Police would not patrol there, even in daylight; no stranger would chance their arm there; it was a nest of street-robbers, prostitutes and loafers. The Old Nichol district in Shoreditch has had a terrible press over the past 150 years or so. But did it deserve it? Historian Sarah Wise has pieced together a much more complex picture of life in the slum. And in the process, the Nichol legend dies a death. During her research, she uncovered many clues about the everyday lives of these, the most mysterious of our ancestors — those who never got the chance to tell their own stories, in their own words.