English Local Prisons, 1860-1900: Next Only to Death, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

English Local Prisons, 1860-1900

Next Only to Death, 1st Edition

By Sean McConville, Professor Sean Mcconville

Routledge

834 pages

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Description

The local prisons of the latter half of the nineteenth century refined systems of punishment so harsh that one judge considered the maximum penalty of two years local imprisonment to be the most severe punishment known to English law: "next only to death". This work examines how private perceptions and concerns became public policy. It also traces the move in English government from the rural and aristocratic to the urban and more democratic. It follows the rise of the powerful elite of the higher civil service, describes some of the forces that attempted to oppose it, and provides a window through which to view the process of state formation.

Reviews

`… absorbing and intelligent, despite its daunting size, … What is spectacular about this account is its resonance with contemporary penal policy, a point which is not spelled out in the text, but which marks the book out for particular attentiopn. … The story is well told. … It is fortuitous that this detailed and impressive biographical and administrative history has appeared at a time when local prisons are after all, and despite the long neglect identified by Prof McConville, a focus of both policy and theoretical interest, and when the house of lords once again hears heated debates on prison matters. McConville's history adds insight and depth to an overdue analysis.' - Historical Jrnl

`… the thorough research, the careful delineation of characters and their ideas, the thoughtful ad judicious analysis throughout, make this a volume of immense value not only to those interested in penal history, but to anyone iterested in the development of gvernmenand adminitration in Victorian England.' - Clive Emsly Soci History Society Bulletin

`Sean McConvlle's first book has become an essential source for everyone with an interest in penal history, and this ne book will also occupy a central position in the subject.' - Allan Brodie, Transactions of the Ancient Monuments Society

`This is a monumental work of scholarship…Sean McConville's study of English local prisons in the last 49 years of the nineteenth century is a magnificent and magisterial achievement…This book is an undoubted triumph. Sean McConville has established a unique role as historian an interpreter of the English prison system.' - Stephen Shaw, The Labour Campaign for Criminal Justice

`… this massive, impressive, book is in several ways, more intellectually satisfying than its predecessor. … What is surprising, and a tribute to the author, is that such a detailed work has been made so readable; spiced as it with pleasing turns of phrase, insightful summaries and apt conclusions. Scholars will turn to this work for years to come.' - Roger Hood, Times Higher Education Supplement

`It is a fascinating story, told elegantly but in enormous detail; the product of prodigious industry and an extraordinarily wide range of sources. … Scholars will turn to this work for years to come. - Roger Hood, Times Higher Education Supplement

`These two volumes will long remain the definitive history of English prisons. Sean McConville has immeasurably enriched our knowledge of the Victorian prison system.' - George Robb, Times Literary Supplement

Table of Contents

Acknowledgements Abbreviations Introduction 1. The Social and Political Ideas of the Fourth Earl of Carnarvon 2. A Prophet in his Own County 3. Carnarvon and National Penal Policy 4. The Social and Political Ideas of Sir Edmund Du Cane 5. Nationalisation: the Flawed Prospectus 6. Enforcing Uniformity: Discipline, Labour and Instruction 7. Enforcing Uniformity: Health, Dietary and Discharge Arrangements 8. Enforcing Uniformity: Special Categories 9. New Tasks: Identification and Executions 10. The Justices React to Nationalisation: Individual Committees 11. The Committees Attempt to Organise 12. Triumph of the Clerks 13. The Call for a Prison Inquiry 14. Personalities and Preoccupations 15. Compounding Errors 16. Aftermath 17. The Final Act Bibliography Corrigenda, volume 1

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
HIS000000
HISTORY / General