A very interesting article discussing the actual diet at poor houses and workhouses during the 1830s, and addressing the question of whether Oliver Twist would indeed have wanted some more.
For the record, the folks on the DICKENS-L mailing list feel that the article is somewhat light on actual research material, and ignores numerous other studies, including several investigations prior to the 1934 Poor Law act which Dickens was responding to. Some of these investigations concerned bills of delivery not actually matching what was delivered, and others concerned rats finding the rancid meat before the orphans did. Delightful stuff. Just goes to show you can’t believe everything you read in the BMJ. 😉