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East end ephemera

London's east end has thrown up many great storytellers. But is the tradition now dead?

By Matthew Reisz   August 2005

Salaam Brick Lane by Tarquin Hall  (John Murray, £16.99)

East End Chronicles by Ed Glinert  (Allen Lane, £20)

An Acre of Barren Ground by Jeremy Gavron (Scribner, £14.99)

In 1888, the year of the Ripper murders, my maternal grandfather AE Coppard was sent to work in the east end. “A pale boy of pinched appearance,” according to his autobiographical story “The Presser” (published in a collection of 1928), he was soon to be seen “slouching early every morning along the Mile End Road towards the streets of Whitechapel.” He was only ten years old.

After lighting the fire, his…

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