LIZA PICARD VICTORIAN LONDON PDF

The pay was pitifully low. A woman might make one shirt in a long day, sewing by hand in poor light — she had to buy her own candles — and she would be lucky to earn six shillings for a dozen. After the advent of the sewing machine improved the lot of some women, but not all had access to a machine, and the new technique required was daunting. Entire streets in the slums of London were inhabited by prostitutes. But there was no known cure for the sexually transmitted disease syphilis. Once the acute phase was over and she was discharged, a woman had no choice but to return to the streets and take up her previous life, infecting a new wave of customers.

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The pay was pitifully low. A woman might make one shirt in a long day, sewing by hand in poor light — she had to buy her own candles — and she would be lucky to earn six shillings for a dozen. After the advent of the sewing machine improved the lot of some women, but not all had access to a machine, and the new technique required was daunting.

Entire streets in the slums of London were inhabited by prostitutes. But there was no known cure for the sexually transmitted disease syphilis. Once the acute phase was over and she was discharged, a woman had no choice but to return to the streets and take up her previous life, infecting a new wave of customers.

There was a ready market for young virgins. The girl was in due course returned to her parents, still a virgin, but Stead became famous and the public could no longer ignore this shameful trade. Three years later a series of gruesome murders began in the east end of London. The victims were all prostitutes. The most celebrated redeemer of prostitutes was the Prime Minister, W E Gladstone, whose reputation was saved from unsavoury innuendoes only by his well-known personal integrity.

It was becoming clear that the new Poor Law Act was not succeeding in its aim, despite successive tightening of the screws. Nor could private charities stem the tide of the destitute. Very gradually, the idea took root that the relief of poverty should cease to be an individual, local duty and become a national responsibility.

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Stink or swim

What it says on the cover. An interesting look at London during the Victorian period. Lots of useful and interesting facts. This one is going in my reference library.

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Liza Picard

For no other of the five is as redolent of memory or can conjure a long-forgotten past with such force. Remembering begins in the nose. London in the s, before Joseph Bazalgette got to work on the sewerage system that is one of the glories of that age, was a stinking place. By the time the river reached Woolwich, as Punch reported sardonically in , "those situated in the lower course of the stream get the Thames water in the highest perfection". By the late s, many houses were connected to a primitive water mains, the service being supplied by one of any number of private companies.

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