The Cultural Construction of London’s East End

Urban Iconography, Modernity and the Spatialisation of Englishness


Author: Paul Newland
Paul Newland’s illuminating study explores the ways in which London’s East End has been constituted in a wide variety of texts – films, novels, poetry, television shows, newspapers and journals. Newland argues that an idea or image of the East End, which developed during the late nineteenth century, continues to function in the twenty-first century as an imaginative space in which continuing anxieties continue to be worked through concerning material progress and modernity, rationality and irrationality, ethnicity and 'Otherness', class and its related systems of behaviour. The Cultural Construction of London’s East End offers detailed examinations of the ways in which the East End has been constructed in a range of texts including BBC Television’s EastEnders, Monica Ali’s Brick Lane, Walter Besant’s All Sorts and Conditions of Men, Thomas Burke’s Limehouse Nights, Peter Ackroyd’s Hawksmoor, films such as Piccadilly, Sparrows Can’t Sing, The Long Good Friday, From Hell, The Elephant Man, and Spider, and in the work of Iain Sinclair.

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Paul Newland was born in east London and grew up in west Essex. He is Lecturer in Film Studies at Aberystwyth University.
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