Jennifer Worth Shadows of the Workhouse

ISBN 13: 9781407228051

Shadows of the Workhouse

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9781407228051: Shadows of the Workhouse

In the 1950s, Jennifer Worth was a district midwife in East London. She worked with an order of nursing nuns, learning how to cope with midwifery in slum conditions. In the course of her training she met many interesting characters, whose stories are told in this book. When the workhouses of Britain officially closed in 1930, there was nowhere for inmates to go. So workhouses merely changed their names and carried on much the same as before. The conditions, rules and lifestyle that continued to be endured by the residents cast their shadows and shame over most of the last century. From the tragic history of dithering Jane, to the larger than life Sister Monica Joan, "the naughtiest old lady" the author had never met, this is a collection of fascinating lives.

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Product Description:

In 1930, after many damning Royal Commission reports, the workhouses of Britain finally closed, but there was nowhere for the inmates to go so things carried on much the same as before, the workhouses merely changed their names.

From the Back Cover:

The sequel to Jennifer Worth's New York Times bestselling memoir and the basis for the PBS series Call the Midwife

When twenty-two-year-old Jennifer Worth, from a comfortable middle-class upbringing, went to work as a midwife in the direst section of postwar London, she not only delivered hundreds of babies and touched many lives, she also became the neighborhood's most vivid chronicler. Woven into the ongoing tales of her life in the East End are the true stories of the people Worth met who grew up in the dreaded workhouse, a Dickensian institution that limped on into the middle of the twentieth century.

Orphaned brother and sister Peggy and Frank lived in the workhouse until Frank got free and returned to rescue his sister. Bubbly Jane's spirit was broken by the cruelty of the workhouse master until she found kindness and romance years later at Nonnatus House. Mr. Collett, a Boer War veteran, lost his family in the two world wars and died in the workhouse.

Though these are stories of unimaginable hardship, what shines through each is the resilience of the human spirit and the strength, courage, and humor of people determined to build a future for themselves against the odds. This is an enduring work of literary nonfiction, at once a warmhearted coming-of-age story and a startling look at people's lives in the poorest section of postwar London.

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