Pauper Children and Poor Law Childhoods in England and Wales 1834-1910

by Lesley Hulonce

Poor children in Victorian Britain might be sent to a workhouse, an orphanage, or if they were disabled, a specialist boarding school. Most 'pauper' children however were fostered or remained at home with their families. This is the first full-length book to explore all the options open to Poor Law Unions across England and Wales in their care and treatment of poor children. While we often hear about the scandals and abuse that befell vulnerable young people, this book shows how kindness, caring and concern were often shown to these 'Children who belong to the State'. Using autobiographies and memoirs by the children themselves, this book focuses on the child's stories and memories, and by selecting much of the fascinating material from Victorian newspapers, books and records ensures that the reader is kept abreast of the wider historical contexts.


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About the Author

Lesley Hulonce

Dr Lesley Hulonce is historian and lecturer of health humanities in the College of Human and Health Sciences at Swansea University. Her research interests include the histories of children, disability, poverty, gender and prostitution via state and voluntary action. She is now preparing her second history book for publication, this time on the subject of Prostitution and Women's Work, 1850-1950.

She was born in Swansea very near Dylan Thomas' birthplace and now lives in Lydney, Gloucestershire with her teenage daughter and four cats (sometimes five).

She is co-director of the Research Group for Health, History and Culture and founder of Academics for a Publishing Revolution. She blogs at Workhouse Tales and Prostitution and Women's Work and tweets at @LesleyHulonce and @HistHealthCult.