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Received, A Blank Child

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Authors Charles Dickens
W[illiam] H[enry] Wills
Genres Prose: Leading Article i
Prose: Report i
Subjects Charity; Philanthropists; Philanthropists—Fiction; Benevolence
Children; Childhood; Pregnancy; Childbirth; Child Rearing; Adoption; Child Labor
Family Life; Families; Domestic Relations; Sibling Relations; Kinship; Home;
Great Britain—Social Conditions—Nineteenth Century
Medical care; Nursing; Hospitals; Hospital Care; Surgery; Medicine; Physicians
Other Details
Printed : 19/3/1853
Journal : Household Words
Volume : Volume VII
Magazine : No. 156
Office Book Notes
Views : 2337

Dickens probably wrote the following portions of 'Received, a Blank Child': from 'Proceeding to visit' (p. 51) to 'sensation at all' (p. 52); from 'But, as we were leaving' (p. 52) to 'Joe ... £500' (p. 53).
Dickens may also have written or added substantially to the following passages: from the beginning to 'at this day' (p. 49); from 'Such is the home' (p. 53) to the conclusion.
In addition, Dickens seems to have gone over and emended the following section: from 'One end' to 'with the hospital' (p. 52).
Finally, Dickens seems to have added touches to passages primarily by Wills - for example, he may have added the sentence beginning, 'But, though shipwrecked' (p. 50). For a discussion of the Dickens-Wills attributions, see note to 'Valentine's Day at the Post-Office'.
'Received, a Blank Child' gives an account of the history and methods of the famous London Foundling Hospital. Dickens had long been interested in 'the Foundling.' He mentioned 'the Foundling' in such early works as 'The Boarding-House' (Sketches by Boz, 1836) and Barnaby Rudge (1841), and he made the Hospital figure significantly in such later works as Little Dorrit (1855-1857) and No Thoroughfare (1867).

Harry Stone; © Bloomington and Indiana University Press, 1968. DJO gratefully acknowledges permission to reproduce this material.

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