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The Blackest Streets
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A brilliant new book about the seedy side of Victorian London by one of our most talented young historians.

About the Author

Sarah Wise has an MA in Victorian Studies from Birkbeck College. She teaches 19th-century social history and literature to both undergraduates and adult learners, and is visiting professor at the University of California's London Study Center, and a guest lecturer at City University. Her interests are London/urban history, working-class history, medical history, psychogeography, 19th-century literature and reportage. Her website is www.sarahwise.co.uk Her most recent book, Inconvenient People: Lunacy, Liberty and the Mad-Doctors in Victorian England (Bodley Head), was shortlisted for the Wellcome Book Prize 2014. Her 2004 debut, The Italian Boy: Murder and Grave Robbery in 1830s London (Jonathan Cape), was shortlisted for the 2005 Samuel Johnson Prize for Non-Fiction. Her follow-up The Blackest Streets: The Life and Death of a Victorian Slum was published in 2008 and was shortlisted for the Royal Society of Literature's Ondaatje Prize. Sarah was a major contributor to Iain Sinclair's compendium London, City of Disappearances (2006). She has contributed to the TLS, History Today, BBC History magazine, the Literary Review, the FT and the Daily Telegraph. She discussed bodysnatching for BBC2's History Cold Case series; provided background material for BBC1's Secret History of Our Streets; and spoke about Broadmoor Hospital on Channel 5's programme on that institution.She has been a guest on Radio 4's All in the Mind, Radio 3's Night Waves and the Guardian's Books Podcast about 19th-century mental health.

Reviews

"The Blackest Streets is an excellent and intelligent investigation of the realities of urban living that respond to no design or directive...This is a book about the nature of London itself" -- Peter Ackroyd * The Times *
"A revelatory book...beaming the light of impartial historical research into the horrible dens and alleys. It avoids the voyeurism that such books often fall into: Wise describes the terrible conditions dispassionately, bringing out the resilience and self-respect of the slum-dwellers" -- John Carey * Sunday Times *
"Read it and be flabbergasted" * New Statesman *
"She is a sure-footed guide. In each strand of enquiry she has something new and surprising to say" -- Jerry White * Times Literary Supplement *
"Sarah Wise has created an exceptional work, in that it is both scholarly and page turning - a genuine treat" -- Gilda O'Neill

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