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First published in 1981, From Pauperism to Poverty consists of seven essays, three of which focus on the English poor law between 1800 and 1914 and four of which examine texts of social investigation by Mayhew, Engels, Booth and Rowntree. Rather than making a specialist contribution to the history of social thought and policy, the essays raise general questions about current ways of writing history and alternative analyses of specific texts or institutions are developed. In doing so, the previous histories of the relief of pauperism and the discovery of poverty are revised at many points. Most notably, it is demonstrated for the first time that relief to unemployed men was virtually abolished after 1850.
This book will be of interest to those studying the history of social welfare and poverty.