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Record 1320

Reading Experience:

Henry Mayhew holds meeting with a group of the lowest class of male juvenile thieves and vagabonds; during the meeting they tell him what they have read/ read regularly and Mayhew records this: "Respecting their education, according to the popular meaning of the term, 63 of the 150 were able to read and write, and they were principally thieves. Fifty of this number said they had read 'Jack Sheppard' and the lines of Dick Turpin, Claude du Val, and all the other popular thieves' novels, as well as the Newgate Calendar and Lives of Robbers and Pirates. Those who could not read themselves, said they'd had 'Jack Sheppard' read to them at the lodging houses. Numbers avowed that they had been induced to resort to an abandoned course of life from reading the lives of notorious thieves and novels about highway robbers."
Century: 1800-1849
Date: Between 1 Jan 1830 and 31 Dec 1849
Country: England
Time: n/a
Place: city: London
other location: low lodging house
Type of Experience (Reader):
silent aloud unknown
solitary in company unknown
single serial unknown
Type of Experience (Listener):
passive reactive unknown
single serial unknown

Reader/Listener/Reading Group:

Reading Group:group of London thieves
Age Child (0-17)
Gender Male
Date of Birth n/a
Socio-economic group: Labourer (non-agricultural)
Occupation: London thieves
Religion: n/a
Country of origin: n/a
Country of experience: England
Listeners present if any:
(e.g. family, servants, friends, workmates)
London thieves in the low lodging house
Additional comments: n/a


Text Being Read:

Author: William Harrison Ainsworth
Title: Jack Sheppard
Genre: Fiction, History
Form of Text: Print: Book, Serial / periodical, either as penny numbers or in volume
Publication details: n/a
Provenance: reading group
reading group


Source Information:

Record ID: 1320  
Source - Print  
  Author: Henry Mayhew
  Editor: n/a
  Title: London Labour and the London Poor
  Place of Publication: London
  Date of Publication: 1861
  Vol: 1
  Page: 416
  Additional comments: n/a

Citation: Henry Mayhew, London Labour and the London Poor (London, 1861), 1, p. 416,, accessed: 03 February 2023

Additional comments:



Reading Experience Database version 2.0.  Page updated: 27th Apr 2016  3:15pm (GMT)