The Street Children of Dickens's London
- Helen Amy
15th January 2012
Many poor and vulnerable people lived on the streets of Victorian cities. They were the victims of rapid industrialisation, a government policy of non-intervention regarding social issues and the harsh Poor Law Amendment of 1834. As the population of nineteenth century England was predominantly young, a large number of this group were children. The street children of Victorian London were a very visible, alarming and embarrassing presence in the capital of the world's richest and most advanced industrial nation. Against the backdrop of London's transformation into a grand imperial capital, and drawing on the writing of social investigative journalists, this book tells the story of the often grim and relentless lives of these children and their battle to survive in a brutal environment. It describes how they were helped by charities, philanthropists and church missions until the government was compelled to take action to rescue them and deal with the problem they posed.