F. S. Schwarzbach (essay date May 1982)
SOURCE: Schwarzbach, F. S. “‘Terra Incognita’—An Image of the City in English Literature, 1820-1855.” Prose Studies 5, no. 1 (May 1982): 62-84.
[In the following essay, Schwarzbach offers an overview of the depiction of London's poor in both nonfiction exposés and novelistic accounts.]
The first half of the nineteenth century saw the transformation of England from an agrarian to an industrial, and from a rural to an urban society. During these fifty years, London's numbers grew from just over a million to nearly three million; in the 1820s alone, half a dozen large English cities increased their population by fifty per cent. This rapid and unprecedented...
(The entire section is 11623 words.)