We are told that the Tanty is fairly humanely run by a forward-looking Governor who seeks to apply liberal rehabilitative principles to his charges. (We are also told that after a session of counselling from the governor, many inmates beg for the old-fashioned lash, or the one where they tie you up in a cowfield and smear honey on the soles of your feet.)
This echoes Monsieur Jubinhal (check spelling) who was Warden of the Bastille in its later years. Contrary to whispered rumour, he ran a relaxed, liberal, prison where light, airy cells with comfortable beds and regular changes of linen were the order of the day. Prisoners had access to one of the best libraries in Paris, maybe in France, and a well-appointed prison shop provided luxuries: prisoners with no families on the outside to supply money, or who were being held incommunicado at the dictate of the King, even got a weekly cash dole to ensure they didn't feel left out.
The reasons for this were partly the governor's liberal principles, but mainly the pragmatic understanding that as a commoner with only a "Monsieur" to put in front of his name, he would be in deep trouble if today's noble prisoner were to be released tomorrow and go complaining to the King about ill-treatment. As the Bastille was the "political prison" where anyone falling foul of the king or the favoured royal circle could be jailed on a mere whim, Jubinhal understood the political game: today's prisoner could be back in royal favour tomorrow, next week, next month or next year, depending on the King and the shifting sands of royal patronage at Versailles. So it was in his best long-term interests they left the prison with a favourable impression of its management.
One wonders if the Governor of the Tanty is of a similar ilk for similar reasons: yet again, he could be a hangover from a previous Patrician who would have used the Tanty much as Louis XVI used the Bastille, as a convenient place for those out of political favour to "dissappear" to... this sudden dissapearance factor, incidentally, was the aspect of the situation that earnt the Bastille a reputation as a place of terror. As with the Gestapo and Prinz-Albrecht Strasse, or the NKVD and the Moscow Lubyanka, a "night and fog" doctrine applied that meant people would randomly dissappear in the small hours of the morning, incacerated randomly without benefit of trial or due process...--AgProv 09:04, 16 July 2008 (UTC)
Location? - Located!
The The New Discworld Companion tells us the Tanty is a corrupted name of the Tantiment, a former royal palace which several hundred years before the present day was converted to a prison. It also provides the information that the prison is located on the Rim Bank, which is neither marked nor referred to on The Streets of Ankh-Morpork.
The original The Discworld Companion (1994 edition) has no entry on the Tanty. What is does have, however, is an illustrated endpaper which takes the form of an expanded and more detailed Mapp of thre city centre, zooming down into more street names and additional features than the small scale of the Mapp can comfortably hold.
And guess what... the Rim Bank is clearly marked. It is that part of the riverside running along the edge of the Isle of Dogs between the Brass Bridge and widdershins round, possibly to The Cut. The Tanty is clearly marked as immediately adjacent to the Opera House, just accross Pseudopolis Yard in the ten o'clock position. Its immediately adjacent streets are not noted on the Mapp, but the illustration in the The Discworld Companion identifies them as Body Street(on the Mapp) and what might be Lady Lane (text unclear). A block away and also facing the Opera House, just off Holofernes Street, the major road leading over the New Bridge, is a street called "The Screws". (Accomodation for prison officers?)
so now we know!
- It's unclear after processing and in screen resolution, but it's clearly "Lag" in my copy of The New Discworld Companion. --Old Dickens 22:20, 2 December 2011 (CET)
Wasn't Bellyster fired in Making Money after Moist von Lipwig removed Owlswick Jenkins? --Confusion 01:54, 16 February 2012 (CET)