By Michael Ignatieff
Subtitled "The reformatory within the commercial Revolution 1750-1850", "A simply degree of soreness" describes the instant in 18th century England while the trendy penal complex and its ambiguous legacy have been born. In depicting how the whip, the emblem and the gallows - public punishments as soon as intended to cow the unruly bad into passivity - got here to get replaced via the "moral administration" of the criminal and the suggestion that the felony negative will be excited about their very own rehabilitation. Michael Ignatieff files the increase of a brand new perception of sophistication kinfolk and with it a brand new philosophy of punishment, one directed now not on the physique yet on the brain. "A simply degree of discomfort" is a hugely atmospheric and compellingly written paintings of social background, which has already develop into a vintage learn of its topic. For the Penguin variation the writer will offer an afterword in regards to the polemics which the book's first e-book in 1978.
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Additional info for A Just Measure of Pain: The Penitentiary in the Industrial Revolution, 1750–1850
The same power, of course, could be used in the opposite direction. In 177 5, two Halifax justices secured the approval of the Secretary of State to hang the body of Matthew Normanton, convicted for the murder of the supervisor of excise in Halifax, in chains on the top of Beacon Hill. It was unusual to hang a man in chains, the justices admitted, but they had been urged to do so by "very many respectable Gentlemen and Merchants in and about Halifax and Rochdale," who felt that "such a notorious and public example" would deter others from making counterfeit coin, the crime that Normanton had been engaged in when discovered by the luckless exciseman.
At Clerkenwell bridewell in 1779, there were only two turnkeys in charge of the 114 men and women at work in the hemp-pounding wards. 90 In Newgate in the 1760s there was roughly one turnkey, officer, or watchman for every hundred prisoners. 91 This compares, incidentally, with a ratio of one officer for every eighteen prisoners in Coldbath Fields House of Correction in the 1830s. 92 Not only were there few turnkeys, but their duties were limited to locking and unlocking at dawn and dusk, admitting visitors, guarding the gates, putting offenders in irons, and escorting them to and from court.
86 In Berkshire, the jailer at Reading, John Wiseman, was succeeded in the 1770s by his widow, Ann. 87 In fact, female jailers were sufficiently common to require legislation in the 1780s outlawing the practice on the grounds that a woman was unequal to the new tasks of discipline that reformers sought to impose on institutional personnel. 88 Regarded with condescension by the gentry on the county benches, and at the same time largely outside their control, keepers were left to run the prison world as they saw fit.