Dr Peter Jones

Early Career Lecturer in Urban History after 1800

+44 (0)20 7862 8816

Peter TA Jones is Lecturer in Urban History at the Centre for Metropolitan History and his research reflects upon the ways that histories of street commerce and popular culture can disrupt familiar narratives of urban progress in nineteenth-century London. Peter is planning a number of events at the Centre looking at informal street trade, the history of insecure dwelling and architectural failure. While at the IHR, Peter hopes to bring together literary scholars, urban historians and geographers around topics of shared concern relating to the plots that shape large European cities. Proposals or expressions of interest for collaborative endeavours would be welcomed.

Peter is working on a scholarly monograph entitled Crossing the Bridges which analyses tensions between popular mass leisure and Victorian improving institutions in south London. Recent publications include an award-winning article in The London Journal argued that the growth of working-class street markets possessed the capacity to disrupt axiomatic narratives of liberal reform and commercial progress. A chapter in Victorian Comedy and Laughter: Rethinking the Page and The Stage will assess the impact that vernacular music hall comedy had upon fin de siècle literary culture. With the generous support of a British Association for Victorian Studies Research Funding Award, Peter recently visited New York to work on George Augustus Sala’s unstudied commonplace book at the archive of the Morgan Library & Museum.

Peter has taught for several years in the English Department at Queen Mary University, where he completed a doctorate exploring literary representations of urban rootlessness, vagrancy and itinerancy on the streets of Victorian London. Peter is organizer for the Literary London Society’s conference which takes place annually at Senate House. The theme for 2017’s event is Fantastic London: Dream, Speculation and Nightmare.

Research and publications


‘Redressing Reform Narratives: Victorian London's Street Markets and the Informal Supply Lines of Urban Modernity’, The London Journal, 41 (2016) http://dx.doi.org/10.1179/1749632215Y.0000000013

‘A. Neil Lyons: Arthur's’, London Fictions, http://www.londonfictions.com/a-neil-lyons-arthurs.html

In Preparation

‘Laughing Out of Turn: Fin de Siècle Literary Realism and the Vernacular Humours of the Music Hall’ in L. Lee and J. Darcy eds., Victorian Comedy and Laughter: Rethinking the Page and the Stage (contracted to Palgrave)

‘The ‘Distressed Compiler’: Reading the Topoi of Victorian Special Correspondence Through George Augustus Sala’s ‘commonplace book’’