chapter  2
SUSTENANCE
Pages 9

The Edwardian well-to-do could literally look down on their social inferiors. They not only had the better of life, but they had more of it. They ate more, grew more and lived longer. Expectation of life in middle-class Hampstead was fifty years at birth, but in working-class Southwark only thirty-six years. In Edinburgh, Manchester and many other cities the general death rates for the most prosperous wards were half those of the poorest. You were four times more likely to develop tuberculosis in central Birmingham than in well-todo suburban Edgbaston. The inequality, moreover, began at birth. In a healthy middle-class suburb, ninety-six of every hundred infants born would survive their first year of life. In a bad slum district, one in every three would be dead.