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Voices from the Workhouse [Paperback]

Peter Higginbotham
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
RRP: £12.99
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Book Description

1 Oct 2012 Voices
Voices from the Workhouse tells the real inside story of the workhouse - in the words of those who experienced the institution at first hand, either as inmates or through some other connection with the institution. Using a wide variety of sources — letters, poems, graffiti, autobiography, official reports, testimony at official inquiries, and oral history, Peter Higginbotham creates a vivid portrait of what really went on behind the doors of the workhouse — all the sights, sounds and smells of the place, and the effect it had on those whose lives it touched. Was the workhouse the cruel and inhospitable place as which it’s often presented, or was there more to it than that? This book lets those who knew the place provide the answer.

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Frequently Bought Together

Voices from the Workhouse + A Grim Almanac of the Workhouse (Grim Almanacs) + Life in a Victorian Workhouse
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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: 23 x 15 x 1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 258,603 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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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A good read for general interest or study. 4 Jan 2014
By Fil77
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
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
4.0 out of 5 stars Eyes opened 8 Mar 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
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
5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating Subject 10 Feb 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
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
5.0 out of 5 stars Useful ancestry research tool 30 July 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
A valuable and interesting book. Very useful for research as well as of historical value.
Well researched and written book
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very enlightening book . 16 Jan 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
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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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A good historical book 13 Jan 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
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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