No previous age was better equipped than the Victorian period, with its new system of shorthand and its cameras, to bring the present alive in the future. Here, through the eyes of its inhabitants, Donald Thomas portrays London's 19th-century underworld, which was sheltered by an underclass and united with it in a hatred of the police. In its enclaves near the fashionable West End thrived thieves and beggars, pornographers and pickpockets, which slavers and murderers, who preyed on rich and poor alike. In The Victorian Underworld, Donald Thomas pushes open the door of a strange, and strangely familiar, world. Donald Thomas is a distinguished biographer and novelist; his life of Robert Browning was a runner-up for the Whitbread Award.