Harley Street

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In Romance of A Shop, Harley Street is only mentioned once, in passing. “‘There is a light in Frank Jermyn’s window- the top one,’ she cried; “I suppose he is dressing. He told me he had an early dance in Harley Street. I wish I were going to a dance.” Phyllis observes this as she is looking out the window. Before I go into the details of Harley Street, I’ll examine the quotation, by giving the context that it was mentioned it. In the beginning of the chapter, Frank Jermyn had stopped by, and left abruptly after Lucy asked if she could invite Fred Devonshire, who later proposes to her. At this stage of the book Frank could have seen Fred as a romantic opponent, as he leaves somewhat upset after hearing that Lucy wants Fred to accompany them. The other Lorimer sisters probably have some suspicion of Frank’s feelings for Lucy, and so when Phyllis mentions that Frank is going to a dance, I think it was her way of trying to see if Lucy had feelings for Frank in return. After she says the above quotation, she is described as giving Lucy a mischievous look. That mischievous look made me wonder if Frank is actually going to a dance there, and if Phyllis is instead trying to provoke Lucy. Nonetheless, Frank could actually be going to a dance on Harley Street, as it was a very wealthy area.

The sisters also briefly discuss how he will get to Harley Street. It seems as if it’s a very long walk, and they mention that he loves to take the omnibus. This brings up one of the themes of the Victorian era, transportation. Here, Frank Jermyn is also embodying this theme for the Lorimer sisters. Transportation serves the purpose of moving a person from an origin point to a destination. Frank takes the sisters from the point of being unknown, to being very successful. Another theme that comes up with Harley street is the theme of social classes. Although Frank Jermyn and the Lorimers are not very wealthy, they are not poor. Being part of the working class, each one has also given up their true dreams to do what will aid them in their survival. Harley Street, as previously mentioned, was a very wealthy area. Frank is not just going to Harley Street, but he is also moving from their mixed and middle class area to a much wealthier area. This may represent the ambitions of Londoners of the time, to work themselves out of their homes and into wealthier areas. Harley Street, besides being a wealthy area, was also the home to Queen’s College School. Founded by Frederik Denison Maurice and his colleagues in 1848, it was an all girls school. Presently and historically, Harley Street is the location of many medical offices, making it a professional area.


“Booth Poverty Map & Modern Map (Charles Booth Online Archive).” Booth Poverty Map & Modern Map (Charles Booth Online Archive). N.p., n.d. Web.

Levy, Amy. The Romance of a Shop. Peterborough, Ont.: Broadview, 2006. Print.

“Queen’s College and the “Ladies’ College”” Victorian Web. Ed. Jacqueline Banerjee. N.p., 14 June 2007. Web.

Upper Baker Street

20 B Upper Baker Street is the home of the Lorimer sisters and the location of the Photography studio. In one of the first mentions of Upper Baker Street, we see the theme of transportation, as they a carriage to get there. Later on, their shop on Upper Baker Street attracts some attention. “People who had theories about woman’s work; people whose friends had theories; people who were curious and fond of novelty; individuals from each of these sections began to find their way to Upper Baker Street”. Here, it seems as if Upper Baker Street was not a very high traffic area unless one either lived there or had a shop there. With this quote, it seems that Upper Baker Street has become a symbol of the Lorimer sisters’ status as “New Women”.

When I searched Upper Baker Street on the Old Bailey, there were only 34 records of crimes committed there, a startlingly low number. Majority of the crimes fell under the Theft category, and within that category most of the crimes were mail theft and burglary. There were also many fraud and coining offenses crimes, and one murder. This shows that it was a relatively safe area, but the people were still poor enough to risk being caught with forged money.

When the sisters go to inspect their new home, the surrounding area is described as being “that pleasant, if unfashionable, region”. Upper Baker Street is right by Regent’s Park, and the people who live in the area are from a variety of social classes. Right along Upper Baker Street are mostly middle class families, but the street right over has poor families.

upper baker street


The fact that there are mostly middle class families living on that street makes sense. When the Lorimers are looking at the area, they mention that there are other businesses nearby. I assume that those families are working families who have successful businesses, and that the other families who are mixed are the true working families. The mix of social classes in this area represents the changes the Lorimers would go through. After the death of their father and at the very beginning of their business, they were considered poor. However, by the end of the book their social statuses had changed considerably. Lucy remains in the Middle Class, maybe even into the fairly comfortable range. Gertrude marries Lord Watergate, and a man with such a title no doubt belongs to at least the upper middle class, if not the upper class. Fanny most likely also belongs in the middle class. Although there isn’t a lot of variety in the classes of the sisters, their families each have different earnings, such as the families on Upper Baker Street.

