Wood engraving from 'London: a pilgrimage', by Gustave Dore, 1872. Signed in the block blc: Over London - by Rail. Depicting [East End] tenements, washing in back gardens, chimney pots, railway in distance.
Engraved by Gustav Doré (1832-1883), this is one of 180 prints from his work entitled London: A pilgrimage, first published in 1872. The print shows an overcrowded tenement block with washing in the back gardens and a railway in the distance. Doré was accused of focussing on the ‘commonest’ and ‘vulgar’ parts of the city. One theory at this time was that dirt, overcrowding and bad smells in the air caused disease. This appeared to offer a reason why poorer areas of towns and cities were more susceptible to disease.