Dickens and the Workhouse: Oliver Twist and the London Poor

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9780199645886: Dickens and the Workhouse: Oliver Twist and the London Poor

It's one of the best known scenes in all of literature--young Oliver Twist, with empty bowl in hand, asking "Please Sir. I want some more." In Dickens and the Workhouse, historian Ruth Richardson recounts how she discovered the building that was quite possibly the model for the workhouse in Dickens' classic novel. Indeed, Richardson reveals that Dickens himself lived only a few doors down from this notorious building--once as a child and once again as a young journalist. This book offers a colorful portrait of London in Dickens' time, looking at life in the streets and in the workhouse itself. Illustrated with maps, documents, photos, and illustrations, this fascinating book provides an engaging blend of history, biography and literary criticism, rooted in hitherto largely unexplored historical sources, in Dickens' own fiction and journalism, and in works of biography and criticism. Richardson's discovery made headlines worldwide. Published on the 200th anniversary of Dickens' birth, Dickens and the Workhouse offers an intriguing glimpse of one of the great literary figures of the Victorian Age.

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About the Author:


Ruth Richardson is Fellow of the Royal Historical Society and the author of a number of books. The Wall Street Journal described her last book, The Making of Mr. Gray's Anatomy as "one of those rarities, history that reads like a novel." That book won the 2009 Medical Journalists' Open Book Award.

Review:


"Offers a detailed study of the Dickenses' family home and its surrounding neighborhood, as well as an evocative and damning portrait of Britain's de-facto 'prison system to punish poverty.'" --The New Yorker


"Gives an intimately evoked view of Dickens's childhood and the New Poor Law of 1834 by which workhouses became 'a sort of prison system to punish (the poor).'" --Joyce Carol Oates, New York Review of Books


"By sprinkling a fairy dust of creativity and imagination over mundane primary sources like maps, rate books, directories and newspapers, [Richardson] has breathed new life into Dickens's early years...This is a delight of a book, fresh and stimulating." --Dickens Quarterly


"Ruth Richardson's fascinating new book takes Oliver Twist as its subject and tells the story of her recent discovery that Dickens grew up only a few doors from the major London workhouse that inspired both the novel and, likely, the novelist's passion for social justice. Showing a deep understanding of the history of cities, the history of city planning, architecture, sociology and even sight-lines, this book is a detailed account of the boy Dickens's neighborhood and its possible influences upon him." --America Magazine


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Book Description Oxford University Press, United Kingdom, 2012. Hardback. Book Condition: New. 220 x 142 mm. Language: English . Brand New Book. The recent discovery that as a young man Charles Dickens lived only a few doors from a major London workhouse made headlines worldwide, and the campaign to save the workhouse from demolition caught the public imagination. Internationally, the media immediately grasped the idea that Oliver Twist s workhouse had been found, and made public the news that both the workhouse and Dickens s old home were still standing, near London s Telecom Tower. This book, by the historian who did the sleuthing behind these exciting new findings, presents the story for the first time, and shows that the two periods Dickens lived in that part of London - before and after his father s imprisonment in a debtors prison - were profoundly important to his subsequent writing career. Bookseller Inventory # AOP9780199645886

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Book Description Oxford University Press, United Kingdom, 2012. Hardback. Book Condition: New. 220 x 142 mm. Language: English . Brand New Book. The recent discovery that as a young man Charles Dickens lived only a few doors from a major London workhouse made headlines worldwide, and the campaign to save the workhouse from demolition caught the public imagination. Internationally, the media immediately grasped the idea that Oliver Twist s workhouse had been found, and made public the news that both the workhouse and Dickens s old home were still standing, near London s Telecom Tower. This book, by the historian who did the sleuthing behind these exciting new findings, presents the story for the first time, and shows that the two periods Dickens lived in that part of London - before and after his father s imprisonment in a debtors prison - were profoundly important to his subsequent writing career. Bookseller Inventory # AOP9780199645886

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Book Description Oxford University Press. Hardback. Book Condition: new. BRAND NEW, Dickens and the Workhouse: Oliver Twist and the London Poor, Ruth Richardson, The recent discovery that as a young man Charles Dickens lived only a few doors from a major London workhouse made headlines worldwide, and the campaign to save the workhouse from demolition caught the public imagination. Internationally, the media immediately grasped the idea that Oliver Twist's workhouse had been found, and made public the news that both the workhouse and Dickens's old home were still standing, near London's Telecom Tower. This book, by the historian who did the sleuthing behind these exciting new findings, presents the story for the first time, and shows that the two periods Dickens lived in that part of London - before and after his father's imprisonment in a debtors' prison - were profoundly important to his subsequent writing career. Bookseller Inventory # B9780199645886

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