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‘Donald Thomas introduces us to the slums and fetid courtyards of nineteenth-century London and in doing so provides a sweeping portrait of the vast world that did not accept “Victorian Values”. The villainy is outstanding. It is also entertaining. The author has a practised eye for the best anecdotes and presents amazing characters, some of whom come equipped with names that sound positively Dickensian . . . a wonderful profile of Victorian London’ The Spectator