Rachel E. Bennett
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Writing this book has been challenging but fascinating, intriguing but, at times, frustrating and difficult. Gathering the research materials and reading widely into Britain's history of crime and punishment has taken me down several different paths of enquiry. During the research and writing process I had valuable opportunities to share ideas with many people in different settings, which helped me to shape these ideas, find ways to articulate them and piece this study together.

I would like to acknowledge the generous support of the Wellcome Trust in funding the Investigator Award, ‘Prisoners, Medical Care and Entitlement to Health in English and Irish Prisons, 1840–2000’ (1003341/Z/13/Z), which provided the support for the research that underpins this book. Special thanks to the Principal Investigators Professor Hilary Marland at the University of Warwick and Associate Professor Catherine Cox at University College Dublin for their generosity with their advice, time and feedback while I navigated my research into health and medicine in women's prisons, and for enabling me to be a part of an exceptional team. Thank you to Margaret Charleroy, Nicholas Duvall, Flo Swann, Max Hodgson and Becky Crites at the University of Warwick, Fiachra Byrne, Holly Dunbar, Sinead McCann and Oisín Wall at University College Dublin, William Murphy at Dublin City University, and Virginia Berridge and Janet Weston at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. Collaborating with this team and sharing ideas was a pleasure and a privilege that played a significant part in shaping the research underpinning this book. Thanks also to colleagues in Warwick's Centre for the History of Medicine for providing me with a strong and supportive community during my time as a Research Fellow, where I gained valued friends.

In addition to carrying out the research for this book, working as part of this project provided the team with invaluable opportunities to create a range of public engagement projects. These activities gave us the chance to collaborate with outstanding organisations and individuals, including those working in the arts and theatre, in prisons and in charities and organisations who work to reform conditions in prisons. These projects led to the production of theatre shows, exhibitions and policy events, among many other things. Having the chance to explore innovative and creative ways to illuminate the historical voices, themes and events we uncovered and to share them with a wide audience has been a real privilege. I would like to thank the project team and all of the people we collaborated with for these experiences, as they undoubtedly enriched this research as it took shape over the past few years.

Thanks also to the archivists and librarians in the various archives, libraries and museums I visited when gathering the materials for this book: Library of Birmingham, Hull History Centre, Liverpool Record Office, London Metropolitan Archives, the Modern Records Centre at the University of Warwick, the National Justice Museum in Nottingham, The National Archives in Kew and the Wellcome Library. They play a vital role in preserving invaluable historical records and allowing us to uncover the stories of the people and places we write about.

The greatest thank you goes to my family and friends for their unwavering and unconditional love and support, especially my parents, Ronnie and Alison, and Laura, Anthony and Sarah. I am extremely fortunate to have all of you in my life and you each share in the achievement of completing this book. Finally, I would like to thank my Nana Fay for all of the memories she gave me. She was a woman who was strong in will but always kind in spirit. The completion of this book is dedicated to her memory.

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Motherhood confined

Maternal health in English prisons, 1853–1955


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