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Four Meals for Fourpence
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Four Meals for Fourpence

3.86  ·  Rating details ·  195 Ratings  ·  18 Reviews
A heartwarming memoir of working-class life in the East End in the early 1900s 
I was born in a tenement flat in the East End of London in the year in which Queen Victoria died. In this book, Grace Foakes shares her memories of her girlhood in Wapping in the early 1900s. With a child’s uncluttered eye, she describes the small details—shopping in the market, men waiting for
Paperback, 288 pages
Published June 8th 2011 by Virago UK (first published April 1st 2011)
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Feb 19, 2015 rated it really liked it
Very, very quick read. A little repetitive at times but extremely interesting. Could use some editing. Reads as a transcript of an interview but the simplistic style suits the authors memoir.
Feb 02, 2012 added it
This book is subtitled "a heartwarming tale"--evidently Virago's marketing department rejected "a bleak tale" and "a chilling tale." I liked this memoir of growing up in Wapping very much. The author's voice is so unaffected (it reads almost like a cleaned-up transcript of interviews), and because it's a memoir of childhood, her recollections center on impressions of noisy docks and fragrant tea warehouses rather than, say, poor sanitation and infant mortality; this narrowness made reading it be ...more
Andi Gaywood
Jun 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Having just finished this book with a burst of renewed vigour I can say it is a wonderful book of hardship, love, determination, surviving, family life and struggles in an era of poverty. Although by comparison we live in better times I feel a lot of the struggles People had should make us more prepared a draft ready for hard times.

However the easy times we have in an era of time saving gadgets, very little manual work and in all honesty laziness we would not cope if we had to rely on. our own
Feb 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Loved this book, based on the life of grace foakes, a child growing up in the 1900, s, she tells her story honestly about the hardships she and her family endured, and what life was like living in poverty, a wonderful read told through a child's eyes.
Mar 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Different from the usual East End childhood

Most of the other East End childhood memoirs I have read have all had one thing in common , in the respect that all of the fathers were heavy drinkers . The author although from a poor family , seemed to have sufficient to meet her needs and the fact the family were teetotal meant they significantly better off than many of their neighbours. Very readable and enjoyable book.
Lauryn Kavanagh-Coombes
Oct 08, 2018 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed reading this book; the tone of the writing makes it sound as though you are sat in Grace's living room, listening to her reminisce about times gone by over a cup of tea. Grace discusses the ups and downs of life at the beginning of the last century. She paints an idyllic care-free childhood in many ways, but is not afraid to sugar-coat the hardships that go with the times and circumstances. Recommended for anyone looking to hear a little more about early 20th century London.
Aug 13, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Read Between High Walls in the early 1970s. lost my copy in the next 40 years. always remembered it in the back of my mind so when i came across it on amazon immediately bought a copy. It retains its punch and is, i think, superior to many such memoirs written at a later date. Artless and very detailed, the writer was obviously highly intelligent. Would love to know more about her parents and their background. Shows us the good old days as they really were. Robert Platt is a real Victorian fathe ...more
Manuelle Mary
Nov 10, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Grace greatly depicted the story of her life time. She vividly leads me to the understanding of how life was in her generation and made me appreciate mine even more. The comparison of both was made not to be offensive or the like but all the more a brief discussion in that part of history.

Mrs. Foakes guarantees her autobiography, part history and applicable defining lessons all in one book, giving it a five.
Apr 29, 2013 rated it really liked it
Learnt a few things from this book and reminded of others. Hope someone told her there are still quite a few "Pie and Mash" shops about that also sell stewed eels, although don't think anywhere has live eels swimming in a tank. Think they have even gone from Wet fish shops. A lot of the things she had written were still happening at a much later date than the time she was writing but thank goodness a lot of others have ceased .
S. Williamson
Jan 17, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This book is just like having a really good talk with your gran (over tea and cake) about her recollections of her life. I love the sense of camaraderie of the people and families, even though they don't have a 'pot to p*ss in' they care about each other. A rose-tinted memoir, maybe, but a really 'warm' read.
Rosalind M
Jul 27, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: memoir-biography
A frank and unvarnished look at childhood in England in the 1900s. This could serve as a valuable research tool for writers and is a bleak reminder of how far we've come in such a short timespan. I shudder to think of the workload that was part of everyday life for most people back then.
Jun 19, 2016 rated it liked it
Womans account of growing up in poverty just before the war. It was interesting to find out how the family coped with poverty with little money. I would like to read the follow on to this where she talks about her marriage to Rueben and the difficulties she has rearing the children.
Aug 02, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: biographies
Lovely book of very vivid memories of a childhood spent in the East End of London at the turn of the 19th century. Made me feel very lucky.
Mar 25, 2013 rated it it was ok
Shelves: read-2013
Absolutely no story. This is Non fictional book about a woman growing up in the East end. Its very factual and enlightening to compart to what we have now. Story however there is not one....
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