NPR

A 'Ragged School' Gives U.K. Children A Taste Of Dickensian Destitution

The East End of London was once synonymous with Dickensian squalor. Now it's prime real estate. A tiny museum in the back streets shows schoolchildren what life was like in the past.
Sally Armstrong, who plays the role of ragged school teacher Miss Perkins, stands her ground. Source: Samuel Alwyine-Mosely

Miss Perkins stands on a creaking wooden floorboard, peering over wire-rimmed glasses. With a bang of her cane on a small wooden desk, she instructs her students to repeat after her: "Four farthing equals one penny."

"Four farthing equals one penny," answer the 9- and 10-year-olds. The children sit on stools, slate boards on their laps, alongside

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