Henry Mayhew

Henry Mayhew

Born: 25/11/1812 Died: 25/07/1887 Gender: Male Genre: Investigative Journalism Occupation: Social researcher, journalist, playwright

A sometime editor of the satirical magazine Punch, Henry Mayhew was born into a conservative family, but his traditional ideals were called into question in 1849 when he began reporting on the devastating effects on the poor of a cholera outbreak in Bermondsey, south London. Taking the form of verbatim interviews that carefully preserve the grammar and pronunciation of every interviewee, Mayhew’s London Labour and the London Poor was a ground-breaking work of investigative journalism. In its comprehensiveness and documentary honesty, the work was adopted as a key text by social reformers of all kinds.

Image source: Henry Mayhew after a daguerreotype by Beard © National Portrait Gallery, London

Featured works

Henry Mayhew’s London Labour and the London Poor

Title: London Labour and the London Poor Published: 1851 Format: Prose Period: Victorian Genre: Investigative Journalism Learn more
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