Liverpool was a city whose seemingly boundless opportunities bred wealth for the ambitious few and an often precarious lifestyle for its toiling masses. But how far can we penetrate that lost world of working class life in Liverpool? Is it possible to recreate that bustling, noisy, active city? Fortunately, Liverpool's working classes were being watched. Recording (often, it must be said, with horror) their lifestyles, were a mixture of social commentators. Chief amongst these was local journalist, Hugh Shimmin, and a fresh selection of his best writings is reprinted here. But the observations of others, such as the nationally famous George Sims and the locally renowned Dr Duncan, are to be found within this selection as well. The work of less well-known, but equally remarkable, writers and statisticians who recorded the habits, health, housing, wages and religious affiliations of Liverpool is also included in this collection of over forty key sources. The sources have been given an introduction to put them into a context which will enable their use for general interest and educational purposes by social, local and family historians.
About the Author: Alastair Wilcox has researched and lectured on various aspects of Liverpool's history. He is the joint author, with J. K. Walton, of Low Life and Moral Improvement, a collection of journalistic writings on Victorian Liverpool. He has studied at the universities of Liverpool, Leicester and Lancaster in the UK. In 2004 he was awarded a PhD from the University of Central Lancashire for research on religion in nineteenth century Liverpool. Currently he lectures in History at a leading North West Sixth Form college.