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The Essential Mayhew: Representing and Communicating the Poor Bertrand Taithe

The Essential Mayhew: Representing and Communicating the Poor

Bertrand Taithe

Published June 1st 1996
ISBN : 9781854890467
Paperback
288 pages
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 About the Book 

Mayhews exploration of the Victorian under-class has long been a classic of low-life reportage - a canny mixture of oral history, social statistics, with deliberate stress on the sensational. The Essential Mayhew offers a re-edition of theMoreMayhews exploration of the Victorian under-class has long been a classic of low-life reportage - a canny mixture of oral history, social statistics, with deliberate stress on the sensational. The Essential Mayhew offers a re-edition of the long-neglected text of Henry Mayhews correspondence with the readers of London Labour and the London Poor, letters which promoted the sales of the weekly installments by becoming a vital link between Mayhew and his mostly working-class readership. The letters not only define Mayhews sociology in the making, they can be used as the undertext of London Labour and the London Poor. In the correspondence Mayhew spells out his conclusions on economic and social organisation, and his respect for the vitality of lower-class life. It also establishes his defence against what E. P. Thompson called the enormous condescension of posterity. Henry Mayhew made a precarious living concocting new publishing ventures where he enraged nearly every vested interest in the metropolis. Bertrand Taithes analytic introduction reinforces Mayhews claims to be a pioneer and serious theorist- and places this early militant in his own social context - a bourgeois renegade who still revealed the power of middle-class meanings.