The Vagabond v the Mendicity Society: Fear and Loathing on the Streets of London

Virtual branch

Event Type: HA

Takes Place: 17th September 2024

Time: 7.30pm

Venue: Online

Description: We are pleased to welcome Dr Oskar Jensen to the HA Virtual Branch this September. In this talk Jensen will discuss how Red Lion Square had long been one of London's most genteel addresses, home to nobles, scholars, and professionals. But on 25 March 1818, one house on the south side opened its doors to quite another class of person, as the Mendicity Society began its business. Set up to solve the growing problem of London’s beggars, the organisation spent sixty years locked in controversial battle with the city’s ‘vagrants and impostors’, who in times of crisis completely flooded the square – and with those who gave them money. In this talk, I encounter this society through the eyes and bodies of those it sought to suppress: the individuals struggling to survive on the London street. The result is a story of both heroism and persecution, but also something more: a rich portrait of a vibrant global city and its denizens. Oskar Jensen is a novelist, historian and BBC New Generation Thinker. He studied at Oxford, with postdoctoral fellowships at London and Norwich. He is currently NUAcT Fellow at Newcastle University and makes regular appearances on BBC Radio 3 and 4.

How to book: Book via Zoom link below

Price: Free and open to all. A recording of the talk will be made available to HA members.


Organiser: HA

Lecturer: Dr Oskar Jensen

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