Works Cited

“Booth Poverty Map & Modern Map (Charles Booth Online Archive).” Booth Poverty Map & Modern Map (Charles Booth Online Archive). N.p., n.d. Web. 16 Dec. 2015

Levy, Amy. The Romance of a Shop. Peterborough, Ont.: Broadview, 2006. Print.

“The Proceedings of the Old Bailey.” Results. The Proceedings of Old Baily. Web. 16 Dec. 2015.



Bond Street

When I first starting searching Bond Street, I noticed that it was split between New Bond Street and Old Bond Street. Old Bond Street is closer to the Royal Academy of Arts, while New Bond Street is closer to Dorian Grey’s home in Grosvenor Square.

New Bond Street

According to the Charles Booth Archive, both streets were predominantly middle class, with the surrounding areas being occupied by upper class families. When searching the Old Bailey, I found that majority of the crimes had been theft,  which ranged from pick pocketing to burglary.  Only five murders occurred on New Bond Street, suggesting that it was a fairly peaceful area. However, when I simply typed in the phrase “New Bond Street”, I got 271 hits. Out of those 271 hits, 182 of them belonged to the Theft category.

Bond Street is mentioned at the end of Chapter 15. Before Bond Street is mentioned, Dorian is showed to be on edge. After killing Basil, he becomes nervous when Lord Henry casually asks him what he had been doing the previous night. Dorian then goes home to escape any more questioning that may cause him to reveal anything suspicious, and then proceeds to burn Basil’s belongings in a fire. After almost taking some opium, he then leaves his home and hails a hansom on Bond Street. He gives the driver an address that is so far the driver initially refuses to take him there, and after money is offered, we are left with Dorian heading to this unknown location.

Bond Street’s proximity to the Royal Academy of Art suggests the theme of art in the novel. Dorian in Chapter 11 was seen to be the go-to person to consult on the subject of art and culture. In this scene, he is leaving not just Bond Street, but the area, as he is heading towards the river. Areas along the river often had a high level of criminal activity. Since Dorian is leaving Bond Street and heading towards the river, it’s being suggested that Dorian is beginning the process of shedding the idea of him being a person who belongs to the society that cares about art and culture. The inclusion of Bond Street also shows how out of place Dorian is becoming. Since on Bond Street there were very little murders, showing Dorian (who had just recently murdered Basil) on Bond Street may foreshadow his secret being revealed.

Works Cited

“Booth Poverty Map. Charles Booth Online Archive. New Bond Street Web. 30 November 2015.

“The Picture of Dorian Gray (1891)/Chapter 15.” – Wikisource, the Free Online Library. Web. 29 Nov. 2015.

“The Proceedings of the Old Bailey.” Results. N.p., n.d. Web. 30 Nov. 2015.

London Road

London Road

My post focuses on London Road, which was mentioned in The Man with the Twisted Lip. London Road was south of the River Thames, and is really only distinguished on a map for being close to the Norbury Hill Park. Although London Road does not show up on the Charles Booth Online Archive, the area that was close to it was a middle class area, with some pink, indicating that some families were comfortable.

Majority of the crimes, according to the Old Bailey, were thefts, including violent thefts. There were a small amount of murders; the Old Bailey had 29 records of Killings. I felt that this indicated a sense of relative peace in the area. Although there were thefts, people obviously did not really have to worry about their lives being put in immediate danger.

London Road was not a little avenue, and stretched for quite a bit. Therefore it can be said that London Road served as a major transportation road. It’s only mentioned once in The Man With the Twisted Lip. “We both sprang in, and away we dashed down the London Road. A few country carts were stirring, bearing in vegetables to the metropolis, but the lines of villas on either side were as silent and lifeless as some city in a dream”. As seen by the above map, London Road was actually far from the heart of London. With the quote, London Road seems to be a clash of city and country, with produce being brought into the city, and invoking the feel of the city. The country carts keep the country feel alive, and the silence create the perfect balance. This goes back to the theme of duality in The Man With the Twisted Lip. Neville had his dual identity, and so does London Road.

Chancery Lane

Chancery Lane

Using the Booth Poverty Map, I figured out that Chancery Lane was a Middle Class area. This probably has to do with the buildings that were in the area. On the Lane there were several banks, a Law Institute, and  Records Office. However, not too far away there was a poor area, which the website described as people who lived off of 18-21 shillings a week. Using the Old Bailey, I discovered that many highway robberies occurred on Chancery Lane, most likely due to the fact that it was a “well-to-do” area that was close a slightly poorer area. When searching through the categories, I also noticed that there were more Violent Thefts than regular Thefts. Again, this has to do with the class difference in the area that made the middle class a big target. I also found on the page for the Maughan Library that Chancery Lane was the heart of legal London, which explains the buildings that were on it as well as the population that lived there. People who worked in the legal system could afford to be closer to their jobs as we learned in a previous class. With it being the heart of legal London, that also explains the environment. This ties into how Chancery Lane was mentioned in “A Lost Masterpiece”.

