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All Sorts and Conditions of Men
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0192832581, Paperback)In All Sorts and Conditions of Men (1882) Besant vividly portrays the poverty and deprivation of London's East End in a story about transformations and crossings of class-boundaries.
Simultaneously a `condition of England' novel, New Woman fiction, romance, comedy, satire and crime story, All Sorts and Conditions of Men has strong roots in the politics of nineteenth-century reform. Determined to use her inherited wealth benevolently, Angela Messenger, a young idealistic Cambridge graduate, changes her name and takes lodgings in a Stepney boarding-house to observe and gain understanding of the East End. Young aristocrat Harry Le Breton also haunts the area, discovering his origins, and a new sense of kinship. Consistently setting itself against the cheerless evangelical strain in Victorian philanthropy, All Sorts and Conditions of Men offers a blueprint for the cultural regeneration of Britain's proletariat as Angela and Harry plan a `Palace of Delight' to provide `a little more of the pleasures and graces of life' for the East Enders they have come to know. Indeed, five years after the book's publication, Besant's `generous and glowing imagination' was praised as the inspiration for the real-life `The People's Palace' on the Mile End Road, and All Sorts and Conditions of Men became that rare thing, a work of fiction which made something happen.
(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:25:34 -0400)
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