Dark Side of the Cut

Crime Secrets of Britain’s Historic Canals

Exploring the sinister history of Britain’s canals …

Canals were the lifeblood of the Industrial Revolution, but prosperity had its price: crime. From the earliest days, canals had a shady reputation, and in Victorian Britain disturbing facts emerged to reveal the hidden dark side of the water, where dangerous figures lurked in the shadows.

When a brutal murder in 1839 created a national outcry, it seemed to confirm all the worst fears about boatmen – a tough breed of men working to survive in harsh conditions, who lived by their own rules, and were swiftly branded as outlaws by the press.

Drawing on a rich collection of original sources, Dark Side of the Cut is a new study by historian and journalist Dr Susan Law, which brings to life dramatic stories of alcohol abuse, theft and violence. These evocative snapshots of rough justice, uncover the secret world of the waterways set  part on the edge of society, and reveal the real human cost of the Industrial Revolution.

Available from all good bookshops, online retailers, and The History Press.


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