An amazing resource

The Old Bailey Online has not only “The Proceedings of the Old Bailey, 1674–1913,” but also extensive background materials.

A fully searchable edition of the largest body of texts detailing the lives of non-elite people ever published, containing 197,745 criminal trials held at London’s central criminal court.

There are essays on “Community histories”:

  • Black Communities
  • Gypsies and Travellers
  • Homosexuality
  • Irish London
  • Jewish Communities
  • Huguenot and French London
  • Chinese Communities

“London and its hinterlands”:

  • 1674–1715
  • 1715–1760
  • 1760–1815
  • 1800–1913
  • A Population History
  • Material London
  • London’s Rural Hinterlands
  • Currency, Coinage, Cost of Living
  • Transport

As well as “Gender in the proceedings,” “Crime, Justice, and Punishment,” and “The Old Bailey Courthouse.”

(via The Cat’s Meat Shop.)

Phineas Finn

And, in a break from political videos, I should report that I finished Anthony Trollope’s Phineas Finn, which introduces yet another misguided, modestly dissipated youth who doesn’t know his own mind, in this case the title character. There are also three rather wonderful female characters: Lady Laura Kennedy, for whom the plot is a tragedy; Miss Violet Effingham, for whom the book eventually turns out to be a romance; and Madame Max Goesler, for whom the book may or may not be a comedy. I hope very much to see each of these characters (even young Mr Finn) in a future book.

Can You Forgive Her?

I continue my Anthony Trollope kick, this time starting the Palliser series of novels. Can You Forgive Her? is a rhetorical question that quite obviously is intended to be answered, “of course.” But I found Alice Vavasor to be tediously headstrong as well as foolish. I suppose it is to be expected when one is reading a soap opera.