Artful dodgers: poverty, performance, and physical disability in Victorian London

Goodman, H (2015) Artful dodgers: poverty, performance, and physical disability in Victorian London. In: Victorian Popular Fiction Association (VPFA) Annual Conference: Victorian Authenticity and Artifice, 13 - 15 July 2015, Institute for English Studies, University of London, UK.

Abstract

E. P Thompson's analysis of the years leading to the Chartist riots notes the rise of 'dodgers' who feigned disability or misfortune to beg money from sympathetic Londoners. By the 1840s many of the tricks of imposters were known, and potential donors became increasingly cynical. As Thompson observes, 'unless he had the knowledge of humanity of Dickens or Mayhew, the middle-class man saw in every open palm the evidence of idleness and deceit, [...] the half-naked man in the snowstorm might be working the "shivering dodge", [...] the child sobbing in the gutter over a package of split tea and a tale of lost change might be schooled in the dodge by her mother[...]

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Keywords: E. P. Thompson, Charles Dickens, Henry Mayhew, Oliver Twist, Our Mutual Friend, disability studies, New Poor Law
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HC Economic History and Conditions
H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
H Social Sciences > HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform
H Social Sciences > HT Communities. Classes. Races
H Social Sciences > HV Social pathology. Social and public welfare
P Language and Literature > PR English literature
Divisions: College of Liberal Arts
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Date Deposited: 26 Nov 2018 15:08
Last Modified: 26 Nov 2018 15:08
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