In 1902 American author Jack London visited London as it celebrated the Coronation of Edward VII. His experiences among the poor of the East End he recounted in ‘People of the Abyss’. The grinding poverty and desperate struggle for existence he saw however were not new phenomena.
In 1837 Princess Victoria became Queen of a nation whose trade and manufacturing had blossomed because of the Industrial Revolution and the establishment of the British Empire. But this success had a human cost.
As London expanded to become the new Metropolis, people flooded in. Whitechapel and Spitalfields, already crowded areas, now became saturated. Overcrowding and a lack of sanitation helped disease to spread, while chronic poverty and low pay robbed people of hope.
But there were people ready to engage with these problems.
This is an exploration of Victorian philanthropy in the dark area that clung to the northeastern corner of the City, a story of soup kitchens and slum clearance. Wash houses and galleries appeared alongside model dwellings and refuges.
Details – Reaching into the Abyss
Please go to the SCHEDULE to see whether this tour is currently on offer, and for booking details.
MEET: In front of Aldgate Underground Station, Aldgate High Street.
Duration: Two hours (approximately).
If you have any questions about this walk, please contact me
Pictures sourced from Wikimedia Commons