The Secret of Lincoln Jail

Review by Guy Woolnough, Keele University. Time Team Specials, Channel Four, 30th June 2013. The excellent ‘Secret of Lincoln Jail’ showed how history can and should be presented.  The medium was used to deliver an interesting programme which did neither sensationalised its subject nor patronised its audience. It engaged with the serious issues without being overly complex or tedious. Lincoln gaol (the spelling I prefer) was used as the star, and enabled the presentation of a history of incarceration since

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‘Reappraising Victorian Literacy through Prison Records’

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.

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