Victorian Workhouses: Background information when reading Splendors and Glooms

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Splendors and Glooms

by Laura A. Schlitz

Splendors and Glooms
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  • First Published:
    Aug 2012, 400 pages
    Jan 2014, 400 pages

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Book Reviewed by:
BJ Nathan Hegedus

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About this Book

Beyond the Book:
Victorian Workhouses

In the early nineteenth century in England, parish churches and towns provided relief for the poor, but as the cost of looking after them kept rising and the method became increasingly disorganized, the upper classes and growing middle class who carried the burden of this expense by paying increasingly higher property taxes, sought a central alternative solution.

Parliament passed the Poor Law Amendment Act of 1834, which was meant to reduce this cost. The new law stated that in order to receive aid one needed to surrender everything (home, processions and most important, personal freedom) and move into the local parish workhouse. In return, one would be fed, clothed and given medical care. If this was not agreeable, no matter how destitute things became there would be no help given.

Orphans in Victorian workhouse Families forced to enter the workhouse were split apart. Husbands separated from wives, children from parents. Once segregated, everyone slept in dormitories. Residents had to wear uniforms and were ...

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