Hello! My name is Helen Rogers and in this blog I will be sharing snippets from the book I am writing, Conviction: Stories from a Nineteenth-century Prison. I have written some academic articles on reading, writing and singing at Yarmouth Gaol and most recently on discharged prisoners. But in this blog I am experimenting with a different style of history writing that starts with people, their lived experience, voices and stories. If you have information on any of the individuals mentioned in this blog or would like to know more about them, please drop me an email firstname.lastname@example.org.
When I am not pouring over census returns hunting for former prisoners or squinting to decipher their tattoos in the Gaol Keeper’s books, I can be found teaching English and Cultural History at Liverpool John Moores University. With my students and colleagues from several universities, I am working on a project to bring online a very different body of writing: the autobiographies of the British working class in which ordinary people have told their stories in their own words. You can read about our work at http://www.writinglives.org/ and follow us on twitter @Writing__Lives.
If you are interested in the history of crime and punishment, working-class lives and writing, or issues in higher education, you can follow me on twitter @HelenRogers19c. I contribute to the Journal of Victorian Culture Online, when I am not editing The Journal of Victorian Culture or tweeting about all manner of nineteenth-century things @jofvictculture.