By Barbara W. Tuchman
With the lucidity and vividness that symbolize all her paintings, two-time Pulitzer Prize profitable historian, Barbara Tuchman, explores the advanced courting of england to Palestine that resulted in the founding of the fashionable Jewish state--and to a few of the difficulties that plague the center East today.
"Barbara Tuchman is a sensible and witty author, a intelligent observer with a full of life command of excessive drama."
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Additional info for Bible and Sword: England and Palestine from the Bronze Age to Balfour
To be sure, Clerkenwell was no merry idyll. Women who disobeyed the keeper were chained standing up for twenty-four hours at a stretch. The keeper himself told a Commons committee in 1779 that the magistrates allowed him to administer as many as twenty lashes for disobedience. 71 Moreover he and his turnkeys plucked everyone unmercifully for money while the ragged and exhausted vagrants brought in off the streets by the constables frequently died unattended and unfed on the cold boards of the cells.
Newgate in London was very much the largest, with a capacity in 17 50 of about two hundred inmates. Most of the other jails were considerably smaller. Of the fifty county jails listed in Howard's census, made during the extremely crowded year of 1787, only seven were holding a hundred or more prisoners at the time he visited; eleven were holding between fifty and a hundred, and the thirty-two remaining institutions held fifty or less. Jl in law and each entitled to different privileges. Besides debtors, who were allowed to live with their families and who could not be subjected to coercive discipline, there were felons awaiting trial, usually in irons, but also allowed free run of the prison, unlimited visits, and exemption from labor; those awaiting trial for misdemeanors, rarely in irons, and allowed pretrial privileges; capital convicts awaiting execution or pardon, usually chained in the "condemned cells"; a few felons undergoing sentence of imprisonment; and finally, transports waiting to be shipped off.
From what we know of the French rural police under the ancien regime, this English account was a fanciful exaggeration of both their efficiency and their intrusiveness. 37 Nevertheless, the mythology of the "French police" helped to cast a libertarian glow over the English alternative of public execution. Moreover, the public character of hanging was lauded as a guarantee of the victim's rights. The London magistrates John and Henry Fielding suggested in the 17 50s that "private" executions be conducted within the gates of the prison so that the state could prevent the event from being perverted into a ritual of defiance.