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The childhood of the poor : welfare in eighteenth-century London /
Alysa Levene.
imprint
Houndmills, Basingstoke, Hampshire ; New York : Palgrave Macmillan, 2012.
description
xii, 250 p. : ill. ; 23 cm.
ISBN
0230354807 (hardback), 9780230354807 (hardback)
format(s)
Book
Holdings
More Details
imprint
Houndmills, Basingstoke, Hampshire ; New York : Palgrave Macmillan, 2012.
isbn
0230354807 (hardback)
9780230354807 (hardback)
catalogue key
8504320
 
Includes bibliographical references and index.
A Look Inside
About the Author
Author Affiliation
Alysa Levene is Reader in History at Oxford Brookes University, UK. She has published widely on the history of child welfare, including child abandonment, mortality, illegitimacy and pauper apprenticeship. Her previous monograph, Childcare, Health and Mortality at the London Foundling Hospital, 7741-1800: 'Left to the Mercy of the World' was published in 2007.
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 2013-02-01:
Levene (Oxford Brookes Univ., UK) attempts to bring together two important strands of historical research that somehow have remained rather distinct: the history of childhood and the history of poor relief. Based upon extensive data collection and analysis, the book illuminates the significant expansion of institutional care established in London during the 18th century that was specifically directed at poor children. Levene carefully avoids directly linking this development with the changing view of childhood expressed by Rousseau and others, but she nevertheless recognizes a sea change in attitudes and approaches toward children in poverty after midcentury. Perhaps most interesting is the author's conclusion that both parish officials and charitable institutions placed great emphasis on the nurturing role of the family and the maintenance of family bonds. Given the great variety of circumstance in which poor children were brought before charities and workhouses, this was not always possible. But the notion that poor children should be removed from their "feckless" parents would await the coming of the next century. Summing Up: Recommended. Graduate students, faculty. J. A. Jaffe University of Wisconsin--Whitewater
Reviews
Review Quotes
Recommended by Choice
This item was reviewed in:
Choice, February 2013
To find out how to look for other reviews, please see our guides to finding book reviews in the Sciences or Social Sciences and Humanities.
Summaries
Bowker Data Service Summary
Was there a notion of childhood for the labouring classes, and was it distinctive from that of the elite? Examining pauper childhood, family life and societal reform, Levene asks whether new models of childhood in the 18th century affected the treatment of the young poor, and reveals how they were helped through hard times.
Description for Bookstore
This book takes a new perspective on ideologies of poverty and childhood in the eighteenth century by examining the relationship between theories and practice on the ground
Long Description
Did new modes of thought and a new perspective on ideologies of poverty and childhood affect the treatment of the young poor? Was there a notion of childhood for the labouring classes, and was it distinctive from that of the elite? In The Childhood of the Poor, Alysa Levene utlilises a wide range of sources examining parish nursing, the workhouse, charity, self help and family support to reveal how children and their families were assisted through hard times. In doing so, she uncovers an overlapping and sometimes contradictory set of assumptions about pauper childhood, family life and the reform of society. Poor children were innocent, valued for their future labour, entitled to parental nurture and an asset to society. However, for those offering assistance 'on the ground' they were also expensive, potentially delinquent and a live expression of the Malthusian poverty trap. This book traces these changing priorities and values over the eighteenth century: a period when childhood took on its most recognisably modern attributes.
Long Description
This book takes a new perspective on ideologies of poverty and childhood in the eighteenth century by examining whether new modes of thought affected the treatment of the young poor. In essence it asks 'was there a notion of childhood for the labouring classes, and was it distinctive from that of the elite?' The book utilises a wide range of sources from parish nursing, the workhouse, charity, self-help and family support to reveal how children and their families were assisted through hard times. It uncovers an overlapping and sometimes contradictory set of assumptions about pauper childhood, family life, and the reform of society. Poor children were innocent, valued for their future labour, entitled to parental nurture, and an asset to society. However for those offering assistance 'on the ground' they were also expensive, potentially delinquent, and a live expression of the Malthusian poverty trap. The book traces these changing priorities and values over the eighteenth century; a period when childhood took on its most recognisably modern attributes.
Main Description
Was there a notion of childhood for the laboring classes, and was it distinctive from that of the elite? Examining pauper childhood, family life and societal reform, Levene asks whether new models of childhood in the eighteenth century affected the treatment of the young poor, and reveals how they and their families were helped through hard times.
Table of Contents
List of Figuresp. ix
List of Tablesp. x
Acknowledgementsp. xi
List of Abbreviationsp. xii
Introduction: The Childhood of the Poorp. 1
Children and childhoodp. 2
Poor children and their familiesp. 8
Remit and methodsp. 15
Poor Children and their Familiesp. 21
The size and structure of poor families in eighteenth-century Londonp. 23
Broken and complex familiesp. 32
Did children bring about family poverty in London?p. 36
Conclusionsp. 40
The Development of Parish Nursingp. 45
Evidence of parish nursing prior to 1767p. 48
Parish nursing after 1767: the development of a systemp. 51
Parish nursing after 1767: the nursesp. 61
Conclusions: a 'system' for nursing?p. 70
The Supervision of Parish Nursingp. 73
Accountability: the frequency of inspectionsp. 74
Inspecting nurses' homesp. 78
Conclusions: the value of nursingp. 88
Parents and Parish Childcarep. 91
Separation versus family bondsp. 93
Parental choice and parish nursingp. 100
Conclusions: pauper childhood and the poor familyp. 103
Children and the Metropolitan Workhousep. 107
Children in London workhousesp. 109
Children as distinctive workhouse inmatesp. 113
Childhood in the workhousep. 123
Conclusionsp. 126
Making Shift: Outdoor Relief and Charityp. 130
Outdoor relief from the parishp. 132
Charity and the economy of makeshiftsp. 139
Conclusionsp. 150
Making Shift: Community, Friends and Familyp. 153
Community and neighbourhoodp. 156
Kith and kinp. 161
Conclusionsp. 167
Conclusionsp. 170
Rhetoric and realityp. 170
Childhood and the eighteenth centuryp. 173
Models of pauper childhoodp. 175
Appendixp. 179
Notesp. 184
Select Bibliographyp. 236
Indexp. 244
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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