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An illustration of a 'penny gaff' from 'London: a Pilgrimage' by Blanchard Jerrold and Gustave Doré, 1872. Jerrold is particularly critical of the sort of cheap entertainment enjoyed by London's poorer classes: 'the true penny gaff is the place where juvenile Poverty meets juvenile Crime. We elbowed our way into one, that was the foulest, dingiest place of public entertainment I can conceive: and I have seen, I think, the worst, in many places. The narrow passages were blocked by sharp-eyed young thieves...'. Jerrold continues: 'A platform, with bedaubed proscenium, was the stage; and the boxes were as dirty as the stalls of a common stable... The odour... is indescribable. The rows of brazen young faces are terrible to look upon.'
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