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on 11 October 2010
This was an interesting book, all about the history of Newgate Prison in London. Each chapter took a different aspect of it, i.e. punishment, sentencing, reform etc, and discussed that. It's similar in style to Catherine Arnold's "Bedlam", but not really quite as good. It had some really interesting stories in it, but it was written in quite a simplistic style and I found that some of the quotes were repeated quite a few times, which was a bit annoying. So overall it was an interesting read, recommended if you don't know anything about Newgate, but there are better books on the subject.
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on 24 September 2008
This book gives an excellent account of life through the centuries at Newgate prison. It illustrates how the gaol operated, the various levels of discomfort available subject to ones wealth & thankfully doesn't dwell too much on the various forms of torture on offer.
It gives a great insight into life in general over the last few centuries and how our ever-changing penal code impacts on society in general.
Definitely worth a read.
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on 8 April 2006
Between October '92 and March 2000, I was employed as a court attendant at the Old Bailey,and whenever you ventured into certain parts of the building, you felt you were far from alone. There was a cold, horrible, I-don't-want-to-be-here-a-moment-longer feeling, and I worked hard to find out why, when it was such a lovely building to work in.
This book has filled in the gaps, and now I realised I was probably walking over someone's grave. Someone who died, unloved, uncared for and unknown from diseases too horrible to contemplate.
Yet, to many, Newgate was the face of civilised incarceration for the wrongdoer.
Read this book and next time you walk past the Old Bailey, stop, think, and wonder - "Who is buried beneath me"?
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on 10 July 2011
A previous reviewer compared the book unfavourably against Bedlam: London and Its Mad but I prefered this book to the other. Bedlam seemed dry in its writing style. This book might be a tad simplistic but it is informative. The anecdotes are interesting and the isolated page summaries of personalities were useful.

Excellent book.
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on 1 June 2010
After the reading tantalising references to Newgate Gaol in Catharine Arnold's book 'Bedlam, London and its mad' I searched Amazon for more information on the worst gaol in the history of this great city. 'Newgate London's Prototype of Hell' arrived quickly & luckily for me, at exactly the same time as a vicious bout of adult chicken pox. My enforced quarantine allowed me the opportunity to read this fantastic book without the inconvenience of having to leave my sickbed for work. The book is brilliantly descriptive & packed so full of gory details that my pox ridden skin felt like it was crawling with Newgate's fornicating fleas & lice. I never knew there were so many insane stories & interesting characters loitering in the not so distant past of the streets I walk. The fascinating, pungent, corrupt history of my London that I never knew, right under my nose.
Absolutely compelling reading, each chapter fast paced & straight to the putrid point. One of those rare books that I didn't want to finish. Highly recommended to anyone curious about the lunacy of our rough & ready human society. An excellently entertaining reminder that the 'Good old days' weren't so good after all.
Read it & itch!
Adam Collins..
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on 7 July 2010
An excellent book, thrilling read from cover to cover, full of useful information that you would never associate with Newgate.
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on 6 January 2016
I am very well read on this subject and brotish history in general. buy this book had a few facts in it that i hadnt known about before. Some things in the book are repeated though too much to pad it out. The book could have been shorter.
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on 20 August 2014
Right up my street
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on 21 July 2009
Very interesting book giving detailed history of Newgate prison. Very much enjoyed reading it.
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