or four miles each way to take and fetch? It is notorious that the Artizans Dwellings Act has, in some respects, made matters worse for them. Large spaces have been cleared of fever-breeding rookeries, to make way for the building of decent habitations, but the rents of these are far beyond the means of the abject poor. They are driven to crowd more closely together, in the few stifling places still left to them; and so Dives makes a richer harvest out of their misery, buying up property condemned as unfit for habitation, and turning it into a gold-mine because the poor must have shelter somewhere, even though it be the shelter of a living tomb.

    Such is Collier's Rents. To describe the other two localities where our work is to be commenced, in Ratcliff and Shadwell, would, in the main, be but to repeat the same heart-sickening story. Heart-sickening but soul-stirring. We have opened but a little way the door that leads into this plague-house of sin and misery and corruption, where men and women and little children starve and suffer and perish, body and soul. But even the glance we have got is a sight to make one weep. We shall not wonder if some, shuddering at the revolting spectacle, try to persuade themselves that such things cannot be in Christian England, and that what they have looked upon is some dark vision conjured by a morbid pity and a desponding faith. To such we can only say, Will you venture to come with us and see for yourselves the ghastly reality? Others looking on, will believe, and pity, and despair. But another vision wull be seen by many, and in this lies our hope — a vision of Him who had "compassion upon the multitude because they were as sheep having no shepherd," looking, with Divine pity in His eyes, over this outcast London, and then turning to the consecrated host of His Church with the appeal, "Whom shall we send and who will go for us?"'October. 1883.

    Poverty and slum housing
    Social investigation
    Charles Dickens visits Canning Town
    The Bitter Cry of Outcast London
    Charles Booth
    Gustave Dore
    Send this story to a friend
    Printer-friendly version
    View this story in pictures

  • Poverty and slum housing
    Social investigation
    Charles Dickens visits Canning Town
    The Bitter Cry of Outcast London
    Charles Booth
    Gustave Dore

    Such is Collier's Rents. To describe the other two localities where our work is to be commenced, in Ratcliff and Shadwell, would, in the main, be but to repeat the same heart-sickening story. Heart-sickening but soul-stirring. We have opened but a little way the door that leads into this plague-house of sin and misery and corruption, where men and women and little children starve and suffer and perish, body and soul. But even the glance we have got is a sight to make one weep. We shall not wonder if some, shuddering at the revolting spectacle, try to persuade themselves that such things cannot be in Christian England, and that what they have looked upon is some dark vision conjured by a morbid pity and a desponding faith. To such we can only say, Will you venture to come with us and see for yourselves the ghastly reality? Others looking on, will believe, and pity, and despair. But another vision wull be seen by many, and in this lies our hope — a vision of Him who had "compassion upon the multitude because they were as sheep having no shepherd," looking, with Divine pity in His eyes, over this outcast London, and then turning to the consecrated host of His Church with the appeal, "Whom shall we send and who will go for us?"'October. 1883.

The Millennium Series 2016: Team Profile: Outcast London

In the second half of the nineteenth century, Victorian middle and upper classes felt increasingly threatened by the masses of "outcast London." Gareth Stedman Jones, working from a mass of statistical and documentary evidence, argues that after 1850 London passed through a crisis of social and economic development. Outcast London is a fascinating and important study of the problem at the center of the crisis: the casual poor and their fraught relations with the labor market, with housing and with middle-class London.