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Worth gained her midwife training in the 1950s among an Anglican order of nuns dedicated to ensuring safer childbirth for the poor living amid the Docklands slums on the East End of London. Her engaging memoir retraces those early years caring for the indigent and unfortunate during the pinched postwar era in London, when health care was nearly nonexistent, antibiotics brand-new, sanitary facilities rare, contraception unreliable and families with 13 or more children the norm. Working alongside the trained nurses and midwives of St. Raymund Nonnatus (a pseudonym she's given the place), Worth made frequent visits to the tenements that housed the dock workers and their families, often in the dead of night on her bicycle. Her well-polished anecdotes are teeming with character detail of some of the more memorable nurses she worked with, such as the six-foot-two Camilla Fortescue-Cholmeley-Browne, called Chummy, who renounced her genteel upbringing to become a nurse, or the dotty old Sister Monica Joan, who fancied cakes immoderately. Patients included Molly, only 19 and already trapped in poverty and degradation with several children and an abusive husband; Mrs. Conchita Warren, who was delivering her 24th baby; or the birdlike vagrant, Mrs. Jenkins, whose children were taken away from her when she entered the workhouse. (Apr.)
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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 --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.See all Editorial Reviews
As a fan of the show, I enjoyed reading the book. It is amazing how close the t.v. show is to the book - refreshing actually. Read morePublished 1 day ago by A. Yung
Enjoyed this series very much. It is a good history lesson along with good stories about women and their struggles
During that time in history.
A bit more technical that the fantastic TV series with medical terms I did not understand. Yet still an amazing recount of a period of time and place that fascinates and stands... Read morePublished 12 days ago by Amazon Customer