In recent years, beginning with the appearance of Gertrude Himmelfarb's 'The Haunted House of Jeremy Bentham' in 1965, historians have presented a new view of nineteenth-century prison reform. 1 In place of the traditional respectful accounts of such reforming heroes as John Howard and Elizabeth Fry, these writers have suggested that most prison reform was misconceived and manipulative, designed to increase the 'social control' that members of the 'middle class' could exercise over the dangerous classes. In place of the squalor and capricious cruelty of early-modem sanctions, they suggested, prison reformers created a systematic and pervasive 'machine for grinding men good', a design for controlling not merely the body but the mind. The Panopticon, with its 'big brother' inspection system, its exploitative work, its codified rules, its fertile inventions for altering men's bodies and minds, has entirely eclipsed as a cautionary symbol those two great 'gothic' monuments to royal arbitrariness and official neglect, the Bastille and Newgate; our progress towards 1984 has become more important than our retreat from the Dark Ages.2