Jennifer Worth came from a sheltered background when she became a midwife in the Docklands in the 1950s. The conditions in which many women gave birth just half a century ago were horrifying, not only because of their grimly impoverished surroundings, but also because of what they were expected to endure. But while Jennifer witnessed brutality and tragedy, she also met with amazing kindness and understanding, tempered by a great deal of Cockney humour. She also earned the confidences of some whose lives were truly stranger, more poignant and more terrifying than could ever be recounted in fiction.
Attached to an order of nuns who had been working in the slums since the 1870s, Jennifer tells the story not only of the women she treated, but also of the community of nuns (including one who was accused of stealing jewels from Hatton Garden) and the camaraderie of the midwives with whom she trained. Funny, disturbing and incredibly moving, Jennifer's stories bring to life the colourful world of the East End in the 1950s.
Read by Stephanie Cole
Publisher: Orion Publishing Co
Dimensions: 150 x 176 x 16 mm
Edition: Abridged edition
"The fascinating story of Worth's apprentice years as a midwife among London's poorest families... stuffed with amazing characters and heart-warming experiences." -- Christina Hardyment * THE TIMES *
Working out of a convent of nursing nuns her tale engenders a mixture of laughter and tears as she delivers babies in London's East End slums where poverty, brutality and a great sense of community walked hand-in-hand. -- Kati Nicholl * DAILY EXPRESS *
This is riveting, unforgettable testimony, beautifully read. -- Rachel Redford * THE OLDIE *
"An eye-opening piece of social history, stuffed with unexpected characters and incidents ... Stephanie Cole's slightly plummy, confidently no-nonsense voice is an excellent fit for the text." -- Christina Hardyment * BBC HISTORY MAGAZINE *
Full of amazing characters and hair-raising as well as heart-warming experiences. * THE TIMES *