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Life in a Victorian Workhouse

Life in a Victorian Workhouse [Kindle Edition]

Peter Higginbotham
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)

Print List Price: £4.99
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Product Description

Product Description

The word 'workhouse' has a grim resonance even today, conjuring up a vision of the darker side of Victorian Britain. Almost every town had at least one workhouse, and most people dreaded ending up there. Here we examine how workhouses came into being, what life was like for men, women and children on the wrong side of the poverty line, and how social attitudes evolved through the momentous events of Victorian Britain into the 20th century. Illustrated from contemporary and modern sources, this fact-filled guide presents an intriguing picture of a world of steam engines, self-help, service and salvation - where workhouse life, and workhouse reform, influenced attitudes and services we now take for granted.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 832 KB
  • Print Length: 36 pages
  • Publisher: The History Press (30 May 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #117,866 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

Peter Higginbotham gave up on history at the age of 13 - "it was all about wars and kings and queens not ordinary people." Years later, tracing his family history, he became fascinated by the workhouse - a place where one of his forebears had died. His wide-ranging researches resulted in an acclaimed web site ( and several books including the much-praised Workhouse Cookbook. Its sequel, the Prison Cookbook, charts the often gruesome history of the prison system, and how the food served to the inmates reflected the changing regimes for those behind bars. Peter, who now lives in West Yorkshire, regularly contributes to magazines, radio and TV programmes, and frequently presents talks on the workhouse and related topics to groups around the region.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Victorian Workhouse 12 Nov 2011
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
The booklet gives a tempting view of life in the workhouse. It was purchased to get an idea of the conditions my great grandfather had to endure once he left the army, blind and after a broken marriage.

Clearly the booklet only touches the surface and that is frustrating because the Institutions (Islington and Billericay)that my relative frequented were not covered but that was my bad luck.

Well worth purchasing and just maybe the author will develop the subject to give more detail and location.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a great introduction 22 May 2012
This slim volume is a useful introduction to all the various features of the workhouse system, including what people got to eat, how tramps were housed, and what happened to children. It also has a section on Scotland and Ireland. Overall it is nicely illustrated. It doesn't have the depth of some of the author's other books on the subject (many of which are very detailed) but it does tell you everything you need to know to get started. I found it useful, and appreciated its concise approach.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars searching for workhouses 17 Jan 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Book very informative, saved a lot of research. will have a look at the other books in this line. Very quick delivery , have no problems using them again
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very helpful & interesting 29 Nov 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Easy to read and find information, found refernces directly related to my research. Would recommend this book to any serious researchers and or thoswith family interests
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Concise and true to life 6 Mar 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
For amy one following their family tree this book gives an insight into what life was like for your ancestors that fell on hard times
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A good read 3 Jan 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Only disappointment was that there was no much additional information than what was on the internet using google. Good to have a hard copy though.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
As another reviewer said, this was disappointingly short - I read it in about an hour. The information in the book(let) was really interesting and there are lots of images of good quality - they are probably the best parts.
The author would probably have been better off focusing on the images - perhaps making them larger in a quality hardback book with the brief texts as appendages to the striking photographs.

Other than that it's a very good introduction to the workhouse and I will keep the book, but would love a book with more detail from this author.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Life in the workhouse 16 Oct 2011
By Natator
I was a little disappointed with this. It has a good number of useful photos but the written information is slight. I read it in one go and then gave it to a charity shop.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 1 day ago by Mick Doyle
An interesting and thought provoking book which lifts the lid on life in Victorian Workhouses. Thank goodness they have passed int history.
Published 4 months ago by Mr M
5.0 out of 5 stars Students of Victorian and early 20th century social, educational,...
Excellent source book for anyone researching similar topics or just the interested general reader. Easy to follow and requires no previous knowledge of the subjects or period.
Published 5 months ago by Ms. J. A. Russell
4.0 out of 5 stars A useful introduction to the subject
Although this paperback only extends to 32 pages, it provides a useful overview of the development of the workhouse and the legal framework that surrounded it. Read more
Published 6 months ago by Bookworm Baggie
3.0 out of 5 stars Victorian workhouse
I have not reads all of this yet, bur seems very good so far.

lay out is good, and is very well written, received the book promptly and pleased with my purchase
Published 14 months ago by karenl
5.0 out of 5 stars looking back at history
its hard to imagine just what life was like in those days where life for the poor families was extremely hard with little or no education, work, or money simply trying to live for... Read more
Published 20 months ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Life in a Victorian Workhouse by Peter Higinbotham
This book gives brief and simple insight into the Victoian Workhouse. Triggers a thirst and sources for more reading on the subject.
Published 21 months ago by Vearor
4.0 out of 5 stars Nice and very affordable insight into Victorian relief
If you have an interest in genealogy or Victorian Workhouse relief and the Workhouse locations and history then this deserves a place on your bookshelf.
Published on 11 Sep 2012 by Discerning Buyer
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