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‘Reappraising Victorian Literacy through Prison Records’

2010 September 2
by helen rogers

In JVC 15.1, Rosalind Crone examines a host of evidence from Victorian prison records about prisoners’ schooling and their ability to read and write. What does this data tell us about the reading public in the nineteenth century and about the spread of literacy, especially among the labouring classes?

Girls’ School at Tothill Fields Prison, from

Henry Mayhew and John Binny, The Criminal Prisons of London and Scenes of Prison Life (London: Griffin, Bohn & Co., 1862), facing p. 356. Click here to read this fascinating survey of prison life in Victorian London.

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