From 1890 to 1945, London’s Soho—bounded by Regent Street on the west, Coventry Street and Leicester Square on the south, Charing Cross Road on the east, and Oxford Street on the north—transformed itself into something more than an industrial hinterland to the West End, and became a hub of cosmopolitanism, where fashion, nightlife, and eateries held sway, uniting the bookish, the stylish, and the raffish in a cauldron of cultures and tastes. An influx of Europe’s diaspora in the latter nineteenth century brought a diversity of language and cuisine to an area no larger than 130 acres and whose population in the twentieth century never exceeded 24,000. In her NEH-funded book, Nights Out: Life in Cosmopolitan London (Yale University Press, 2012), Judith R. Walkowitz ponders the question of how tiny Soho became such a “potent incubator of metropolitan change.”
Corner Houses Were an Anchoring Presence in Cosmopolitan Soho.
HUMANITIES, May/June 2013, Volume 34, Number 3