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Cheap Street

London’s street markets and the cultures of informality, c.1850–1939

By Victoria Kelley

Cheap Street
Hardcover

ALSO AVAILABLE IN OTHER FORMATS:

  • eBook

Book Information

  • Format: Hardcover
  • ISBN: 978-0-7190-9922-9
  • Pages: 224
  • Publisher: Manchester University Press
  • Price: £80.00
  • Published Date: August 2019
  • BIC Category: HISTORY / Europe / Great Britain / Victorian Era (1837-1901), HISTORY / Europe / Great Britain / 20th Century, BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Economic History, London, Greater London, Humanities / Social & cultural history, Humanities / British & Irish history, Economics, finance, business & management / Economic history, History, History

Description

Cheap street is a lively and scholarly account of London's street markets, which were an overlooked site of urban modernity and the most vigorous outgrowth of the informal economy that flourished below and beyond the recognised institutions of the consumer city. Kelley brings together design and material culture history, urban studies and social and cultural history to analyse the street markets' distinct characteristics. These included the flaring naked flames of their naphtha lights, their impermanent yet persistent unofficial occupation of space, and the noisy performative selling that took place there. The result is a new interpretation of London's urban geographies, moving beyond the accepted view of the West End as the consumer city and the East as the city of poverty, and demonstrating that the informality of the street markets was a powerful force in shaping representations of London and its people.

Reviews

'Throughout, Kelley evokes the vibrancy and spectacle of the street markets. The chapter on 'Streets' is a highlight, due no doubt to her expertise in the history of design and material culture. [...] These stories do not just stick in the mind. London's irregular markets were full of delight and stimulation, but at the same time complicated categories and norms of metropolitan society. Kelley lets London's street markets dazzle us, before making us think again.'
Cultural and Social History

Contents

Introduction
1. What is a street market?
2. Things
3. Streets
4. People
5. Street markets, informality and the performance of London
Conclusion
Select bibliography
Index

Author

Victoria Kelley is Director of Research and Education, and Professor of the History of Design and Material Culture, at the University for the Creative Arts

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