The discovery that, as a youth, Charles Dickens lived only a few doors away from a major London workhouse made literary headlines worldwide, and the campaign to save the Cleveland Street Workhouse from demolition caught the public imagination in Britain. This book, by the historian who uncovered these new findings, tells the story of her sleuthing and also reveals how profound these early experiences were to Dickens's subsequent writing career.
"Conjures up vivid images of poverty-stricken Victorian London and deepens our understanding of the sense of outrage that compelled Dickens to bring the predicament of the poor to wider attention."—Glasgow Herald
"The book offers a detailed study of the Dickens's family home and its surrounding neighborhood, as well as an evocative and damning portrait of Britain's de-facto 'prison system to punish poverty'."—The New Yorker
"The important discoveries in this surprising book come from an intimate knowledge of Dickens and London, coupled with a historian's passion. We're seized by the hand of a detective and walked into Dickens's world. Unputdownable."—Miriam Margolyes