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A fascinating slice of East End life, from the No.1 bestsellilng author of CALL THE MIDWIFE, soon to be a major BBC TV series. In this follow up to CALL THE MIDWIFE, Jennifer Worth, a midwife working in the docklands area of East London in the 1950s tells more stories about the people she encountered. There's Jane, who cleaned and generally helped out at Nonnatus House - she was taken to the workhouse as a baby and was allegedly the illegitimate daughter of an aristocrat. Peggy and Frank's parents both died within 6 months of each other and the children were left destitute. At the time, there was no other option for them but the workhouse. The Reverend Thornton-Appleby-Thorton, a missionary in Africa, visits the Nonnatus nuns and Sister Julienne acts as matchmaker. And Sister Monica Joan, the eccentric ninety-year-old nun, is accused of shoplifting some small items from the local market. She is let off with a warning, but then Jennifer finds stolen jewels from Hatton Garden in the nun's room. These stories give a fascinating insight into the resilience and spirit that enabled ordinary people to overcome their difficulties.
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.
The last collection of true-life nursing stories from the No.1 bestselling author of the CALL THE MIDWIFE series. Jennifer Worth's bestselling memoirs of her time as a midwife have inspired and moved readers of all ages. Now, in IN THE MIDST OF LIFE she documents her experiences as a nurse and ward sister, treating patients who were nearing the end of their lives. Interspersed with these stories from Jennifer's post-midwife career are the histories of her patients, from the family divided by a decision nobody could bear to make, to the mother who comes to her son's adopted country and joins his family without being able to speak a word of English. IN THE MIDST OF LIFE also gives moving insights not just into Jennifer's life and career, but also of a period of time which seems very different to today's, fast-paced world.
'A delightful, well researched story that really does depict nursing and the living conditions in the East End at the end of the war' Lesley Pearse London is putting itself back together and twenty-five-year-old Millie is at the forefront of the effort as she tends to the East End community around her. While she witnesses tragedy and brutality in her job, Millie also finds strength and kindness as her training begins to pay off, helping her to bring her patients back to health and welcome babies into the world. But it's not only the patients that need Millie as matters of the heart bring both tears and joy for the young nurses. With grit and gumption, Millie and her friends do their best to find their way through first loves and heartbreaks, and balancing their duty of care with looking after each other. But when misfortune befalls her own family, it is the enduring spirit of the community that shows Millie that even the toughest of circumstances can be overcome. An absorbing and richly detailed novel following the life and work of a young nurse in post-war East London - perfect for anyone who loved CALL THE MIDWIFE.
For two centuries, the shadow of the workhouse hung over Britain. The recourse of only the most desperate, dark and terrible tales of malnutrition, misery, mistreatment and murder ran like wildfire through the poorer classes, who lived in terror of being forced inside the institution’s towering walls. This book contains 365 incredible tales of fires, drownings, explosions and disasters, infamous scandals such as the Andover affair – where inmates were forced to eat the bones they were supposed to be crushing to ward off starvation – and sickening tales of abuse, assault, bodysnatching, poisonings, post mortems and murder. Accompanied by 70 rare and wonderful illustrations, this book will thrill, fascinate, sadden and unnerve in equal measure.DID YOU KNOW?In the early hours of 31 August 1888, the mutilated body of Mary Ann Nichols – the first generally accepted victim of Jack the Ripper – was discovered in Buck’s Row, Whitechapel, just a little way from the Whitechapel workhouse infirmary. Nichols, aged forty-two at her death, had been a regular habituée of London’s workhouses.On 30 May 1896, at the age of seven, future Hollywood star Charlie Chaplin entered the Newington workhouse in south London, together with his mother, Hannah, and his older half-brother Sydney.On 19 March 1834 a revolt took place amongst the juvenile female paupers of St Margaret’s workhouse, Westminster. A young man named Speed, appointed as their superintendent, provoked their wrath by his alleged tyrannical behaviour. He was unmercifully thrashed by the girls who tore his clothes nearly off his back and beat him until his cries raised the alarm and the police were sent for to quell the disturbance.
The stories of those who lived in the shadow of the workhouse'??During the nineteenth century the workhouse cast a shadow over the lives of the poor. The destitute and the desperate sought refuge within its forbidding walls. And it was an ever-present threat if poor families failed to look after themselves properly. As a result a grim mythology has grown up about the horrors of the 'house' and the mistreatment meted out to the innocent pauper. ??In this fully-updated and revised edition of his bestselling book, Simon Fowler takes a fresh look at the workhouse and the people who sought help from it. He looks at how the system of the Poor Law _ of which the workhouse was a key part _ was organised and the men and women who ran the workhouses or were employed to care for the inmates.??But above all this is the moving story of the tens of thousands of children, men, women and the elderly who were forced to endure grim conditions to survive in an unfeeling world.??'A poignant account ... draws powerfully on letters from The National Archives ... [Simon Fowler] brings out the horror, but it is fair-minded to those struggling to be humane within an inhumane system,' The Independent??'A good introduction,' The Guardian.??The history of workhouses and poverty ('misery history') has recently been prominently covered on TV shows like WDYTYA? and ITV's Secrets from the Workhouse, and referenced in historical dramas like The Village and Ripper Street.

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