Gin Lane - William Hogarth (1751)

Set in a notorious slum district of London, Gin Lane depicts the squalor and despair of a community raised on gin. Desperation, death and decay pervade the scene. The only businesses that flourish are those which serve the gin industry and the pawnbroker where the avaricious Mr. Gripe greedily takes the vital possessions of the alcoholic residents of the street in return for a few pennies to feed their habit.

I always thought of gin being from the upper class, and a proud english drink, but looks like everyone hated it and it was the sign of a crumbling social system.

May 20, 2011