The book is not just a biography of Dr Thomas John Barnardo, the Irish philanthropist who set up a national chain of Homes and orphanages for destitute and under-priviledged children.
The book also contains vignettes of the people around Dr Barnardo; people that influenced him and helped him, people such as his wife Syrie and Lord Shaftesbury, Benjamin Disraeli, James Hudson Taylor and others that had a bearing on the man and his ideas. The book describes the trades learnt in the homes and gives an insight into the Naval Training Schools and the boarding out and emigration of children to
the British Colonies. it also has a chapter on the way Barnardo's is run today and how the charity faces different challenges in the modern world