Tomkins, A (2021) Poor-law institutions through working-class eyes: autobiography, emotion, and family context 1834-1914. Journal of British Studies, 60 (2). pp. 285-309. ISSN 0095-1390

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Histories of the English workhouse and its satellite institutions have concentrated on legal change, institutional administration, and moments of shock or scandal, generally without considering the place of these institutions, established through the Poor Law Amendment Act of 1834, in the emotional life course of poor inmates. This article uses working-class autobiographies to examine the register of emotional responses to workhouses and associated Poor Law institutions, and the range of narrative voices open to authors who recalled institutional residence. It also gives close attention to two lengthy narratives of workhouse district schools and highlights their significance in comparison to the authors’ family backgrounds and the representation of each writer in the wider historical record. It suggests that a new affective chronology of the workhouse is needed to accommodate room for disparity between the aspiration of systematic poor relief and the reality of individual experience within local interpretations of the law.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: This is the accepted author manuscript (AAM). The final published version (version of record) will be available online via Cambridge University Press at - please refer to any applicable terms of use of the publisher.
Subjects: D History General and Old World > DA Great Britain
K Law > K Law (General)
Divisions: Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences > School of Humanities
Depositing User: Symplectic
Date Deposited: 03 Oct 2019 14:21
Last Modified: 09 Apr 2022 01:30

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