[Near the end of Castle Richmond when the lawyer Mr. Prendergast seeks proof that the villainous Mallot is a bigamist that will undo all the evil the man has done, he expects to find him living in the kind of rookeries and slums Dickens describes. Instead, he finds a very different kind of neighborhood. — George P. Landow]

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pinny Lane, I say, was not the sort of locality that he had expected. He knew the look of the half-protected, half-condemned Alsatias of the present-day rascals, and Spinny Lane did not at all bear their character. It was a street of small new tenements, built, as yet, only on one side of the way, with the pavement only one third finished, and the stones in the road as yet unbroken and untrodden. Of such streets there are thousands now round London. They are to be found in every suburb, creating wonder in all thoughtful minds as to who can be their tens of thousands of occupants. The houses are a little too good for artisans, too small and too silent to be the abode of various lodgers, and too mean for clerks who live on salaries. They are as dull-looking as Lethe itself, dull and silent, dingy and repulsive. But they are not discreditable in appearance, and never have that Mohawk look which by some unknown sympathy in bricks and mortar attaches itself to the residences of professional ruffians.

. . . . .

The room in which the two had been sitting was very poor; but nevertheless it was neat, and arranged with some attention to appearance. It was not carpeted, but there was a piece of drugget some three yards long spread before the fireplace. The wall had been papered from time to time with scraps of different coloured paper, as opportunity offered. The table on which the work of the two women was lying was very old and somewhat rickety, but it was of mahogany; and Mrs. Mary Swan herself was accommodated with a high-backed arm-chair, which gave some appearance of comfort to her position. It was now spring; but they had a small, very small fire in the small grate, on which a pot had been placed in hopes that it might be induced to boil. [Chapter 39, “Fox-Hunting in Spinny Lane,” Castle Richmond


Trollope, Anthony. Castle Richmond. London & New York: 1906. Project Gutenberg. E-text prepared by Charles Aldarondo, Charles Franks, and revised by Rita Bailey and Joseph E. Loewenstein, M.D.. 5 August 2013.

Victorian Dress

Last modified 11 August 2013