• Shadows of the Workhouse

  • The Drama of Life in Postwar London
  • By: Jennifer Worth
  • Narrated by: Anne Reid
  • Length: 5 hrs and 5 mins
  • 5.0 out of 5 stars (20 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

The inspiration for the second series of the BBC's phenomenally popular Call the Midwife, starring Miranda Hart. In this follow-up to Call the Midwife, Jennifer Worth, a midwife working in the docklands area of East London in the 1950s, tells more stories about the people she encountered.

There's Jane, who cleaned and generally helped out at Nonnatus House - she was taken to the workhouse as a baby and was allegedly the illegitimate daughter of an aristocrat.

Peggy and Frank's parents both died within six months of one another, and the children were left destitute. At the time there was no other option for them but the workhouse.

The Reverend Thornton-Appleby-Thorton, a missionary in Africa, visits the Nonnatus nuns, and Sister Julienne acts as matchmaker. And Sister Monica Joan, the eccentric 90-year-old nun, is accused of shoplifting some small items from the local market. She is let off with a warning, but then Jennifer finds stolen jewels from Hatton Garden in the nun's room. These stories give a fascinating insight into the resilience and spirit that enabled ordinary people to overcome their difficulties.

©2008 Jennifer Worth (P)2008 Orion Publishing Group

What listeners say about Shadows of the Workhouse

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great read

great history of the workhouses I had no idea of their history prior to listening to this. highly recommended for anyone interested in history or human development through the agas.

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  • Kathcolours33
  • 12-31-15

Excellent

Excellent book, well worth listening too. The narrator was very good and the stories were heartbreaking, but gripping. Jennifer Worth is wonderful woman with the gift of writing.

5 people found this helpful

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  • Codi
  • 12-07-15

Had me hooked from the start. Absolutely wonderful

Great narration, wonderful writing and excellent book :)
This was my first non self help book I've listened to and I wasn't disappointed, I can't wait to listen to more Jennifer Worth books :)

2 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Hazel Cade
  • 07-14-19

Shadows of the workhouse

Excellent story and narrator i could not put the book down just never wanted the story to end

1 person found this helpful

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  • Amanda T.
  • 01-27-19

enlightening

Narrator was brilliant! Great book. Reccommend. couldn't put it down as so interesting. Loved it

1 person found this helpful

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  • Louise
  • 02-22-18

Beautifully written

Difficult topics are covered from life in the 50s & earlier but this is so well written & provides a thought & emotion provoking glimpse into another era.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 11-17-17

interesting.

narrator was good. it was a good listen. would recommend to Call The Midwife fans.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Amy Hepworth
  • 05-30-22

wonderful

a detailed history into what the world used to be like. to think workhouses were real places where this happened. listened to this several time and it still has me tearing up.

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  • Miss K Jackson
  • 12-26-21

beautiful book

I absolutely loved this book. the narrator read the story beautifully and with sympathy to the people whose stories she was telling.

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  • mrs donnamariea curzon
  • 11-18-21

Great Narrator

Very emotional. Had me laughing & crying.
How horrid families being split up in The Workhouses.

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  • Heather Whittam
  • 07-11-18

Over exaggerated

I wanted a fairly easy listening , instead I got over exaggerated experiences and when a heart rendering event turns to incest I just had to delete. Not for a sensitive heart and mind. It makes one wonder why the author felt the need to include perverse actions .
Didn't want to listen any further.
Also the readers performances of characters simply raised an eyebrow.

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  • Lyndel mckay
  • 11-07-21

shadows of the workhouse

loved it fantastic story with great passion for historical events..highly recommend it nursing fans

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  • Iwbar
  • 12-20-19

Loved it

A brilliant insight into the UK life from the late 1800s to 1950s. Loved every minute and great narration. Highly recommended

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  • db3772243
  • 12-11-19

I loved the story.

the narators voice was a little anoying, glad it wasn't a long book. great story.

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  • Jessie
  • 09-26-19

abridged version

I assumed this was the full story unfortunately it was not otherwise it was fine

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  • Anonymous User
  • 04-19-19

How fortunate we are!

Listening to the past can change your future, It is strange, How we reflect on our own happiness, When we see other's sorrow.
Thank you Nurse Lee.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 11-09-18

Heartbreaking

This was absolutely heart breaking. Beautifully written and spoken. Definitely recommend for history lovers. Don't take for granted what we have now.