A gift book for the Alexandra Orphanage

Book/Illustration/Image

Description

English

The Alexandra Orphanage for Infants, London, was set up in 1864 as a home for children before they were old enough to attend the Orphan Working School. One of the first charities of its kind, the Orphan Working School was founded in 1758.

Published in 1870, this collection of fiction and non-fiction writing was intended to raise funds for the charity. As fits a gift-book each element is carefully designed and highly ornamental. It is bound in an attractive, plush cover of blue leather with gold tooling and features a photograph of the orphanage in the frontispiece.

The pieces shown here provide an insight into why the orphanage was set up and how it was run.

Charles Dickens’s involvement

A year after Charles Dickens depicted ‘Ignorance’ and ‘Want’ in A Christmas Carol, he pledged an annual donation to the Orphan Working School. He subsequently became a Governor of the Charity, and later donated funds to the Alexandra Orphanage for Infants.

Full title
Alexandra: a gift book to the Alexandra Orphanage for Infants
Published
estimated 1870 , London
Format
Book / Illustration / Image
Creator
Thomas Archer [editor]
Held by
British Library
Usage Terms
Free from known copyright restrictions
Shelfmark
12331.g.15.

Related articles

Orphans in fiction

Article by
John Mullan
Themes: 
Childhood and children's literature, The novel 1832 - 1880

Why do orphans appear so frequently in 19th-century fiction? Professor John Mullan reflects on the opportunities they provide for authors, considering some of the most famous examples of the period.

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