Slumming: Sexual and Social Politics in Victorian London
In the 1880s, fashionable Londoners left their elegant homes and clubs in Mayfair and Belgravia and crowded into omnibuses bound for midnight tours of the slums of East London. A new word burst into popular usage to describe these descents into the precincts of poverty to see how the poor lived: slumming. In this captivating book, Seth Koven paints a vivid portrait of the practitioners of slumming and their world: who they were, why they went, what they claimed to have found, how it changed them, and how slumming, in turn, powerfully shaped both Victorian and twentieth-century understandings of poverty and social welfare, gender relations, and sexuality.
The slums of late-Victorian London became synonymous with all that was wrong with industrial capitalist society. But for philanthropic men and women eager to free themselves from the starched conventions of bourgeois respectability and domesticity, slums were also places of personal liberation and experimentation. Slumming allowed them to act on their irresistible "attraction of repulsion" for the poor and permitted them, with society's approval, to get dirty and express their own "dirty" desires for intimacy with slum dwellers and, sometimes, with one another.
Slumming elucidates the histories of a wide range of preoccupations about poverty and urban life, altruism and sexuality that remain central in Anglo-American culture, including the ethics of undercover investigative reporting, the connections between cross-class sympathy and same-sex desire, and the intermingling of the wish to rescue the poor with the impulse to eroticize and sexually exploit them.
By revealing the extent to which politics and erotics, social and sexual categories overflowed their boundaries and transformed one another, Koven recaptures the ethical dilemmas that men and women confronted--and continue to confront--in trying to "love thy neighbor as thyself."
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Review: Slumming: Sexual and Social Politics in Victorian LondonUser Review - Goodreads
This book is a very interesting look at class and gender in the late Victorian period. If focuses on the way that wealthy and middle class people portrayed and interacted with the poor, particularly ...
Review: Slumming: Sexual and Social Politics in Victorian LondonUser Review - Lauren Albert - Goodreads
The rhetoric is rather overblown--yes there were sexual issues, covert and overt; yes, people did not always leave their class behind them when they went slumming. It just seemed to me that it could have all been said more simply. Read full review
Slumming Eros and Altruism in Victorian London
Who Went Slumming? Sources and Social Categories
James Hinton and the Hintonians
INCOGNITOS FICTIONS AND CROSSCLASS MASQUERADES
Workhouse Nights Homelessness Homosexuality and CrossClass Masquerades
James Greenwood and London in 1866
Reading A Night in a Workhouse
An American Girl Impersonating Londons Laboring Women
CROSSCLASS SISTERHOOD AND BROTHERHOOD IN THE SLUMS
The Politics and Erotics of Dirt CrossClass Sisterhood in the Slums
CrossClass Sisterhood and the Politics of Dirt
There will be something the matter with the ladies
Dirty Bodies Dirty Desires in Womans Slum Novels
White Gloves and Dirty Hoxton Pennies
Responses to A Night in a Workhouse
Sexology Social Policy and the 1898 Vagrancy Act
Legacies of A Night on Representations of the Homeless Poor
Dr Barnardos Artistic Fictions Photography Sexuality and the Ragged Child
Facts Fictions and Epistemologies of Welfare
The Very Wicked Woman and Sodomany in Dr Barnardos Boys Home
Representing the Ragged Child
Joseph Merrick and the Monstrosity of Poverty
The American Girl in London Gender Journalism and Social Investigation in the Late Victorian Metropolis
Journalism as Autobiography Autobiography as Fiction
Gender and Journalism
The New Man in the Slums Religion Masculinity and the Mens Settlement House Movement
The Sources of Brotherhood in Late Victorian England
Modern Monasteries Philanthropic Brotherhoods and the Origins of the Settlement House Movement
Religion and Codes of Masculinity
Sexing the Male Settlement Movement
The Politics of Brotherly Love in the Slums
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