As ever, I was sent this book in return for an honest review. Thanks to Alex and Pen & Sword for sending me the book.
In the first half of the nineteenth-century treatment of the mentally ill in Britain and Ireland underwent radical change. No longer manacled, chained and treated like wild animals, patient care was defined in law and medical understanding, and treatment of insanity developed.
Focussing on selected cases, this new study enables the reader to understand how progressively advancing attitudes and expectations affected decisions, leading to better legislation and medical practice throughout the century. Specific mental health conditions are discussed in detail and the treatments patients received are analysed in an expert way. A clear view of why institutional asylums were established, their ethos for the treatment of patients, and how they were run as palaces rather than prisons giving moral therapy to those affected becomes apparent. The changing ways in which patients were treated, and altered societal views to the incarceration of the mentally ill, are explored. The book is thoroughly illustrated and contains images of patients and asylum staff never previously published, as well as first-hand accounts of life in a nineteenth-century asylum from a patients perspective.
Written for genealogists as well as historians, this book contains clear information concerning access to asylum records and other relevant primary sources and how to interpret their contents in a meaningful way.
Pen and Sword Books: The History of Newgate Prison – Paperback
As the place where prisoners, male and female, awaited trial, execution or transportation, Newgate was Britains most feared gaol for over 700 years. It probably best known today from the novels of Charles Dickens including Barnaby Rudge and Great Expectations.
But there is much is more to Newgate than nineteenth-century notoriety. In the seventeenth century it saw the exploits of legendary escaper and thief Jack Sheppard. Author Daniel Defoe who was imprisoned there for seditious libel, playwright Ben Jonson for murder, the Captain Kidd for piracy were among its most famous inmates.
This book takes you from the gaols twelfth-century beginnings to its final closure in 1904 and looks at daily life, developments in the treatment of prisoners from the use of torture to penal reform as well as major events in its history.
The incredible true story of the young women exposed to the “wonder” substance of radium and their brave struggle for justice…
As World War I raged across the globe, hundreds of young women toiled away at the radium-dial factories, where they painted clock faces with a mysterious new substance called radium. Assured by their bosses that the luminous material was safe, the women themselves shone brightly in the dark, covered from head to toe with the glowing dust. With such a coveted job, these “shining girls” were considered the luckiest alive—until they began to fall mysteriously ill. As the fatal poison of the radium took hold, they found themselves embroiled in one of America’s biggest scandals and a groundbreaking battle for workers’ rights.
A rich, historical narrative written in a sparkling voice, The Radium Girls is the first book that fully explores the strength of extraordinary women in the face of almost impossible circumstances and the astonishing legacy they left behind.
Kate Moore is a Sunday Times best selling writer with more than a decade’s experience writing and ghosting across varying genres, including memoir, biography, and history. In 2005 she directed a critically acclaimed play about the Radium Girls called ‘These Shining Lives.’ She lives in the UK.
What an absolutely fascinating story!
I’ve heard of the Radium Girls, women who worked painting dials for various companies in the U.S. who were killed by the radium they were injesting and the callousness of the companies they worked for. This book provides the human stories of the women, their suffering and their battle for justice, utilising letters, photo albums, the memories of family and friends and documentation such as newspapers and legal papers. The story of these women is inspiring and the author does an excellent job of telling it.
Just hearing the phrase ‘the East End’ summons up images of slums and dark alleyways, with Jack the Ripper appearing from the mist, or housing estates and pubs where you might find the Kray twins. It is a place of poverty and menace, yet these images can prevent us from seeing the reality of life east of the City of London, and of its dark history. This study features stories of crimes and misdeeds that show what life was like in this area before the ‘East End’ existed. They also reflect the changes caused as the settlements of the Tower Hamlets became absorbed by the new metropolis of London.
As there is nothing new under the sun, so these stories find their modern counterparts in our times. However, they also take us into unfamiliar territory as they bring to light the often forgotten past that underlies the present-day streets and lurks behind the façades of some of the area’s older buildings. Many of the stories will be unfamiliar and indeed strange, but yet they show how the character and notoriety of the City’s famous shadow has been formed. Paying scrupulous attention to place, this volume features a wealth of specially-commissioned photographs, allowing the reader to locate these stories in the present-day London Borough of Tower Hamlets.
This volume concentrates on a specific part of London, the East End, exploring it’s past as the city spread out and swallowed up the hamlets and fields east of the Tower. Rioting, thefts, murders and child abuse (by a vicar, no less), all feature in this book, as well as a description of how the scenes of these events have changed since the crimes took place.
The information is interesting and I definitely want to learn more about the weavers riots in Spitalfield, but the execution left something to be desired. The text reads like a tour guide trying to hard to be entertaining while they’re leading you round the town. It might be for dramatic effect, but it doesn’t work. There’s something a little unprofessional about it.
In the Tudor age the murder rate was five times higher than it is today. Now, in this unique true crime guide, the Tudor Murder Files reveals just how bloody and brutal this fascinating era really was.
From the dark days of Henry VIII to the turbulent times of Shakespeare, James Moore’s new book is the first to chart the period’s most gripping murder cases in all their grizzly detail. Featuring tales of domestic slaughter, sexual intrigue and cunning assassinations, as well as murder mysteries worthy of Agatha Christie, the book vividly brings to life the violent crime wave that gripped the 16th century both at home and abroad. Enter a world in which stabbings were rife, guns were used to kill victims for the first time and in which culprits frequently escaped justice.
The book also reveals just how severe some of the penalties could be, with gruesome punishments for those who dared to commit the gravest of crimes. Discover how one murderer was gruesomely ‘pressed to death’, another boiled alive for poisoning his victims and meet some of history’s most notorious serial killers, including one considered so barbaric she was labelled a vampire.
An interesting book covering well-known and less well-known murders of the Tudor era. With as much detail as possible, and relying on pamphlets printed at the time, this book explores a more violent age where death was a constant threat and policing nonexistent.