Five Hundred Years of Life Behind Bars
By (author) Edward Marston
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Prison by Edward Marston
Book DescriptionThis compelling history of our most feared institution charts the growth of prisons across the country: castle dungeons and decaying hulks, the dreadful Fleet and Marshalsea of Dickens' novels and the soulless structures of Dartmoor and Reading Gaol. Drawing on rarely seen material from The National Archives, it vividly portrays aspects of prison life that stayed constant for centuries: loss of liberty, privacy and comfort; hard labour; restricted rations; and, solitary confinement; corporal punishment and execution - as well as tracing key developments such as Jeremy Bentham's panopticon, the Victorian spate of prison-building, and successive reform Acts. The book also relates the curiosities, abuses and scandals that occurred within prison walls, from the racking of Henry VIII's enemies to the force-feeding of Suffragettes centuries later. At the heart of the book are dramatic stories of the men, women and children who lived - and died - behind bars. Their extraordinary tales range from those of political prisoners incarcerated in the Tower of London to celebrities such as Oscar Wilde who wrote so movingly of his imprisonment at Reading Gaol. "Prison" tells the stories of wartime convicts, suffragettes and highwaymen, cult criminals such as The Krays and 'ordinary' prisoners like armed robber James Edward Spiers - who in 1930 committed suicide at Wandsworth Gaol in front of a group of JPs gathered to see him receive 15 lashes. There are also fascinating accounts of officers, governors and executioners as well as reformers like John Howard and Elizabeth Fry, who spent their lives seeking to improve the lot of prisoners within.
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Book DetailsISBN: 9781905615339
(234mm x 156mm x 28mm)
Imprint: The National Archives
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
Publish Date: 21-Jan-2009
Country of Publication: United Kingdom
Books By Author Edward Marston
Steps to the Gallows, Paperback (February 2017)
A scurrilous newspaper has built up a large following by publishing details of political and sexual scandals. When the editor is killed and the printing press smashed to bits, the Invisible Detectives are hired by the man who financed the production of the paper.
Date with the Executioner, Hardback (February 2017)
1817, Chalk Farm, London. At dawn the scene is set for a duel between a lady's two ardent admirers. Although the duel is broken up, later in the day one of the duellists is found dead, shot between the eyes. Paul and his twin Peter are determined to see justice done and are soon enmeshed in threads of inheritance, treachery and fraud.
Enemy Within, Hardback (October 2016)
Pentonville Prison. Wally Hibbert is serving a long sentence for arson. But after befriending and tricking one of the officers, Hibbert makes an audacious escape. Inspector Marmion, the detective who arrested Hibbert, is warned to watch his back, but it seems that Hibbert has another target in his murderous sights.
Dance of Death, Paperback (October 2016)» View all books by Edward Marston
London, 1916. Crowds cheer as a great fireball drops slowly down and crashes in a field but the one person unable to watch is Simon Wilder. While he is staring up at the sky, he is stabbed to death and left in an alleyway. It will prove to be a very puzzling case for Inspector Marmion and Sergeant Keedy...
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Author Biography - Edward Marston
Edward Marston is a renowned writer of historical fiction and non-fiction. His most recent books include The Iron Horse (2007), and John Christie ( 2007) for The National Archives. He taught drama in prison and has a strong interest in penal conditions and reform.
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