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Childhood and Death in Victorian England (ePub)

British History Social History Victorian Era

By Sarah Seaton
Imprint: Pen & Sword History
File Size: 5.9 MB (.epub)
Pages: 206
ISBN: 9781473877047
eBook Released: 17th July 2017

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In this fascinating book, the reader is taken on a journey of real life accounts of Victorian children, how they lived, worked, played and ultimately died. Many of these stories have remained hidden for over 100 years. They are now unearthed to reveal the hardship and cruel conditions experienced by many youngsters, such as a travelling fair child, an apprentice at sea and a trapper. The lives of the children of prostitutes, servant girls, debutantes and married women all intermingle, unified by one common factor – death. Drawing on actual instances of Infanticide and baby farming the reader is taken into a world of unmarried mothers, whose shame at being pregnant drove them to carry out horrendous crimes yet walk free from court, without consequence. For others, they were not so lucky. The Victorian children in this publication lived in the rapidly changing world of the Industrial Revolution. With the introduction of the New Poor Law in 1834 the future for some pauper children changed – but not for the better. Studies have also unearthed a religious sect known as the ‘Peculiar People’ and gives an insight into their beliefs. This book is not recommended for those easily offended as it does contain graphic descriptions of some child murders, although not intended to glorify the tragedies, they were necessary to inform the reader of the horrific extent that some killers went to. This book will appeal to anyone with an interest in the social history of the Victorian period.

This is an excellent history of childhood deaths, and there is still plenty to be learnt, and this is only the beginning of that education. This book has been well researched, well written and an engrossing read, and you will learn something on every page.

Reviewed by Paul Digget

This is a well-researched book that would be of interest to people researching the social history of the Victorian period, particularly as it pertains to the treatment of children, to writers looking for background on the period, but it is not a light read or a standard history book of the era. It goes to show that truth can, and it often is, more terrifying than fiction.

Read the full review here.

Olga Nunez Miret

As featured in 'books in brief'

Family Tree, November 2017

As featured on Lil's Vintage World Youtube Blog!

Lil's Vintage World

The scandalous way in which poorer people's lives impacted on their children and their brief, unhappy lives is brought into stark reality in this amazing social history by Sarah Seaton.

Books Monthly

An interesting and easy read.

WDYTYA? Magazine, September 2017 – reviewed by Celia Heritage

Beyond its morbidlurid cover, Seaton unloads information about fatal child labor industrial injuries (involving children as young as 4, yet an average of 9-10 year-olds), accidents, death while in poverty, murder homicides (sometimes involving kidnapping), and death in infancy between 1800 and 1901.

Read the complete review here.

GoodReads, Kristine Fisher

In this fascinating if gruesome book, author Sarah Seaton takes the reader on a journey of real life accounts of Victorian children, how they lived, worked, played and how ultimately they died.

Many of these stories have remained hidden for over 100 years. They are now unearthed to reveal the hardship and cruel conditions experienced by many youngsters, such as a travelling fair child, an apprentice at sea and a trapper. The lives of the children of prostitutes, servant girls, debutantes and married women all intermingle, unified by one common factor – death. The Victorian children in this publication lived in the rapidly changing world of the Industrial Revolution. With the introduction of the New Poor Law in
1834 the future for some pauper children changed – but not always for the better.
This book is not for those easily offended as it does contain graphic descriptions, but it will appeal to anyone with an interest in the social history of the Victorian period.

Bradway Bugle, Autumn 2017

About Sarah Seaton

Sarah Seaton has a Masters degree in Local and Regional History from the University of Nottingham. She taught the subject for Derbyshire County Council, The University of Nottingham and the WEA. Sarah is the author of The Derby Book of Days, The History of Greasley Parish Church, Nottinghamshire and War Time Memories of the Amber Valley* (*for Derbyshire County Council); she has regularly written articles in the Nottingham Post and is editor for the Nottinghamshire Local History Association’s The Nottinghamshire Historian magazine.

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