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Orphans of Empire


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About the Author

Helen Berry is Professor of British History at Newcastle University. She studied history at the University of Durham and Jesus College, Cambridge, and has published extensively on the social history of Georgian Britain. A prizewinning Fellow of the Royal Historical Society, rphans of Empire is her third book.


... her honest subjectivity makes this a better book. It has a soul. Orphans of Empire is a fascinating, beautifully written story about an 18th century charity, but also a book that asks difficult questions about welfare that remain relevant today. * Gerard DeGroot, The Times 30/03/2019 *
Overturns preconceptions ... Orphans of Empire is noteworthy for Berry's meticulous examination of the records that document individual appeals and interventions. Helen Berry has produced a remarkable study, informative and impassioned. * Jenny Uglow, The Times Literary Supplement 15/05/2019 *
Her well organised, workman-like account concentrates on the 18th century and does an important job of clearing a way through a mass of repetitious detail, while acknowledging how telling and human that detail is. She is particularly good at interweaving a surviving autobiographical account by one foundling, George King, with the records of other lives. * Fiona Sampson, The Spectator 04/04/2019 *
The history of the Foundling Hospital is well known, but for those coming new to the story Berry's is a fresh and insightful introduction. Her pace is lively and her touch is light ... Helen Berry's book is a welcome addition to a crowded field. It offers an up-to-date and authoritative history of Thomas Coram's hospital that is at its most valuable when focusing on the life stories of the foundlings themselves. * Gerry White, Literary Review 04/04/2019 *
[Berry's] study is an exemplary piece of objective historical research... * John Pridmore, Church Times 02/08/2019 *
Orphans of Empire is a super book, nicely produced, with good black & white illustrations, clear endnotes and indexing, and I recommend it. * Mike Patterson, London Historians 08/04/2019 *
An excellent book ... There is a Foundling Museum at Brunswick Square and to my shame I'd never visited it until the book inspired me to go along... * Peter Gruner, Islington Tribune 31/05/2019 *
Orphans of Empire is a heartbreaking read that is also absolutely unputdownable. Helen Berry brings the 18th century to glorious life in a way that few historians can match, every book of hers is a treasure. * Dr. Amanda Foreman, FRSA *

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