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Showing posts from July, 2023

Shadows of the Workhouse- Book Recommendation

  Shadows of the Workhouse By    By    Jennifer Worth Reviewed by   Geoffrey W. Sutton Yesterday I finished reading the vivid tale, Shadows of the Workhouse by Jennifer Worth. Jennifer tells the heart wrenching stories of the denizens inhabiting the pest-infected slums of the Isle of Dogs. It’s these colourful East Enders who spent early years in London’s workhouses who tell their tales as they live out their lives in the shadows of the workhouse. Although it seemed the workhouses were originally meant to provide basic sustenance for the poor and unemployed, the harsh discipline and separation of family members meant that these poor Londoners were stripped of the nurturance that comes from human warmth found in a mother’s arms or the familiar voice of a brother or sister. One boy found employment, set up his own business, and rescued his younger sister from their workhouse, but learned his mother, who was shunted off to another location, had died. One old soldier joined the army h

Call The Midwife- by Jennifer Worth

Call The Midwife   A True Story of the East End    in the 1950s By    Jennifer Worth Reviewed by   Geoffrey Sutton / I read Call the Midwife because I liked the TV show, and my wife recommended the book. I’m a child of 1950s London and grew up with stories from the old days.  Both of my parents are from large London families who survived both World Wars in the city. They lived in small 19 th century dwellings and other relatives lived in multi-storey tenements built in the 1800s.  So, for me, reading this tragic tale is a sort of time travel. I’m from Islington and though I’ve walked the streets of Poplar, experienced the blinding London smog, and wandered about the docklands on the Isle of Dogs, I did not realise the extent of the poverty in the 1950s.   I also appreciated the snapshot of history—the time it took to repair bombed out London. What a difference birth control has made! How many opportunities are now open to women—I’m thinking of my granddaughters—comp

The Spy and The Traitor

The Traitor 2023 by Geoffrey Sutton & Bing AI The Spy 2023 by Geoffrey Sutton & Bing AI   The Spy and the Traitor: The Greatest Espionage Story of the Cold War By    Ben Macintyre Reviewed by   Geoffrey W. Sutton Macintyre makes this true spy story read like a fast-paced novel. The besieged hero struggles against inner demons whilst battling valiantly against a powerful empire. The Spy and the Traitor reveals Russia's Oleg Gordievesky's deconversion from the "religion" of the USSR and conversion to the fresh air of Democracy, which he found in the welcoming arms of Britain's MI6. Gordievsky was born 10 October 1938. As he rose in the KGB hierarchy, his brilliant intelligence and courage provided Britain and her allies with a cornucopia of news and information about the soviet regime's inner workings, fears, and plans between 1974 and 1985. Ironically, some of Gordievesky's revelations may have served both sides well by averting catastrophic and des