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Call The Midwife: A True Story of the East End in the 1950s

Call The Midwife: A True Story of the East End in the 1950s

Book rating: 05 Paperback Phoenix

By (author) Jennifer Worth

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  • Publisher: Phoenix (an Imprint of The Orion Publishing Group Ltd )
  • Format: Paperback | 368 pages
  • Dimensions: 128mm x 192mm x 22mm | 299g
  • Publication date: 5 January 2012
  • Publication City/Country: London
  • ISBN 10: 0753827875
  • ISBN 13: 9780753827871
  • Illustrations note: Illustrations, ports
  • Sales rank: 720

Product description

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.

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Author information

Jennifer Worth trained as a nurse at the Royal Berkshire Hospital, Reading, and was later ward sister at the Elizabeth Garrett Anderson Hospital in London, then the Marie Curie Hospital, also in London. Music had always been her passion, and in 1973 she left nursing in order to study music intensively, teaching piano and singing for about twenty-five years. Jennifer died in May 2011 after a short illness, leaving her husband Philip, two daughters and three grandchildren. Her books have all been bestsellers.

Customer reviews

By frances bollard 22 Jan 2013 5

Just finished this book and loved it - a real insight into life in the slums post war. Well written. Would recommend.

Review quote

Re-released to tie in with a new BBC adaptation, you must read this superbly moving but also witty story. CLOSER This is a funny, at times disturbing, memoir of a world that has now changed beyond measure. HUDDERSFIELD DAILY EXAMINER A poignant, funny and enlightening book -- Charlotte Vowden DAILY EXPRESS If you loved the TV adaptation, why not read the original books of Jennifer Worth's stories of being a midwife in London in the '50s? The characters you will meet, both colleagues and patients, stay with you for a long time WOMAN