The Jail From Hell, By Antonia Hodgson Essays

4326 Words Dec 12th, 2016 18 Pages
Committing the crime of debt in the Victorian era was considered no less of a crime than that of murder and while you could not be executed for the crime of debt, the use of torture devices was known to have killed countless inmates. Debtors were imprisoned indefinitely or until their debt was paid and unless you had the means to pay the debt off, it was possible to spend your life imprisoned. Death was more plausible than release.
While debtors’ prisons were thought to have been abolished in the 19th century, there is a new modern phenomenon of imprisonment in America today and although they no longer involve corporal punishment, modern-day debtors’ prisons do exist and continue to be growing concern.
The History of the Marshalsea Prison:
The Marshalsea Prison was a debtors’ prison located in London. During the 18th century, this prison was primarily known to hold London’s poorest debtors.
According to an article written by author Antonia Hodgson, “The Jail From Hell: Haunting events from behind bars in the most feared prison of its time,” Hodgson describes the Marshalsea Prison and the research she dug up in order to write her novel, The Devil in the Marshalsea .
Upon arrival at the Marshalsea, the prisoner would have to pay an amount demanded by the guard in order to have their chains removed. After being assessed, the prisoner was housed in one of two halves which were divided by a wall, assigned by class. There was the lower-class community known as the…

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