A fascinating slice of social history - Jennifer Worth's tales of being a midwife in 1950s London
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.
About the Author
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.
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 *