Helen (Dendy) Bosanquet

Ellen Ross

in Slum Travelers

Published by University of California Press

Published in print July 2007 | ISBN: 9780520249059
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520940055 | DOI:
Helen (Dendy) Bosanquet

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Helen (Dendy) Bosanquet was a prolific and well-informed commentator on family and neighborhood poverty, on social policy, and on social work methods. While her sometimes acid and ungenerous portrayals of the working-class life can be insulting, her work nevertheless was appreciated as “cultural sociology”. Helen was liberal-minded and her political thoughts are complicated. She was a lifelong Liberal and advocator of Irish Home Rule, and a supporter of votes for women. She was outspoken about the burdens that disenfranchisement placed on working-class women. Even after her marriage to Bernard Bosanquet, Helen continued her work on working class-life and class politics. She was active in founding a social work training program at Bedford College and Women's University Settlement. She also served on the Royal Commission on Poor Law and advocated for private charity rather than public welfare programs. This chapter focuses on Helen (Dendy) Bosanquet's satirical account of marriages among the lower strata of society. It particularly focuses on the early and reckless marriage of youths without considering the challenges that lay ahead, such as the challenge of owning a decent home, raising a family, and feeding the family.

Keywords: Helen Bosanquet; neighborhood poverty; social policy; working-class women; marriage; Poor Law; private charity

Chapter.  3572 words. 

Subjects: Modern History (1700 to 1945)

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