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Voices from the Workhouse Paperback – 1 Oct 2012


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Product details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: The History Press (1 Oct 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0752467492
  • ISBN-13: 978-0752467498
  • Product Dimensions: 1.3 x 15.9 x 23.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 104,132 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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 (workhouses.org.uk) 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.

Product Description

About the Author

Peter Higginbotham is a freelance writer and historian. His fascination with the subject of workhouses began after discovering an ancestor had died in the Birmingham workhouse. His interests encompass other historical institutions such as prisons, asylums, hospitals, children's homes and housing for the poor. He is the author of several books and also regularly contributes to magazines and TV and radio programmes, including Radio 4's Making History and BBC1's Heir Hunters.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Fil77 on 4 Jan 2014
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I bought this as I have a particular interest in this area of history and first person accounts of workhouses are naturally not all that common, especially not all in one place. It is basically a collection of short, first hand accounts arranged into logical chapters by one of the most popular workhouse historians at the moment. The book covers inmates, staff, and social enquirers among others and features the likes of Charlie Chaplain and Henry Morton Stanley. A lot of the accounts are obviously sad and tragic but a lot are surprisingly positive, the short stories make the book suitable for 'dipping in and out of' or for reading in a couple of sittings. I would recommend this for people who have a general interest, have workhouse ancestry or for poor law students - bearing in mind that a lot of the sources and accounts are biased.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By susan wallace on 8 Mar 2013
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If we had to live as these people did in this day and age then I do not think that many of use would survive, we learn how hard people lives where and how much of a disgrace some people found going into the workhouse was , eventhough they had no choice if they wanted to survive. The treatment of children and young babies give you food for thought as well as the rule that had tobe abided by I think that every young person should read this to see how much life has chnge for the better.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Manxtoby on 10 Feb 2013
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Interesting collection of memories of both inmates and staff of workhouses, a real insight into the culture of the times
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Quiltslm on 30 July 2013
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A valuable and interesting book. Very useful for research as well as of historical value.
Well researched and written book
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Mr.Greenbean on 16 Jan 2014
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A very good read. Lot's of information on life in the workhouse ,told by evidence given by inmates ,Governors and under cover reporters of the time . I was drawn to this book and found it hard to put down . Recommend this to any one who has any interest in the Workhouse , the food and accommodation and the characters that visited these institutions .
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By cas on 4 Sep 2014
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This is a fascinating read. Contrary to popular belief not all workhouses or industrial schools were dreadful. Strict most of them were but then that was the way then and circumstances dictated methods quite often. Not to say there weren't some bad workhouses there definitely were but human as we are, these ill treatments still go on! - One is almost tempted to say we could do with some of them coming back. Its interesting too that not everyone in a workhouse was poor, though most were. Some houses were very well kept. The inmates kept them that way. Everyone had a job to do to maintain the place which also meant they were occupied. Some people on going back out into the world actually chose to return as you didnt have to work so hard in a workhouse and had your food cooked for you and served up. Yes, some found life easier in a workhouse than outside! This book is quite a revelation!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By fulabull on 13 Jan 2014
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Worthwhile book to have when researching family members who might have been unfortunate enough to require "parish support"! An historical account of past life.
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