The life of a long-ago city

Cover image of Street Life in LondonAt the LSE Digital Library you can see the entire contents of Street Life in London, published in 1877 with photographs by John Thomson and essays by Adolph Smith. The photographs are very beautiful--it's moving to see these glimpses of the ordinary people who made London work.  They are filtered through the photographer's sensibility, to be sure, but seem so much more direct than the amusing or decorative or political or moral figures they too often become in the 19th-century novels (which I love, but still...).

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