Workhouse Characters


Read by LibriVox Volunteers

(4.1 stars; 4 reviews)

In 1904, Margaret Nevinson, a respectable lady and active suffragette, joined the board of guardians in Hampstead Heath. The guardians had responsibility over the parish workhouse. In the UK, before the 1930s, one could not receive welfare assistance unless he or she entered the workhouse. A house for which one had to work. The conditions were so poor, sometimes even poorer then conditions in prison. The workhouse inspired many novels, the most famous is Oliver Twist. This collection of short stories is about the horrors Margaret saw, chiefly about things women had to endure. A married woman collected money and found a house for her and her children, but could not leave the workhouse as she was, by law, "the property of her husband." This particular story was adapted from her one-act play "In The Workhouse" which helped change that law only two years later. In another story, a smart lady who studied at the University Of Cambridge sinks into depression after the death of her husband and finds herself drunk at the workhouse. In 26 tales, Nevinson details the horrors of the system, one after the other, in an engaging and elegant style which appealed to the public. This book is perfect for fans of Charles Dickens, and for all those who love feminism and social history. - Summary by Stav Nisser. (4 hr 8 min)

Chapters

Preface 2:56 Read by John
EUNICE SMITH—DRUNK 13:48 Read by Florence
DETAINED BY MARITAL AUTHORITY 8:25 Read by KirksVoice
A WELSH SAILOR 9:39 Read by KirksVoice
THE VOW 9:58 Read by KirksVoice
BLIND AND DEAF 12:16 Read by JennPratt
AND, BEHOLD, THE BABE WEPT 9:54 Read by KirksVoice
MARY, MARY, PITY WOMEN! 12:06 Read by Lisanne Lavoie
THE SUICIDE 10:29 Read by Lisanne Lavoie
PUBLICANS AND HARLOTS 10:54 Read by Lisanne Lavoie
OLD INKY 9:34 Read by John
A DAUGHTER OF THE STATE 9:14 Read by John
IN THE PHTHISIS WARD 8:15 Read by KevinS
AN IRISH CATHOLIC 8:35 Read by KevinS
AN OBSCURE CONVERSATIONIST 11:34 Read by Lisanne Lavoie
MOTHERS 9:24 Read by Lisanne Lavoie
YOUR SON'S YOUR SON 9:46 Read by John
TOO OLD AT FORTY 5:56 Read by John
IN THE LUNATIC ASYLUM 14:11 Read by John
THE SWEEP'S LEGACY 5:56 Read by John
AN ALIEN 7:13 Read by John
WIDOWS INDEED! 7:12 Read by John
THE RUNAWAY 11:29 Read by John
A GIRL! GOD HELP HER! 5:15 Read by John
ON THE PERMANENT LIST 9:38 Read by John
THE PAUPER AND THE OLD-AGE PENSION 6:57 Read by John
THE EVACUATION OF THE WORKHOUSE 8:15 Read by John

Reviews


(3 stars)

Interesting stories. I only listened to the ones read by the women. They put in good effort with different voices and reading the tone of the characters, but the man was just blocks of monotone.