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SO MANY CHILDREN (2002)

Beth Hubble has grown up in extreme poverty in Dock Cottages - a filthy slum teeming with scruffy, malnourished children. And, although she loves training to become a nurse, problems at home are never far from her mind.

Beth is shocked when doctors tell her mother that, after fourteen pregnancies, she is too frail to survive another. She’s also angry because her mother was refused help to avoid becoming pregnant again. Resolving to find out how the middle classes keep their families small, Beth tries to get her hands on books written by the notorious Marie Stopes. But in 1920 birth control is a taboo subject, and Beth’s quest for knowledge is thwarted at every turn.

Beth’s older sister also has a burgeoning family which she can’t afford to feed and Beth is determined that she won’t follow the same path. She falls in love with Andrew Langford, a hospital lab technician, who she hopes will take her away from the tenements for good. But will he want to marry a girl from Dock Cottages? And will Beth ever find the love and happiness that she deserves?