Peaky Blinders, Stephen Knight’s epic spaghetti western set in Birmingham about a hoodlum family and their gang has become a phenomenon that has run to five series so far and is set to spawn a Hollywood feature film.
But the historical truth behind the series is just as shocking and offers a profound insight into the explosion of working-class violence that erupted in Victorian towns
and cities in the 1870s and gave rise to a subculture that we still see in today’s inner city gangs and in the football hooligan in their 1970s and 80s heyday.
This is the untold story of not just one gang but of the hundreds who were labelled by the Victorian press as Peaky Blinders. We explore the causes – social deprivation and disenfranchisement – and the rise of the phenomenon.