Uses of Charity: The Poor on Relief in the 19th Century Metropolis

Mandler, Peter

Published by Univ of Pennsylvania Pr, 1990
ISBN 10: 0812282140 / ISBN 13: 9780812282146
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Who were the poor of the world's first metropolises, and how did they survive? This collection of eight original essays proposes a revisionist perspective on poverty and its relief in the nineteenth-century city, emphasizing the position of women and children and the importance of charity and welfare in their lives.

Historians have tended to focus on the motives and achievements of the benefactors and institutions, in part because donors left behind such rich documentation. These essays, taking their cue from recent trends in the social sciences, address charity "from below," as experienced from the point of view of the recipients, and challenge assumptions about the "marginality" and "dependency" of the poor.

The authors find that the demand for charity was constant, that the forms in which it was offered rarely matched the forms in which it was needed, that the poor used considerable ingenuity in adapting both the gifts and themselves to meet their needs, and that their attitudes toward charity often were not what either donors or historians have believed.

The Uses of Charity is a valuable resource for students and scholars of history, anthropology, sociology, and women's studies.

About the Author: Peter Mandler is Professor of Modern Cultural History, and Bailey College Lecturer in History, at Gonville and Caius College, University of Cambridge.

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Title: Uses of Charity: The Poor on Relief in the ...
Publisher: Univ of Pennsylvania Pr
Publication Date: 1990
Book Condition: Very Good

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