Nominated for the 2005 Norma Fleck Award
Thousands of mothers carried their babies to the gates of the Foundling Hospital desperate to save them from the cruel streets of eighteenth-century London. Each baby was left with a personal “token” – identification if a repentant mother ever returned to reclaim her child.
Captain Thomas Coram, himself childless, was inspired by the sight of babies abandoned on dung heaps to petition the king for support in building a home for England’s poorest children. Coram’s vision saved countless children’s lives.
A Home for Foundlings describes the hospital Captain Coram founded, the luminaries involved – including Handel, Hogarth, and Dickens – and the daily lives of the foundlings themselves.
Full of archival photos and materials, and published in cooperation with the newly established Foundling Museum in London and Lord Cultural Resources, A Home for Foundlings is a fascinating, heartbreaking, and timely book. Author Marthe Jocelyn’s text has particular resonance: her grandfather, Arthur Jocelyn, was raised in the Foundling Hospital.close this panel
Marthe Jocelyn is an award-winning author and illustrator who worked for many years as a toy designer before turning her hand to writing. Although this is her first work of nonfiction, she has written five novels, including the critically acclaimed works of historical fiction Mable Riley and Earthly Astonishments. Marthe Jocelyn lives in New York City and Stratford, Ontario with her husband, artist Tom Slaughter, and their daughters.close this panel
“A heartbreaking book… extensively researched… presents information in a way that is respectful of the people and the situation… story and photos convey a fascinating part of history… Jocelyn writes feelingly without any sentimentality.”
-Jury Comment (Norma Fleck Award)