In Cloth Fair, next to Smithfield Market  1882. This is amazing. Movie sets and carefully staged era photographs seldom communicate how dirty things had to be in cities back then. The smoke and dung and coal everywhere...the crooked houses, how cramped it all had to be. These pictures are fuel for my mind whenever I read historic fiction. It wasn't Jane Austin movies. It was this.

Cloth Fair, next to Smithfield Market. You can see more pictures from the Society for Photographing Relics of Old London in The Ghosts of Old London and In Search of Relics of Old London.

1866 medieval Steep Street from the junction with Trenchard Street

1866 medieval Steep Street from the junction with Trenchard Street (Bristol?) How the other half lived during Victorian times

In the early 19th century, there were reports of ghosts that stalked the streets of London. These human-like figures were described as pale and stalked and preyed on lone pedestrians. The stories told of these figures formed part of a distinct ghost tradition in London which, some writers have argued, formed the foundation of the later legend of Spring-heeled Jack. Spring-Heeled Jack, the terror of Victorian London  #history #places #london #victoriana #victorian

Penny novels about murder and other crimes came to be known as "Penny Dreadfuls". This one is Spring-Heeled Jack, the terror of Victorian London

Britain still had an empire to run and in 1876 any young men ardent for some desperate glory would make their way to the Mitre and Dove public house. There the recruiting sergeants of any number of regiments would cajole young aspirants to military honors. The local police officer is second from left!

Photographer: John Thomson Recruiting Sergeants At Westminster [Street Life in London] 1877 Woodburytype

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