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Poverty levels in London, 1891

Poverty levels in London, 1891

C019/6705

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Credit

BRITISH LIBRARY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY BRITISH LIBRARY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

Booth's map of poverty levels in London, 1891, Charles Booth, a shipowner, sought to refute socialist allegations that a quarter of Londons population lived in poverty. He thought this exaggerated, but his researches, published in 17 volumes, revealed that the true figure was even higher at one third. Here his extensive survey is presented in cartographical form with the levels of poverty colour coded. This sometimes conceals as much as it reveals. The purple of the mixed areas obscured much poverty while domestic servants in the yellow areas would hardly have been wealthy. Although he has no qualms about labelling the very poorest areas vicious semi-criminal no comments are made about the ethics of the rich. Scale 1:10 560.

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