Review: Dickens and the Workhouse

London Historians' Blog

A guest post by LH Member Jane Young.

Dickens and the Workhouse by Ruth Richardson.

dickens and the workhouseThis was first published to coincide with the Dickens bicentenary in 2012 and has now just been released in paperback format. Despite being written to a very tight deadline it pulls off that rare combination of a perfectly and thoroughly executed piece of academic research whilst remaining not only immensely readable but positively compelling.

At the heart of the story, which is a true story but nonetheless contains some genuine fairytale moments, is the campaign to save the Cleveland Street Workhouse. The resulting research grew from an entirely altruistic response to a request for help in preventing demolition of an old hospital building. The discovery this led to was the impetus for Dickens & the Workhouse

Not just for admirers of Charles Dickens, anyone who understands the lure of an archive or has even theā€¦

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