Tyranny and the Lash offers a rare insight into the world of crime and punishment. It investigates the changing definitions of criminality that occur when the law adapts to the radical transmutations of society caused by warfare, social disorder and events like the Industrial Revolution. This book also explores the changing nature and uses of prisons throughout the centuries, from the medieval period to the early twentieth century - looking at various different types of prisoner, from prisoners of war to suffragettes. It takes the reader through various crises in prison management and explains the change in attitudes towards imprisonment following the nationalization of prisons in 1877. As he examines practices such as hard labour, solitary confinement and the treadwheel, Stephen Wade asks: is a more humane prison system emerging? As he delves into man's inhumanity to man, he asks: what can we learn from our past?