Publisher Information: 1873-1908.
Hill, Octavia (1838-1912). Letter [to my fellow workers] accompanying the account of donations received for work amongst the poor during 1872 [-1908]. 30 parts in one volume. London: V.p., 1873-1909. 177 x 125 mm. Original limp calf, gilt-lettered spine, some wear at edges and hinges, front hinge cracked but sound. Very good. Presentation Copy, inscribed by Hill on the title of the first part: “For Miss Sunderland with sincere gratitude for her seven years help from Octavia Hill 1909.” Several parts bear the signature or annotations of Miranda Hill (1836-1910), Octavia Hill’s sister and fellow social reformer.
First Book-Form Edition, bound up from the original parts, of Hill’s privately printed quasi-annual reports detailing her work to alleviate poverty and improve the living conditions of England’s urban poor. The recipient of this copy was most likely Joan Sunderland, who worked with Hill and later became a manager of working-class property in London. Several of the parts bear the signature or annotations of Hill’s sister Miranda, founder of the influential Kyrlie Society, whose mission was to provide the poor with art, books and open spaces.
Octavia Hill, the famous English social reformer, was a major force behind the development of adequate housing for Britain’s working poor and unemployed, who for the most part lived in cold, crowded and disease-ridden city slums. In 1865, with financial help from John Ruskin, Hill began acquiring and improving properties in London to rent to low-income families; by 1874 she had fifteen housing schemes under her management, serving around 3000 tenants. Hill employed female rent collectors and housing managers who acted as early social workers, establishing personal connections with each tenant and making sure that their residences were properly maintained. She also set up tenants’ associations, after-school clubs for children and other organizations to improve tenant welfare. In the 1870s Hill expanded her efforts to include the preservation of accessible open spaces in England’s cities, working with her sister Miranda to found the Kyrlie Society to “bring beauty home to the poor.” In the 1880s she helped to set up the Commons Preservation Society (now the Open Space Society), and in 1893 she became one of the three founders of Britain’s National Trust.
The “Letters” in our volume cover the years 1872, 1875, 1877-81, 1884-85 jointly, and 1887-1908. The volume also includes two articles by Hill: “Management of houses for the poor,” following the “Letter” for 1896; and “Housing difficulties: Management versus reconstruction,” following the “Letter” for 1904. OCLC records a volume identical to the one we are offering, so it appears that ours is complete as issued.
Book Id: 44441