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Homes of the London Poor Octavia Hill

Homes of the London Poor By Octavia Hill

Homes of the London Poor by Octavia Hill


Octavia Hill (1838-1912) was a social reformer, appalled by London slum conditions. These articles trace the history of her work as a landlady to improve the homes and lives of the poor. She stressed the importance of space, fresh air and cleanliness, and helped tenants to improve their conditions.

Homes of the London Poor Summary

Homes of the London Poor by Octavia Hill

Octavia Hill (1838-1912) is today best remembered as one of the founders of the National Trust. However, her involvement in education and social reform, and particularly housing, was a large part of her work. Shocked at the poverty and overcrowding she found in London slums, she began to acquire and improve properties which would restore the tenants' dignity and self-respect. She organised a team of volunteer 'district visitors' to help the residents, and especially children, to achieve a better quality of life, including recreational amenities. These articles, dating from 1866 to 1875, show the development of her thinking on how to achieve reforms by a mixture of legislation and charity. As the number of properties and helpers grew considerably, she argued that the personal involvement of volunteers achieved more than a larger bureaucracy could. Her work, which was internationally recognised, led to the development of housing associations.

Table of Contents

Preface; 1. Cottage property in London; 2. Four years' management of a London court; 3. Landlords and tenants in London; 4. The work of volunteers in the organisation of charity; 5. Co-operation of volunteers and poor-law officials; 6. Why the Artisans Dwellings Bill was wanted; 7. Space for the people.

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Homes of the London Poor by Octavia Hill
Cambridge University Press
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