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Call the Midwife: A True Story of the East End in the 1950s

Jennifer Worth

Call the Midwife

Katharine Baumgartner, RCN Customer Services Information Assistant

Reason you chose this book

Midwifery often seems to play second fiddle to nursing but Call the Midwife is a wonderful book written by a midwife in the 1950's and details the experiences, both good and bad, of working in the East End Dockland's of London.


Jennifer Worth's goal in writing this book was to do for midwifery what James Herriot did for vets. This is a heartwarmingly true account of the life and times of trainee midwife, Jenny Lee and the appalling conditions which many women gave birth in the 50's, especially in the East End. The book's author felt that midwifery needed to have its profile raised and so she wrote this account of her experiences. The story has been so successful that the BBC created a series from it. Not only is this book an interesting read but its social commentary into the lives of women in this era living in that part of London is, if not profound then at least of significant historical interest. The book reads like fiction and is a both a delight and insight into what the midwifery profession was like back then.

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Page last updated - 03/08/2019