Sarah Wise
‘A haunting blend of scholarship and period empathy:’ Iain Sinclair, Daily Telegraph

‘The least smug and self-congratulatory book ever written on 19th-century slum life:’ Matthew Sweet, Sunday Times

Winner of the Crime Writers’ Association Gold Dagger for Non-Fiction

Shortlisted for the Samuel Johnson Prize for Non-Fiction

Hear my talk at the Museum of London here
  ‘This is a book about the nature of London itself:’ Peter Ackroyd, The Times

‘A brilliant social history:’ Robert Peston, Daily Telegraph

‘This engrossing work shines a light not only on a turbulent period of London’s history but on humanity itself. Only the best histories can claim as much:’ Clare Clark, The Guardian

Shortlisted for the Royal Society of Literature’s Ondaatje Prize

Hear my interview with BBC History Magazine here
  ‘Deeply researched and gripping...Much of it is also hilarious:’ AN Wilson, Mail on Sunday

‘She has the true social historian’s ability to make her period come alive:’ Dr Anthony Daniels, The Spectator

Shortlisted for the Wellcome Book Prize

Hear my interview on BBC Radio
’s All In The Mind here

and on Little Atoms radio here

You can find me on Twitter here @MissSarahWise

I’ll be exploring Victorian attitudes to mental health, asylums, psychiatrists and wrongful certification scandals in an illustrated talk at the Essex Book Festival, 2pm on Wednesday 29 March 2017.

From The ‘Nichol’ to The Boundary
: talk and panel discussion at the V&A Museum of Childhood, Bethnal Green, Thursday 25 May, 6pm, to tie in with the museum’s current art exhibition ‘Searching For Ghosts’, inspired by the Boundary Estate / Arnold Circus in Bethnal Green. £7, includes a glass of wine or beer

I'm talking on 6 July at Carlyle's House, Chelsea, London SW1 about the Old Nichol. Tickets not cheap at £15, but you do get a prosecco and a chance to snoop round Carlyle's gorgeous home. More here:


Recent Journalism

● I’ve posted essays about Joseph Conrad’s The Secret Agent and on Orwell's Nineteen Eight-Four on the London Fictions site

● My most recent post on the Psychology Today site is about whether the Victorian asylum allowed the wealthy to evade justice

Other Psychology Today posts consider the earliest days of Broadmoor Hospital/Asylum for the Criminally Insane;
Charlotte Bronte and Bertha Mason;
Victorian wives who had sane husbands certified as lunatics;
Wilkie Collins’s novel The Woman in White(1860);
the UK’s past and current mistreatment of the mentally ill;
how religious enthusiasm could lead to an accusation of lunacy;
and the Victorian diagnosis ‘monomania’.