I’ve been sent a link to a short article illustrated with a number of contemporary photos of the slum children in the East End 100 years ago. The subject isn’t your typical DailyWail Maul Mail fayre (no mention of celebrities…), and by necessity it skims over much of the realities of life with a few factoids chucked in for good measure and shock value.  I half-expected “…and this is where we’re heading in 2011…”  at the end of the piece, and no doubt one or more will surface sooner or later in the reader’s comments. Edit: Blimey, I should have put some money on that. One appeared even before I’d finished this post…

However, it’s the photos of the children that steal this piece, and their eyes speak volumes.

Further edit: OK, they’ve changed a couple of photos since I posted the above and have employed a reject comedian to rewrite the captions. So much potential for an article, such a waste.

If you’re really interested in the social conditions of Victorian London, then the contemporary Victorian Street Life in Historic Photographs by John Thompson, first published in 1877 and reprinted by Dover Publications in 1994 is a fantastic, and often quite shocking work. Highly recommended.

Victorian Street Life in Historic Photographs
John Thompson
First published 1877.
New edition edition published 1994 by Dover Publications Inc.
ISBN-10: 0486281213
ISBN-13: 978-0486281216