Generally speaking, all these men — with the exception of a few indefatigably cheerful souls whose good humour made them the object of general score — were sullen, curious, terribly vain, boastful, quick to take offence and preoccupied in the highest degree with good form. The ability not to be surprised by anything was considered the greatest virtue. They were all madly obsessed with the question of outward behaviour… In general vanity and outward appearance were what mattered first and foremost. The majority of these men were depraved and hopelessly corrupt.The scandals and gossip never ceased: this was a hell, a dark night of the soul.
Prison life as described in The House of the Dead, or just another evening at a bar on the Kingsland Road? You decide.
(Also: bad tattoos.)