The Last Foundling

The Last Foundling

Book - 2014
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When she fell pregnant in London in 1938, Jean knew that she couldn't keep her baby. She was unmarried - her sweetheart having departed to set up a home for them both in South Africa - and living alone with no money or family close by. Afraid and desperate, she implored the panel of the Foundling Hospital, the institution set up by philanthropist Thomas Coram in 1739, to give her child the care that she could not. Allowed to nurse her newborn son for nine weeks, Jean was heartbroken when the time came for her to give him away. Little Tommy would know nothing of her love as he grew up alongside the other abandoned and misfortunate children of the Foundling Hospital. The regime during the years of the Second World War was particularly harsh: there were few teachers, strict rules and severe punishments, little food, segregation of the sexes and bullying was rife. A mischievous child, Tom seemed to be always getting himself into trouble. He spent each school holiday with another foster family, never quite finding a place to call home. But as social policy moved away from institutional care, so Tom found his world opening up in the most exciting of ways.
Publisher: London : 2014. Pan,
ISBN: 9781447253266
Branch Call Number: B 362.732092 M'KEN
Characteristics: 306 p., [8] p. of plates : ill. ; 20 cm

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d2013 Oct 28, 2016

Well written and moving!

e
Eil_1
Jul 21, 2016

An excellent portrayal by the author of his life as an orphan in England. The unbearable loneliness of having no family haunts him throughout his early years, as well as the hardships of being institutionalized. There are, however, intervening times of happiness in various foster homes.
Although this was the situation for many of these orphans, they pale when one researches the plight of orphans throughout Canada during the same period of time. The monstrosities committed to "the Duplessis Orphans" by the government and Catholic Church are beyond belief but true. Also, the same type of abuse and genocide by The United Church and Catholic Church (and others?) to our Indigenous children in residential 'schools' is truly beyond criminal.
It is reported that it is far easier to adopt a child from a foreign country than through our Children's Aid Societies that many just give up. I personally know such a married couple who tried.
In summary, as we know, every baby/child needs a loving, nurturing family in order to achieve personal growth and stability. Fostering, although there are many well-meaning 'parents' is only temporary. It can also be a lucrative business - whereas adoption means true commitment.

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