Caroline Holmes

The author is to be congratulated on unearthing so much interesting historical material on the treatment of the poor: a little-considered area becoming ever more relevant nowadays. His book is well presented with clear, attractive illustrations, some of which are his own photographs.

Extensive quotations allow the reader to become immersed in the attitudes, thought processes and language of the period. We find earnestness and good-hearted concern for the less fortunate, narrow-minded pompous bigotry, sarcasm, ranging from gentle to scathing, and the pawky humour of a farm-servant. We enjoy a miscreant's cheeky behaviour and are touched by the pathos of an old couple no longer able to earn a living with their mangle. We note the sometimes harsh dominance of religion and realise how much this influence has changed in our time.

Hopefully Alastair MacDonald will continue researching this field, as there are surely further questions that his work has raised in his own mind, as well as those of his readers.

April 2022

Scottish Roots Genealogical Society Ontario Canada

"What a great presentation. So informative".

Morningside Heritage Association Charles Smith Lecture 2022

"Thank you so much for coming to tell us such absorbing tales from, and about, the Poorhouse this evening.  

We have been reminded both of the place in history that one of our local heritage treasures should occupy, and of the constraints and deprivations of both the men, women and children lost to the outside world.                           

You have given us a wonderful start to our talks programme. It’s great news that the book sales went so well too!"

Pentlands Book Festival 2022

"Thank you for your excellent presentation yesterday at the Pentlands Book Festival". 





The Cold Hand of Charity

© Copyright Alastair MacDonald 2021. All rights reserved.