"A Visit to Newgate"
 "A Visit to Newgate" starkly synthesizes the social and psychological themes that ran through these sketches.**  In November 1835, [Dickens] visited the prison, beginning his lifelong practice of visiting social instituions to help him with impressions for his writing.  He also went to the Coldbath Fields prison the same month but did not write about it because the "gallows" is more dramatic than the "Tred-Mill."  The prose of "A Visit to Newgate" is incisive, evocatory.  Some of the characters anticipate Oliver Twist.  The emphasis on dramatic states as both escape from reality and imprisonment, on guilt, betrayal, murderousness, and altered states of consciousness take him back to his childhood and forward to his future novels (65-6; from Fred Kaplan, Dickens: A Biography, 1988)  **For educational use only**

**For the theory of the sketch, see the PowerPoint notes from class.  Also, "these sketches" refer to Dickens's early writings that would be collected in Sketches by Boz (1836).

Focus on condemned prisoner (1343-45), young boys/men (1340-1341), and female prisoners (1337-1339) Also, see the intro--first four paragraphs.

This sketch presents various attitudes about prisoners and prison life.