The Palgrave Encyclopedia of Urban Literary Studies

Living Edition
| Editors: Jeremy Tambling

Pierce Egan: Life in London (1821)

  • Louis James
Living reference work entry



“Life in London” signifies the experience of the contrasting varieties of class, occupation, cultures and living conditions integrated within the city.


Pierce Egan’s Life in London reflected the rapid urban development of London in the early decades of the nineteenth century. Published in monthly instalments, with colored plates by Isaac Robert and George Cruikshank, the serial described a country observer’s introduction to the varieties of city life. Widely read, and creating many derivative items in print, illustrations, and stage performance, it expressed a new awareness of the modern city not only in England, but in Europe and the colonial territories.

Little is known of Pierce Egan’s early life. He was born in London in 1774 or early 1775, the son of an Irish road mender. He educated himself as a printer’s apprentice, miscellaneous author, and minor publisher in Regency London....

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Copyright information

© The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of KentCanterburyUK