Dickens and the Workhouse: Oliver Twist and the London Poor

Paperback | October 18, 2013

byRuth Richardson

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The recent discovery that as a young man Charles Dickens lived only a few doors from a major London workhouse made headlines worldwide, and the campaign to save the workhouse from demolition caught the public imagination. Internationally, the media immediately grasped the idea that Oliver Twist's workhouse had been found, and made public the news that both the workhouse and Dickens's old home were still standing, near London's Telecom Tower. This book, by the historian who did the sleuthing behind these exciting new findings, presents the story for the first time, and shows that the two periods Dickens lived in that part of London - before and after his father's imprisonment in a debtors' prison - were profoundly important to hissubsequent writing career.

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From the Publisher

The recent discovery that as a young man Charles Dickens lived only a few doors from a major London workhouse made headlines worldwide, and the campaign to save the workhouse from demolition caught the public imagination. Internationally, the media immediately grasped the idea that Oliver Twist's workhouse had been found, and made publ...

Ruth Richardson is a historian and the author of a number of books. The Wall Street Journal described her last book, The Making of Mr. Gray's Anatomy (Oxford University Press) as "one of those rarities, history that reads like a novel". That book won the 2009 Medical Journalists' Open Book Award.

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:408 pages, 7.72 × 5.08 × 0.68 inPublished:October 18, 2013Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199681287

ISBN - 13:9780199681280

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Table of Contents

Introduction: Oliver Twist and the Workhouse1. Discovery: Threat, Puzzle, Silences2. Vicinity: Environs of Gentility, Environs of Poverty3. Institutions: Hospital and Workhouse4. Home: House, Landlord, Shop, Inside, Upstairs, Downstairs5. Street: Looking Down and Around6. Calamity: Sheerness, Chatham, Camden Town, Marshalsea, Somers Town7. Young Dickens: Return to Norfolk Street, Young Professional, First Essays8. Workhouse: St Paul's Parish, Farming the Infant Poor, Paul Pry, Parliament9. Works: Contemporaries, Sketches, Spectres, Oliver Twist, Names, Echoes10. The Most Famous Workhouse in the World: Truth and FictionAppendixNotesIndex

Editorial Reviews

"Gives an intimately evoked view of Dickens's childhood and the New Poor Law of 1834 by which workhouses became 'a sort of prison system to punish [the poor]." --New York Review of Books