Elizabethan Underworld

by Gamini Salgado

Hardcover, 1999




Wrens Park (1999), 240 pages


The complex network of beggars and thieves, vagabonds and rogues that inhabited the colourful underworld society of London's taverns, brothels and gambling dens is what the author investigates. The book contains sixty contemporary illustrations from manuscripts and pamphlets, bringing to life this sector of Elizabethan society.

User reviews

LibraryThing member uncultured
Fun to read, lots of contemporary quotes, covers all the good stuff: jail, insane asylums, prostitution, gambling--the seven deadly sins are all well-taken care of. I was most interested in the section on con artists--apparently there were a lot of them--and the different cons they'd play on the poor country rubes new to London town. Some of the stuff on horoscopes was a little boring, but it's intermingled with a well-done section on witchcraft. Apparently there was a sort of secret admiration for "witches", who usually were much better at healing than the "educated" doctors. Probably didn't hurt that in many parts of England opium poppies grew like weeds. The Folio version has lots of good illustrations...Did you know that a great many of the houses of ill-repute were concentrated around an archbishopric? (Pun intended)… (more)



Page: 0.4145 seconds