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East End Underworld: the Life of Arthur Harding

This event will explore the life of notorious East End criminal Arthur Harding.

Arthur Harding was born in 1886 in the notoriously poor area of London called 'The Nichol'. East End Underworld, published by Raphael Samuel in 1981 details Arthur’s life story, drawn from numerous oral history interviews with Arthur, conducted during the 1970s. The book follows Arthur's life from his upbringing in The Nichol, through his involvement in the East End underworld of gangsters and criminals, to his eventual rehabilitation and marriage. It provides an illuminating insight into many of the major social issues of the time, including depravity, crime, homelessness and gang violence, all of which still hold a particular resonance today.

This event will explore the significance of Arthur Harding’s life, not only in relation to East End history and historiography but also the story behind and issues raised by Raphael Samuel’s research. Documents and oral history recordings from the Raphael Samuel archive will be on display on the evening.

Speakers will be Stan Newens (ex-Labour MP), Peter Claus (Raphael Samuel History Centre) and Sarah Wise (author).


Stan Newens | talks
Peter Claus | talks
Dr Sarah Wise | talks


Date and Time:

19 February 2008 at 7:00 pm


1 hour 30 minutes



Bishopsgate Institute
230 Bishopsgate
020 7392 9200

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£7, concessions £5; advance booking required

Available from:

Call 020 7392 9220 between 9.30am and 5.30pm, Monday to Friday.

Additional Information:

Bishopsgate Institute is two minutes walk from Liverpool Street station.

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