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‘If the community have left horrible places and horrible lives before his eyes, then the fault is the community’s: and to picture these places and these lives becomes not merely his privilege, but his duty.’
The Jago was a corner of Shoreditch, notorious as the filthiest of London’s late nineteenth-century slums. In his second East End work, Arthur Morrison brings to life all the squalor of this area – among those whose only commandment was ‘thou shall not nark’ – through the life of little Dicky Perrot, who fought and stole and loved his family like the rest of them. With the help of the respected Father Sturt, Dicky tries to earn an honest living as a shop assistant, but the bubble of his new pride and responsibility is soon burst, through no fault of his, but because no one makes good in the Jago.
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