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There have been more prisons in London than in any other European city. Of these, Newgate was the largest, most notorious and worst. Built during the twelfth century, it became a legendary place - the inspiration of more poems, plays and novels than any other building in London. It was a place of cruelty and wretchedness, at various times holding Dick Turpin, Titus Oates, Daniel Defoe, Jack Sheppard and Casanova. Because prisons were privately run, any time spent in prison had to be paid for by the prisoner. Housing varied from a private cell with a cleaning woman and a visiting prostitute, to simply lying on the floor with no cover. Those who died inside - and only a quarter of prisoners survived until their execution day - had to stay in Newgate as a rotting corpse until relatives found the money for the body to be released. Stephen Halliday tells the story of Newgate's origins, the criminals it held, the punishments meted out and its rebuilding and reform. This is a compelling slice of London's social and criminal history.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780750938969
ISBN-10: 075093896X
Format: Paperback
(198mm x 125mm x 10mm)
Pages: 317
Imprint: The History Press Ltd
Publisher: The History Press Ltd
Publish Date: 1-Nov-2007
Country of Publication: United Kingdom

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Author Biography - Stephen Halliday

Stephen Halliday is an expert on the history of London and the author of two outstanding works on social history, 'The Great Stink of London: Sir Joseph Bazalgette and the Cleansing of the Victorian Metropolis' and 'Underground to Everywhere: London's Underground in the Life of the Capital'.

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