Circumstances force eight-year-old Sarah and her widowed mother to enter the notorious St Giles and St George’s Workhouse. When her mother dies in childbirth, the independent-minded Sarah falls foul of the workhouse master, Trigg and his cruel wife. Sarah’s ordeal seems to be over when a sugar mill owner takes her into his home. But her wealthy benefactor reports Trigg and his wife. And blaming Sarah for their misfortune, in a fit of revenge, the couple decide to take the law into their own hands.
To Cassie Armitage and her well-to-do family, Robert Montague seems a perfect suitor: a distinguished preacher with a glamorous past and impressive connections. Only after marriage will trusting and idealistic Cassie discover that Montague is not all that he seems. Nancy Winfield, born to the workhouse and betrayed by her protectors, is quick to recognize the preacher’s evil intentions. Imprisoned in a dangerous marriage and deceived by her sister, Cassie finds an ally in Nancy, and a friend in widower Allan Hunter, who is a victim of Montague’s twisted schemes. Beneath the surface of Cassie’s staid existence perverse and deadly passion run deep, threatening a tragedy that only Nancy Winfield’s loyalty – and Cassie’s courage – can prevent
This historic book may have numerous typos and missing text. Purchasers can usually download a free scanned copy of the original book (without typos) from the publisher. Not indexed. Not illustrated. 1865 edition. Excerpt: ... CHAPTER IV. Patty experienced a strange feeling, eal, an(j jjgjf o eul.josjty, when she left the workhouse for her first place. She had heard terrible stories of cruel treatment to helpless young servants, and yet the thought of earning her own living, strengthened her heart, as she rode along to her destination; for the grocer, who had the contract for supplying the workhouse, had kindly given her a lift in his cart, and set her down at the door of her new abode. It was a numerous household that little Patty came to serve. There were six children under ten years of age, their father and mother, and a young man in the shop, the nephew of the'master. Patty soon saw that the person who worked the hardest, both in the house and the shop,"was the mother. From morning till night, she was always toiling, and her looks were so worn, and anxious, that it was easy to see she had some secret source of sorrow, that preyed upon her, and made life a hard struggle. The master was a very easy-going man, and much more generally liked than his wife. He seemed to have two distant characters, like two coats, one for out-door and one for in-door wear. Out, he was reckoned a cheerful companion, and much sought after by the choice spirits, as they called themselves, of the town. Every evening this man, Mr. Vineer, was to be seen in the parlor of "The Friend and Pitcher," where his song, his joke, his bet, and his opinion, were sure to be well received by the group of topers and smokers who took up their evening quarters there. At home, Mr. Vineer was either dull or fretful, always complaining, and never pleased: he lounged in the shop, and dozed at his desk, and his conversation, if such it might be called, was made up of yawning and grumbling. For an...
The sequel to Jennifer Worth's New York Times bestselling memoir and the basis for the PBS series Call the Midwife When twenty-two-year-old Jennifer Worth, from a comfortable middle-class upbringing, went to work as a midwife in the direst section of postwar London, she not only delivered hundreds of babies and touched many lives, she also became the neighborhood's most vivid chronicler. Woven into the ongoing tales of her life in the East End are the true stories of the people Worth met who grew up in the dreaded workhouse, a Dickensian institution that limped on into the middle of the twentieth century. Orphaned brother and sister Peggy and Frank lived in the workhouse until Frank got free and returned to rescue his sister. Bubbly Jane's spirit was broken by the cruelty of the workhouse master until she found kindness and romance years later at Nonnatus House. Mr. Collett, a Boer War veteran, lost his family in the two world wars and died in the workhouse. Though these are stories of unimaginable hardship, what shines through each is the resilience of the human spirit and the strength, courage, and humor of people determined to build a future for themselves against the odds. This is an enduring work of literary nonfiction, at once a warmhearted coming-of-age story and a startling look at people's lives in the poorest section of postwar London.