In the story “A Lost Masterpiece”, Chancery Lane is only mentioned once.

“A woman, a little woman, was hurrying along in a most remarkable way. It annoyed me, for I could not help wondering why she was in such a desperate hurry.”

This gave me the image of a very busy woman hurrying along, perhaps on her way to a court or office. This definitely is in place with the the middle class population of the area. They don’t have time to wander around, because they aren’t comfortable like the upper class nor are they struggling like the lower class.

Works Cited

Banerjee, Jacqueline. “The Maughan Library, King’s College London (formerly the Public Record Office) by Sir James Pennethorne.” The Maughan Library, King’s College London (formerly the Public Record Office) by Sir James Pennethorne. The Victorian Web, 15 June 2015. Web. 08 Sept. 2015.

Booth, Charles. “Booth Poverty Map & Modern Map (Charles Booth Online Archive).” Booth Poverty Map & Modern Map (Charles Booth Online Archive). London School of Economics & Political Science, n.d. Web. 08 Sept. 2015.

Egerton, George [Mary Chavelita Dunne Bright]. “A Lost Masterpiece.” The Yellow Book 1 (Apr. 1894): 189-96.The Yellow Nineties Online. Ed. Dennis Denisoff and Lorraine Janzen Kooistra. Ryerson University, 2010. Web. 08 September 2015. http://www.1890s.ca/HTML.aspx?s=YBV1_egerton_masterpiece.html

“Roger Johnson, Violent Theft Highway Robbery, 4th December 1730.” The Proceedings of the Old Bailey. N.p., n.d. Web. 08 Sept. 2015.

Slang in Victorian London

The most interesting part of the lecture was the idea that Rev. A. Munsell proposed. “There are many young men who seem to consider it essential to manliness that they should be masters of slang.” In connection to modern times, the definition of manliness probably doesn’t necessarily include being a “master of slang”. This is because almost everyone uses slang in everyday language, especially young people. At some point in their lives, everybody has used slang. Since the article phrased the above quote in the way it did, it sounded sarcastic, making it clear that the Victorians did not approve of those who used slang. Rev. A. Munsell then even goes on to call the men who use slang, “ape of a fast young man”.

The lecture then goes on to give several examples of slang words, such as bolt, slope, and mizzle, which means to go away. None of the examples of slang words are explicitly vulgar, but the Rev. A. Munsell says that the usage of slang is “threatening the entire extinction of genuine English”. Although I felt like the entire lecture wasn’t supposed to be taken seriously, this is the same attitude people have towards slang today. If it wasn’t the attitude of Victorians then, Rev. A. Munsell succeeded in predicting the future.

One slang word that is used harmlessly but was “objectionable”, was the usage of governor by young men to refer to their fathers. It could have been seen as connection the authoritarian figure of their fathers and of governor, however the lecture says that governor is a cold and heartless word, and should not be used to refer to ones father.

Victorian London – Words and Expressions – slang from 1850s & 1870s





Intro Post

My name is Jasmine Torres and I’m a Junior. I’m a Linguistics major with minors in English and Spanish. The only previous experience I’ve had with Victorian London is reading Sherlock. I did know that there was a huge smog problem and that the buildings looked black, but not that it was caused from all the soot as Professor Swafford explained.

I thought it was interesting that Railways allowed people to move out into the suburbs. Especially since lower middle class professionals where between pinching pennies to afford a place in Central London or living in the crime filled cheaper areas. Another thing I learned was the specifics of the expansion of London. Looking at a map of London now, I never would have thought about the fact that London didn’t always have all that land. The quote that the article mentions from the reporter showed me that there is always someone who has an issue with progress. “‘the London of our youth… is becoming obliterated by another city which seems rising up through it.'”. Although the quote sounds like the reporter has a sense of lost nostalgia, it still sounds like the naysayers of today, mourning of the lost simplicity of their childhood because of the advancements in technology. I also learned from the article that in order for London to progress, they almost had to go through the poverty and dirty city they had. As the article says, London got clean water after health scares and a cholera outbreak.


Robinson, Bruce. “London: ‘A Modern Babylon’” BBC News. BBC, 11 Feb. 2011. Web. 26 Aug. 2015.