Pauperland: Poverty and the Poor in Britain (Paperback)
  • Pauperland: Poverty and the Poor in Britain (Paperback)
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Pauperland: Poverty and the Poor in Britain (Paperback)

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£14.99
Paperback 288 Pages
Published: 30/08/2015
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In 1797 Jeremy Bentham prepared a map of poverty in Britain, which he called 'Pauperland.' More than two hundred years later, poverty and social deprivation remain widespread in Britain.Yet despite the investigations into poverty by Mayhew, Booth, and in the 20th century, Townsend, it remains largely unknown to, or often hidden from, those who are not poor. Pauperland is Jeremy Seabrook's account of the mutations of poverty over time, historical attitudes to the poor, and the lives of the impoverished themselves, from early Poor Laws till today. He explains how in the medieval world, wealth was regarded as the greatest moral danger to society, yet by the industrial era, poverty was the most significant threat to social order. How did this change come about, and how did the poor, rather than the rich, find themselves blamed for much of what is wrong with Britain, including such familiar-and ancient-scourges as crime, family breakdown and addictions? How did it become the fate of the poor to be condemned to perpetual punishment and public opprobrium, the useful scapegoat of politicians and the media?Pauperland charts how such attitudes were shaped by ill-conceived and ill-executed private and state intervention, and how these are likely to frame ongoing discussions of and responses to poverty in Britain.

Publisher: C Hurst & Co Publishers Ltd
ISBN: 9781849045841
Number of pages: 288
Dimensions: 216 x 138 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS

'This is a beautifully written book that suggests that our current debates about welfare dependency and entitlements are nothing new. ... Seabrook traces perceptions of the poor over four centuries, and how the authorities have alternated between severity and leniency. He also uses his 50 years' experience as a social worker and researcher to pen poignant descriptions of the realities of being poor in modern Britain. [Pauperland] is a powerful plea for better understanding and humanity.' - The Sunday Times

'Intelligent and subtle analysis of the linked ideas of poverty and wealth ... Seabrook's fascinating book - part intellectual history, part heartfelt polemic - is a plea to redefine wealth and poverty in a less materialistic way.' - The Guardian

'Nothing changes, the poor are always with us - and so are the punitive attitudes of those who confine others to that condition. From Speenhamland to the work house to Iain Duncan Smith, Jeremy Seabrook's enlightening tour through this sorry history reveals the unceasing need of the comfortable to remoralise the paupers, not themselves.' - Polly Toynbee, columnist for The Guardian and author of Hard Work: Life in Low-Pay Britain

'Seabrook's history of the poor and attitudes towards them is a powerful political and moral polemic.' - The Times

'Seabrook sensitively chronicles attitudes towards the poor from the Elizabethan Poor Laws onwards. ... The historical backgrounding is solid, but where Pauperland comes into its own is through its refusal to disregard oral history: the sidelining of the poor is an intrinsic tool in the perpetuation of inequality. Seabrook's examination of the 20th century and beyond comes alive with these oral histories, as well as through personal recollection and insight that never descends into mawkishness.' - New Humanist

'The inspirational Jeremy Seabrook beats any celebrity radical in the art of speaking hard truths through fine prose.' - Boyd Tonkin, The Independent

'Jeremy Seabrook is one of England's most imaginative and creative writers, with a preacher's talent for prophecy and a capacity for righteous indignation reminiscent of George Orwell.' - Richard Gott, The Guardian

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“An authoritative survey of poverty written with passion and compassion ”

A Review of Pauperland, by Jeremy Seabrook
Posted by admin at 10:26 PM on May 4, 2017

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Jeremy Seabrook’s lucid style of writing makes this book about a harrowing and disturbing subject a pleasure to... More

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