Product Code: B2D1734
Author : Jennifer Worth
Publisher : Weidenfeld and Nicolson
Format : Paperback
Reading Age : Adult
Titles in the Set :
1. Call the midwife
2. Shadows of the workhouse
3. Farewell to east end
4. Letters to the Midwife
Call the midwife
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.
Shadows of the workhouse
There’s Jane, who cleaned and generally helped out at Nonnatus House – she was taken to the workhouse as a baby and was allegedly the illegitimate daughter of an aristocrat. Peggy and Frank’s parents both died within 6 months of each other and the children were left destitute. At the time, there was no other option for them but the workhouse.
The Reverend Thornton-Appleby-Thorton, a missionary in Africa, visits the Nonnatus nuns and Sister Julienne acts as matchmaker. And Sister Monica Joan, the eccentric ninety-year-old nun, is accused of shoplifting some small items from the local market. She is let off with a warning, but then Jennifer finds stolen jewels from Hatton Garden in the nun’s room. These stories give a fascinating insight into the resilience and spirit that enabled ordinary people to overcome their difficulties.
Farewell to east end
This final book in Jennifer Worth’s memories of her time as a midwife in London’s East end brings her story full circle. As always there are heart breaking stories such as the family devastated by tuberculosis and a ship’s woman who ‘serviced’ the entire crew, as well as plenty of humour and warmth, such as the tale of two women who shared the same husband! Other stories cover backstreet abortions, the changing life of the docklands, infanticide, as well as the lives of the inhabitants of Nonnatus House.
We discover what happens with the gauche debutant Chummy and her equally gauche policeman; will Sister Monica Joan continue her life of crime? Will Sister Evangelina ever crack a smile? And what of Jennifer herself? The book not only details the final years of the tenements but also of Jennifer’s journey as she moves on from the close community of nuns, and her life takes a new path.
Letters to the Midwife
Letters to the Midwife is a wonderful collection of correspondence received by Jennifer Worth, offering a fascinating glimpse into a long-lost world.
Along with readers’ responses and personal histories, it is filled with all sorts of heart-warming gems. There are stories from other midwives, lorry drivers, even a seamstress, all with tales to tell.
Containing previously unpublished material describing her time spent in Paris and some journal entries, this is also a portrait of Jennifer herself, complete with a moving introduction by her family about the woman they knew and loved.