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Jerry White : The Marshalsea Debtors’ Prison

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Southwark Cathedral

London Bridge

London

SE1 9DA

United Kingdom

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All tickets have now been allocated for this talk - please sign up to our waitlist and should any spaces become available we will let you know.

For Londoners of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, debt was a part of everyday life. But when your creditors lost their patience, you might be thrown into one of the capital’s most notorious jails: the Marshalsea Debtors’ Prison.

The Marshalsea became a byword for misery; in the words of one of its inmates, it was ‘hell in epitome’. But the prison was also a microcosm of London life and it housed a colourful range of characters, including Charles Dickens’s father. The experience haunted the writer, who went on to immortalise the Marshalsea in his work, most memorably in Little Dorrit.

Jerry White tells the history of the Marshalsea through the lives of its prisoners – rich and poor; men and women; spongers, fraudsters and innocents. Told through these extraordinary lives, the story of the Marshalsea gives us a fascinating and unforgettable cross-section of London life from the early 1700s to the 1840s.

Jerry White is a professor in Modern London History at Birkbeck and a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society of England, Jerry White has been researching and writing London history since the mid-1970s. Among his many published works is London in the Twentieth Century: A City and Its People, winner of the 2002 Wolfson History Prize, and most recently Zeppelin Nights, London in the First World War, which was Spear’s 2014 Social History of the Year. His most recent book, Mansions of Misery. A Biography of the Marshalsea Debtors’ Prison, was published in October 2016.

This is a free talk but please do register interest if attending.

All tickets have now been allocated for this talk - please sign up to our waitlist and should any spaces become available we will let you know.

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Southwark Cathedral

London Bridge

London

SE1 9DA

United Kingdom

View Map

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