I have always been fascinated by the Victorians. They are so near,and yet so far. The victorian period was a time of exploration,invention,extreme social inequality and extraordinary change. The Ragged Schools,The Crystal Palace Exhibition,Maids of all Work,Mudlarks and Helen Keller will all have a place here,as will stories about the Queen from whom the period took its name.

Give With Prudence:a Victorian view of charity

A victorian view of giving!

"I see, Mamma," said little Jane,

"A beggar coming down the lane;

O,let me give him(may not I?)

This cheesecake and some currant pie."

"Your charity I much approve,

And something you may take him, love;

But let it be some bread and cheese,

Much better than such things as these.

"By giving sweetmeats to the poor,

Who never tasted them before,

We spoil the good we have in view,

And teach them wants they never knew."

From 'A Child's First Book of Poetry,' 1875

It is to be hoped that our view of charity has somewhat changed!