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[Perspectives] Family secrets

Florence was in the workhouse and about to deliver her second child when she gave up her first-born, Arthur, to state care. Arthur’s brother and later a sister would follow him into various workhouses across London. Their birth certificates list father as “unknown”. Florence and her children do not feature in Jane Robinson’s In the Family Way: Illegitimacy Between the Great War and the Swinging Sixties but nevertheless their experiences mirror countless tales shared by Robinson of families separated by circumstance, family politics, faith, and poverty.