London - LEISURED CITY 2: Social Divide

Season 3, Ep. 2

In this episode, we see how some parts of the West End (like Soho) came down in the world, while others (like St James’s) stayed up. 

We start outside the new, shiny Tottenham Court Road Station and end up just off St James’s Street, where an older world still holds sway. To get there, we’ll have to cross the barrier that is Regent Street, put in place in the early 19th century, to enforce a “complete separation” between the artisans and traders and immigrants of Soho, to the east, and the “nobility and gentry” of St James’s, to the west. But the two neighbourhoods had started up at more or less the same time, in the late 17th century, following the template established in Bloomsbury. Their contrasting fortunes in the centuries since reveal the way in which the streets and squares serve both to reproduce elite privilege, and to keep it at a distance from more diverse, interesting, and innovative – albeit less salubrious – ways of life.

You can follow the walk on this map: bit.ly/3hIpAvg

And you can find the full transcript here: bit.ly/3WNHNXb  


Follow historicity on Instagram: instagram.com/WALKHISTORICITY


PRODUCER: Jelena Sofronijevic

More Episodes