Mollie – Thank you for your comments relating to the book, ‘The Confessions of a Poacher’ that I had the pleasure of narrating a little while ago now.icequeen wrote: ↑December 16th, 2019, 8:50 pmPraise received for TND1 (TND) from our 'Thank a reader' feature regarding his recording of The Confessions of a Poacher:
Thank you for your choosing this book to read! Every chapter was fascinating. I now need to look up the difference between a rabbit and a hare. I really wish that the book had been longer, or that the poacher had talked about his family life. I kept wondering what his family (wife? children?) did when he spent the 9 months in jail. I found that he was 32 when he wrote the book.
This is an excellent example of books none of us would get to hear if LibriVox was not there.
Again, many thanks.
All of TND's recordings!
The book was set in the North of England but the life-story portrayed meant that the central character could have come from any part of the country. Indeed, I could relate some of the stories to people that I knew many years ago from my childhood in the countryside of the East of England.
As you observed, there were no details given about his family life but if he did have a wife and children, then it would be unlikely that they could have been taken in by family or friends, given that they too would have been exceedingly poor. If that was the case, then his wife and children would have had to throw themselves on the ‘mercy of the parish’ and enter the local workhouse (as described so well in Oliver Twist) for the duration of the sentence.
It is also worth noting that in earlier times, instead of being sent to prison, the poacher might well have been sentenced to ‘transportation to the colonies’ (such as America, Australia, New Zealand). This would have meant that his wife and family would have been left destitute with their only hope being in the basic level of existence offered by the parish workhouse.
I hope that this gives you a bit more background information that you might like to check out further.