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Tales from a Midwife: True Stories of the East End in the 1950s [Paperback]

Jennifer Worth
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)

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Book Description

14 Oct 2010
London's East End in the 1950s was a unique place: the struggles of post-war life - bombsites, overcrowded tenements, crime, brothels - bred a culture of tight-knit family communities, larger-than-life characters, and a lively social scene. It was into this world that Jennifer Worth entered as a trainee midwife. But docklands' life was tough, and babies were often born in slum conditions. In funny, disturbing and heartbreaking stories, Jennifer Worth recounts her time among nuns, prostitutes, abortionists, bigamists, gangsters and expectant mothers, portraying East Enders' amazing resilience - and their warmth and humour in the face of hardship. Written with affection and nostalgia, TALES FROM A MIDWIFE chronicles the lives, traditions and tales of a bygone era.

Product details

  • Paperback: 992 pages
  • Publisher: Phoenix; 1st edition (14 Oct 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0753828693
  • ISBN-13: 978-0753828694
  • Product Dimensions: 13.2 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 237,382 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description


Worth tells it like it is...her compassion and anger drive the shock and gore. (Boyd Tonkin INDEPENDENT )

A fascinating and historical account of the 1950s. You are sure to be entertained by the larger-than-life characters and the antics of some very amusing nuns. (SOUTH WALES ARGUS )

Book Description

An omnibus edition of the SUNDAY TIMES bestselling 'Midwife' series - true stories from a post-war community in London's East End.

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Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
4.8 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
104 of 108 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Misleading title 27 Dec 2010
This book is not described well enough on Amazon-it is actually 3 books in one, and its only once id bought it that you realise it was previously sold as 'The Midwife Trilogy'. 3 books in one-Shadows of the workhouse,Call the Midwife, and Farewell to the eastend. I wish it would actually say this in the description!!!!! Please Amazon, i bought this uneccesarily, as id already got 2 of these books!!! Excellent books, but PLEASE do not mislead us. Its highly infuriating when the titles of books are changed, without properly explaining what the heck it was previously published under.The Midwife Trilogy: Call the Midwife, Shadows of the Workhouse, Farewell to the East End
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic - changed my life 20 July 2011
This book - as others have said, three titles in one - is nearly a thousand pages long and yet utterly unputdownable. How's that for value? Yes, I sobbed uncontrollably, laughed my head off and even skipped a bit because it was too harrowing (children in the workhouse) - and yes, it has changed my life. I will be forever grateful to Ms Worth for making me realise how fortunate I am: I do not have to watch my children die before my eyes, my husband doesn't beat me, my family has more food than we could ever eat, I work at a job of my choosing, I sleep in a clean warm bed every night. Right now I feel as if I will never complain about my lot again (although it rains too much in the west of Ireland).
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fabulous 16 Mar 2012
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
Got this for an elderly relative for whom reading a book is no longer possible. She is absolutely delighted with it and since she was a midwife in the pre-war years she can relate to the stories.
12 CDs and three books. Get it while it is on reduced price at amazon.
Very speedy free super saver delivery.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant 7 Mar 2011
While this is a collection of earlier works, the stories themselves are amazing. I simply could not put the book down. The poverty and conditions that she describes are often heartbreaking and I can hardly believe that this is within people's lifetime.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Don't miss reading this book 5 Feb 2011
This is trilogy and boy what a read I couldn't leave it down. Funny in parts and others will have you in tears. I would recommend this to anyone who remembers the 1950's and 1960's. It's hard to remember the poverty folk lived in not so long ago. Jennifer Worth brings the people you meet in the book so alive and you are left wondering why did these things happen.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars TURTLEBEAR77 3 Feb 2011
This is a really great book for anyone who loves true East End London stories. It has to be one of the best books I have ever read, I could not put it down once I got started. The author makes you feel as though you are part of her story and takes you back in time.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A really brilliant book 2 Jan 2011
By whittie
A book you really donot want to put down. As a midwife its so good to read a book that you can relate to.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars UNFAIR REVIEWS!! 5 Aug 2011
It's not fair to slate this book and give only one star simply because the publisher decided to make it a trilogy. It should clearly state that it IS a trilogy, I do agree as I nearly made the mistake of buying it when I've read all the books separately. However, the fact of the matter is that all these books are excellent. Reviews are supposed to be about the CONTENT of the book, not how they are published. That is not the writer's fault. In this case, I don't believe the writer can be faulted. Read all of these books people!!! But try not to duplicate your purchases. That's NOT Jenny's fault!!! Thank you.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant
Great product. Love the call the midwife stories, they are just heart warming and happy. The discs are super quality. No complaints.
Published 2 months ago by sr27
5.0 out of 5 stars tales from a midwife
this item was bought as a present, the person who it was bought for thought that it was a great and enjoyed it very much.
Published 3 months ago by David Briggs
5.0 out of 5 stars beautifully told stories
I really enjoyed the tv programmes but I have equally loved listenibg to these cd's, especially when i am ironing.
Published 12 months ago by Mrs. I. Landless
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic
Brilliantly written and beautifully read I thoroughly enjoyed the stories sorry when I had heard them all so I listened to them all again and felt as is I knew the characters very... Read more
Published 16 months ago by arthur bowden
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent
A very gritty enjoyable book which I discovered before the TV series came out. We are enjoying watching it all the more for having read such an eye-opening book. Read more
Published 18 months ago by susie
5.0 out of 5 stars Everyone should read this book
I loved the TV series of The Midwife, which led me to buy this book. Jennifer Worth's enlightening account of life in the East End of London in & before the 50's, when she worked... Read more
Published 19 months ago by A. Andre-Weingarten
5.0 out of 5 stars Talking Book
I bought this item for the wife who watched the first part of the trilogy on TV and never stopped
going about how good it was and what memories it brought back. Read more
Published on 17 April 2012 by Ken, A-u-L
5.0 out of 5 stars Tales from a Midwife - CD
Having loved the recent television series, I bought this CD (all 3 books) for my husband and I to listen to on a long journey. Read more
Published on 9 April 2012 by Infant teacher
5.0 out of 5 stars Tales from a Midwife
I have not yet read this book as I am still reading the two previous books in the Trilogy, but I know I will enjoy it just as much as the others I have read.
Published on 24 Feb 2012 by cardane
5.0 out of 5 stars couldn't put this book down!!
This is a compilation of three wonderfully written true accounts of midwifery and life in the poorest part of East end London in the fifties. Read more
Published on 2 Feb 2012 by Napabird
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