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Victorian and Early 20th Century Baby Farming (Hardback)

The Darkest Business

P&S History > Reference P&S History > Social History World History

By Eve Bacon
Imprint: Pen & Sword History
Pages: 264
Illustrations: 30 mono illustrations
ISBN: 9781036110567
Published: 30th September 2024

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RRP £25.00

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Mrs. Amelia Dyer was probably the most notorious baby farmer, but she was not working in isolation. The wider story of the myriad of others also classed as baby farmers is told here. Detailing the stories of over 100 baby farmers, the good, the bad and the murderous, it looks at why baby farming became so prevalent during the Victorian period. Why did so many mothers choose to hand their babies over to the care of these people, usually, women? What ‘care’ was meted out to the innocent victims of these crimes? How did baby farmers come to the notice of the authorities, and how did the police track down the perpetrators of this darkest of businesses? What were the punishments meted out to them? And how, eventually, the practice was brought to an end? Find the answers to the questions about the darkest business to be carried out during the Victorian and early Twentieth Century periods in this book that traces the stories of so many baby farmers, many of whom have not had their stories told before. Was there a baby farmer in your family? Did one of your ancestors survive a baby farmer, or had they found a good family to give them the love and care a child needs? This book not only tells of a business that has long gone for its historical interest, but also, can be of use to family historians, and social history researchers.

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About Eve Bacon

Eve qualified with a BEd(Hons) in 1987 and spent her working life as a teacher, specialising in the teaching of English. Alongside her career she indulged her love of social history as a reenactor showing the lives of ordinary women living various historical eras, ultimately on a semi-professional basis. Eventually, she became fascinated with the Victorian period, including becoming a Queen Victoria impersonator. At the other end of the social scale, she developed a character-led talk on Amelia Dyer, this research culminated in a presentation she has delivered to a variety of interest groups, including several family history societies, and she has featured as an expert in a BBC Radio documentary on the subject. Now retired from teaching, when she is not living in the past, she spends time either gardening or sewing, both with the ‘help’ of her little black cat.

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