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Tales from the Hanging Court


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London history in the raw Gripping and colourful excerpts from real-life trials Describes the grit and humanity of life in eighteenth-century London 4-page colour plate section

About the Author

Robert Shoemaker and Tim Hitchcock are the Editors of the online proceedings of the Old Bailey archives.


'I loved this book and found it utterly compelling.' Kathryn Hughes, historian and author of The Short Life and Long Times of Mrs Beeton 'Hitchcock and Shoemaker feel no need to jazz up this rich period detail to bring it to life, and maintain a scholarly distance from the material in doing so, they leave room for an even more interesting account of a society's dawning realization, over the course of a revolutionary century, that crime and punishment needed to be taken out of the hands of the mob and set up in rational lines.' Time Out Anybody who has struggled with historic legal records knows they can be a complex subject, but the authors offer a clear introduction to court procedure and, more importantly, to the 18th century criminal system The book is largely about the men and women who appeared before the court, as well as the witnesses and victims. Their accounts offer a unique and fascinating glimpse into ordinary life in the 18th century, from the clothes worn to the few precious possessions people owned This is an important and serious book on 18th century society, but it is also one that brings the lives of ordinary people very much to life. Simon Fowler, Ancestors This thoughtful collection of criminal trials provides a fascinating insight into the murky world of 18th-century London. The authors have assembled a wealth of extracts from proceeding at the Old Bailey and the reader will meet an astonishing cast of characters: murderous husbands, highwaymen, prostitutes, and the rest. The workings of the criminal justice system - from arrest through to public execution - are closely examined, but this book is far more than social history. Devotees of Defoe and Fielding will enjoy glimpsing the real world behind those writers' famous fictions. The Good Book Guide

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