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Worst Victorian slums are talk of the town again—110 years on

PUBLISHED: 23:10 13 May 2009 | UPDATED: 14:21 05 October 2010

A BOOK about most the notorious Victorian slum quarter of East London has been shortlisted for a Royal Society award. The story of the Old Nichol behind Shoreditch Church in the 19th century is in the running for the Royal Society of Literature’s Ondaajte prize

By Julia Gregory

A BOOK about most the notorious Victorian slum quarter of East London has been shortlisted this week for a prestigious Royal Society award.

The story of the Old Nichol neighbourhood behind Shoreditch Church in the 19th century is in the running for the Royal Society of Literature’s Ondaajte prize.

Author Sarah Wise compiled a history of the streets of the Old Nichol, The Life and Death of a Victorian Slum, which has been selected to go before a panel of judges who announce the winner on Monday (May 18).

The Old Nichol was knocked down and replaced with the world’s first public housing project, now known as the Boundary Estate, opened by the Prince of Wales in 1900.

The notorious slums rife with vice, filth and death were also featured in Arthur Morrison’s novel A Child of the Jago’, a local slang term for the Old Nichol.


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