[Vwoolf] Everything is connected?

Stuart N. Clarke stuart.n.clarke at btinternet.com
Thu Jul 12 07:57:36 EDT 2012

Last night there was the last of an excellent series, “looking at how London has changed since Charles Booth's survey recording social conditions in 1886, returning to six archetypal London streets”, on BBC2 – this one on Arnold Circus.

I had never heard of Arnold Circus, but when I heard that it replaced “Old Nichol” I was shocked, yes shocked,  that there was no mention of Arthur Morrison’s “A Child of the Jago”.  When the Prince of Wales “opened” Arnold Circus in 1900, he referred to the book (http://foac.org.uk/history) and to the Rev. Osborne Jay who had invited Morrison to visit the appalling slums that were there before and which inspired the book.

Now I discover from the ODNB (1) that Jay’s father “was presented to the rectory of Elvedon, Suffolk, by the maharaja Duleep Singh” (cue “The Waves”); and (2) re “Ernest Aves's report on district IX [presumably inc. Old Nichol], Booth Collection)”: “In the interview upon which Aves's report was based, George Duckworth described Jay as ‘a voluble and discursive talker’ and described how he had roused considerable opposition in the neighbouring parishes. | Jay never married and, when interviewed by Duckworth, admitted that he did not get on well with women.”

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