The human interest aspect of Coram’s history and heritage since its inception as the Foundling Hospital established in 1739 has formed the basis for many works of literature. It has also been referenced in several non-fiction works, particularly memoirs and in the field of social history.

Some of these books include:


The History of Tom Jones by Henry Fielding published 1749, Andrew Millar
Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens published 1837, Richard Bentley
Little Dorrit by Charles Dickens published 1855, Bradbury and Evans
No Thoroughfare by Charles Dickens and Wilkie Collins published 1867, Adam and Francis
Coram Boy by Jamila Gavin published 2004, Egmont
Hetty Feather by Jacqueline Wilson published 2009, Yearling
Thomas Coram: Champion for Children by Robin Ollington and Albany Wiseman published 2018, Coram
The Foundling by Stacey Halls published 2020, Manilla Press
illustration from Little Dorrit

Illustration from Little Dorrit, via Wikimedia Commons

Social history and memoirs

Memoranda, or, Chronicles of the Foundling Hospital by John Brownlow published 1847
Thomas Coram, churchman, empire builder and philanthropist by HFB Compston published 1918
Coram’s Children: London Foundling Hospital in the 18th Century by Ruth McClure published 1981, Yale University Press
Thomas Coram, Gent. by Gillian Wagner published 2004, Boydell Press
Nobody’s Child by Kate Adie published 2005, Hodder & Stoughton
A Home for Foundlings by Marthe Jocelyn published 2005, Tundra Books
London’s Forgotten Children Gillian Pugh published 2007, The History Press
Victorian Women, Unwed Mothers and the London Foundling Hospital by Jessica A. Sheetz-Nguyen published 2012, Continuum
Childcare, Health and Mortality in the London Foundling Hospital  1741-1800 by Alysa Levene published 2012, Manchester University Pres
The Last Foundling Tom H. Mackenzie published 2014, Pan Macmillan
Bastards and Foundlings: Illegitimacy in 18th Century England by Lisa Zunshine published 2017, Ohio State University Press
Orphans of Empire by Helen Berry published 2020, OUP Oxford
The Secret Life of Dorothy Soames: A Foundling’s Story by Justine Cowan published 2021, Virago

Captain Coram book cover

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