Plain work and stolen finery

February 1837 They find Sarah Rands in the taproom at the Sir Samuel Hood, laughing and drinking with a group of girls, teasing their jovial admirers. Her hazel eyes sparkle under a green velvet bonnet that frames her flushed cheeks, tied at the chin with silk ribbon bows. A few dark curls escape and nestle […]
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Have mercy on your dear child

Sunday 2 August 1818 Jemima Emmerson takes time between chores to sit on her step, cradling baby George in her arms, and soaking in the warm afternoon sunshine streaming into the yard. She listens out for her husband John to come strolling back from the alehouse, rested and jolly after a hard week labouring. Little […]
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Conviction: opening scenes

Great Yarmouth Borough Gaol, House of Correction dayroom February 1842   Have you never heard the words “Thou shalt not steal?” The young boy will not meet the teacher’s gaze. His eyes drift across the prison ward to the other boys, burying their faces in their books and suppressing the urge to giggle. Her voice […]
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Reading between the Lines

3 December 1839 ‘Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven’. John King is chanting a verse from Matthew 5. His words disappear into the drone of a dozen boys and men, as the prisoners mumble their lines, heads bent over passages copied for them in the teacher’s careful letters. […]
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Convict Lads 1836-46: Friendship and Survival

This is a version of papers I gave at the European Social Science History Conference (Vienna 2014) and the British Crime Historians Symposium (Liverpool 2014). It explores what we can learn from multiple historical records about the friendship networks and survival strategies of boys and young men, transported to Van Diemen’s Land in the 1830s […]
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Blogging Our Criminal Past, part 3: Public and Creative History

By blogging for a public audience, historians of crime are contributing to popular representations of the ‘criminal’ past, from the many websites, dramas and ‘true crime’ books devoted to notorious cases and neighbourhoods, to the discovery of criminal ancestors in shows like Who Do You Think Your Are? and Secrets from the Clink, to museum […]
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Blogging Our Criminal Past, part 2: history turned upside down?

Blogging carnivals, like those hosted by Sharon Howard, began to appear in the early 2000s. The carnivalesque is a suggestive way of thinking about the transformative potential of social media. By orchestrating multiple voices blogging has a levelling effect, breaking down traditional hierarchies separating amateur and professional, young and old, new and established, theorist and […]
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Blogging Our Criminal Past, part 1

This is a draft of the first part of a short article I’m writing on blogging the history of crime. It’s for a special issue of the online journal Law, Crime & History which will examine on-going discussions at the Our Criminal Past network, organized by Heather Shore and Helen Johnston.  I’m not sure how much […]
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Slow Blogging

I did not set out to blog slowly. Today the blogosphere is one of the most productive and inspiring places for writers and researchers to think and work. For historians, like me, and scholars of all varieties, it’s a space for the rapid exchange of ideas and exploratory drafts, for thinking aloud, and quick-fire responses […]
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“Will you not be glad to go out?”

Thursday 30 January 1840 Somberly, Miss Martin calls the two little boys to her. Tomorrow their thirty day sentence will be up and they will leave her charge. Since their boisterous cellmates departed last weekend, the hours have slipped by slowly without incident. The Gaoler has not been required to reprimand the young boys who […]
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Calum W. White

I am an historian reading for a DPhil in History at Balliol College, University of Oxford. My research is most concerned with housing in Britain during and after the First World War. I've been called a political historian, a social historian, and a cultural historian. I don't see any reason to be one and not the other.

Sidelines

History - Sport - Poetry

reclaimingouruniversity

Reclaiming Our University is a movement that wants to turn the University back as a place for education, trust, community, and academic freedom

a sense of place

Ronnie Hughes

The Cabinet of Curiosity.

Literature, Science, Art and Culture in the long Nineteenth-Century.

immaterialisms

Cold War history and other musings from a PhD candidate

Borealia

A Group Blog on Early Canadian History

the way of improvement leads home

reflections at the intersection of American history, religion, politics, and academic life

Defining Mass Observation

An ESRC funded research collaboration between the Universities of Southampton, Birmingham and Surrey and the Mass Observation Archive

Historic Hospitals

An Architectural Gazetteer

Up The Oss Road

History, the Black Country, and a bit more

THE HARKIVES

An open-access digital archive of sources by and about the author, activist and traveller Margaret Harkness

Juvenile Offenders

Ninteteenth-century Crime History

"The Worst of All Drunkards"

Women and drink in mid-Victorian Lancashire

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