Begging places: Poverty, race, and visibility on Ludgate Hill, c.1815

Book chapter


Hitchcock, Dave 2024. Begging places: Poverty, race, and visibility on Ludgate Hill, c.1815. in: Grant, Charlotte and Robinson, Alistair (ed.) Cultures of London: Legacies of Migration London Bloomsbury Academic. pp. 49-56
AuthorsHitchcock, Dave
EditorsGrant, Charlotte and Robinson, Alistair
Abstract

When someone begs, they are asking for more than casual charity. They are asking to be seen even just briefly, even just sidelong. Begging asks not for a lingering and considered gaze, but rather for mere acknowledgement: they are here, human, suffering, and real. To work at all, begging must be visible, not just in the everyday sense of sight but also socially, so that others may see the person begging be relieved, or spurned, and in turn feel drawn themselves. This short chapter charts the experiences of Charles McGee, an elderly Black man who swept 'Waithman's Crossing' at Ludgate in Regency London. Well-known enough to have his likeness drawn, McGee's biography shows how the echoes of mendicity, race, and visibility can pass through intervening centuries.

KeywordsLondon; History; Poverty; Race; Begging; Charles McGee; Representation
Page range49-56
Year2024
Book titleCultures of London: Legacies of Migration
PublisherBloomsbury Academic
Output statusPublished
File
License
File Access Level
Restricted
Place of publicationLondon
ISBN9781350242012
Publication dates
PrintJan 2024
Publication process dates
Accepted30 Nov 2023
Deposited10 Jan 2024
Related URLhttps://www.bloomsbury.com/uk/cultures-of-london-9781350242012/
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