Engraving of Field Lane from 1847


An illustration from 1847 of Field Lane, London, an area stricken by dilapidated, overcrowded housing and extreme poverty in the 19th century.

Field Lane was famously used as the setting for Fagin’s den in Charles Dickens’s novel Oliver Twist (1838); in the 1840s, the novelist’s visit to the Field Lane Ragged School inspired him to write A Christmas Carol (1843).

Full title:
Engraving of Field Lane. Dated January 23rd, 1847. [from the author's presentation copy of The Life of Dickens, 1872-74]
23 January 1847, London
Print / Image
unknown [artist], John Forster [compiler]
Usage terms
Public Domain
Held by
British Library
Dex.316. - Vol II, part I

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Article by:
Judith Flanders
London, Poverty and the working classes

Judith Flanders examines the state of housing for the 19th-century urban poor, assessing the ‘improvements’ carried out in slum areas and the efforts of writers, including Charles Dickens and Henry Mayhew, to publicise such living conditions.

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