Wallstein Verlag

Ole Münch

Cutler Street Market

Intercultural Exchange in London’s East End 1780-1850

382 pages, 14,0 x 22,2 cm
ISBN: 978-3-8353-5166-0


German Version

The London old-clothes market turns out to be a lively multicultural contact zone, in which networks and identities developed.

London in the first half of the 19th century: especially in the poorer neighborhoods in the east of the city, people from different countries and religions crowded in, such as Jews from Central and Eastern Europe, Catholics from Ireland, and established Anglicans. How should one imagine their form of coexistence?
To get to the bottom of this question, Ole Münch has written a micro-history. It is about the then world-famous Rag Fair - an old-clothes market whose trade routes stretched across continents. Here, migrants and locals came into contact, argued about Jewish and Irish stereotypes, entered into dynamics of clientelism, and forged political alliances. Ethnicity and religion played an important role in many of these processes. At the same time, however, the market offered good reasons to disregard ethnic boundaries and to socially form across them. Ole Münch ties his observations to debates in historiography, sociology, and ethnology. His study provides an insight into scarcely explored areas of economic, political and legal history of a dazzling metropolis, whose social life the author consistently examines »from below«.

Ole Münch, born 1982, research associate at the German Historical Institute, London. ›Wolfgang J. Mommsen-Preis‹ of the German Historical Institute London 2020, ›Preis der Stadt Konstanz zur Förderung des wissenschaftlichen Nachwuchses an der Universität Konstanz‹ 2020.
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