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Distributed for Bodleian Library, University of Oxford

Hawkers, Beggars and Quacks

Portraits from "The Cries of London"

Seventy-four striking portraits of men and women on the margins of London society in the seventeenth century—including street vendors and petty criminals.
 
“Buy my Dish of great Eeles, Any Old Iron take money for, Twelve Pence a Peck Oysters, Buy my fat Chickens, Fair Lemons & Oranges.”

At the end of the seventeenth century, the artist Marcellus Laroon became well known for a series of drawings that illustrated London’s marginal men and women: street vendors, hustlers, and petty criminals. This set of drawings came to be known as The Cries of London after the shouts and cries vendors used to hawk their wares.
 
Hawkers, Beggars and Quacks presents seventy-four of Laroon’s striking portraits. Following an illustrated introduction that contextualizes The Cries of London, each portrait is beautifully reproduced with a commentary on the individual street-seller and their trade. These commentaries provide a wealth of detail about each seller’s dress, the equipment they used to ply their trade, their own diets, and the diets of those they served.

Drawing on historic material found in the British Library’s Burney Collection of English newspapers, Hawkers, Beggars and Quacks provides a fascinating insight into the men and women who made their livelihood—legally and illegally—on the streets of England’s capital.

240 pages | 100 line drawings | 7 1/2 x 9 3/4


Table of Contents

Table of Contents

Preface
Introduction
The Cries
Further Reading
Notes
Acknowledgements
Picture Credits
Index

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