02 May 2017

Victorian Slum House Premieres Tonight (2 May 2017) (PBS)

Victorian Slum House Premieres Tonight (2 May 2017) (PBS)

With a title like that, I had to check out this new TV show on PBS.

"Victorian Slum House" takes viewers back to the British slums of the 1800s, where a group of modern-day families, couples and individuals recreate life in London’s East End as their forbearers once lived between 1860-1900. Faced with the virtually impossible task of earning enough money to pay the rent and put food on the table, the participants experience first-hand the tough living and working conditions endured by the millions that made up the urban poor in Victorian Britain. It’s an eye-opening experience for the participants as they each confront the harsh realities of the past and together lay the groundwork for welfare reform in the 20th century.

On the PBS page there is an official trailer video and then 10 other videos showing vignettes from the show.

An article in the Desert News gives you a sense of the show – Victorian Slum House Takes Family History to a New Level.

Several of the participating families' ancestors lived in London's East End during the Victorian era and, many of them expressed, what better way to get to know and connect with their forebears than by experiencing life as they did?

What starts as a charming idea soon becomes a rude wakeup call.
Past and present come together in "Victorian Slum House" to give viewers an educational and often emotional experience of the nitty-gritty details of a historical time that can be easily overlooked.

Many of my English ancestors did live in poverty though not in London. I know that I cannot appreciate how tough their lives were.  Though I may sometimes “wish” to live in simpler times, I realize all too well that all was not rosy for my ancestors.

What period of time would you like to see a similar show created for?

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