Skip to main content

Imagining the Penitentiary

Fiction and the Architecture of Mind in Eighteenth-Century England

This brilliant and insightful contribution to cultural studies investigates the role of literature—particularly the novel—and visual arts in the development of institutions. Arguing the attitudes expressed in narrative literature and art between 1719 and 1779 helped bring about the change from traditional prisons to penitentiaries, John Bender offers studies of Robinson Crusoe, Moll Flanders, The Beggar’s Opera, Hogarth’s Progresses, Jonathan Wild, and Amelia as well as illustrations from prison literature, art, and architecture in support of his thesis.

356 pages | 71 halftones, frontispiece | 6.5 x 9.375 | © 1987

History: European History

Literature and Literary Criticism: British and Irish Literature

Table of Contents

Illustrations and Acknowledgments
1. Prison and the Novel as Cultural Systems
2. The Novel and the Rise of the Penitentiary: Moll Flanders and Robinson Crusoe
3. The City and the Rise of the Penitentiary: A Journal of the Plague Year
4. Generic Conflict and Reformist Discourse in Gay and Hogarth
5. Narration and "Civil Power": Jonathan Wild in Fielding’s Career
6. Fielding and the Juridical Novel
7. The Aesthetic of Isolation as Social System
8. The Absorptive Tableau and the Public Execution: A Postscript on Transparency as Practice


Phi Beta Kappa: Christian Gauss Award

Be the first to know

Get the latest updates on new releases, special offers, and media highlights when you subscribe to our email lists!

Sign up here for updates about the Press