Emails to Newgate Gaol (4)

From: Tom Chivers
Sent: 2 September 2008 14:20
To: The Waltham Blacks

To Whom It May Concern

Learn me the vulgar science of bruising. Unteach me honesty. Forget Tyburn. Instruct me how to steal a red or fallow deer, to rob a warren like a grave; appear in Death’s black garb in any given chase or park, open heath, common or down. Like Edward Elliot I am very young in years. I wish to see two countrymen buried up to their chins (to speak in the old style). Just say the word and I will burn this hovel, cock and mow. Do not ask me my name. Wake up. Wake up and stare into a blaze of hellish light. Or stay there, Wildman, tongue-tied friend, with your Pinks and Blacks, and listen to this lesson of mammal and man.


  1. Much obliged Bruce!

    I’m looking forward to seeing your story ‘Eels’ in LITRO. I believe they are being distributed today (list of locations here: and can also be picked up from various arty locations such as London Review Bookshop, Royal College of Arts, etc.

  2. Jay says:

    You know, I’ve been working around the corner from the Old Bailey and recently went wandering to find the site of Newgate prison. There’s a plaque which says ‘Site of Newgate demolished 1777’, but of course the prison must have survived because Dickens visited and wrote about it. I walked down some of the other streets too but there was no little blue plaque for clues.

    I dread to think what it was like.

    This is great, by the way.

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