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January 10 , 2010

The British Execution: 1500-1964


Executions have played a crucial - if grisly and controversial - part in British history and provided the bloody climax to many a life, from Mary, Queen of Scots, Charles I and Dick Turpin to untold thousands of anonymous wretches whose names are now forgotten. With the help of numerous illustrations, Stephen Banks details the history of formal execution in Britain, examining the fates of the grandest monarchs, the highest-profile gentlemen, the most learned heretics and the most petty of criminals. He looks also at the crowds, spectacle and grim pageantry that surrounded these events, helping us to understand their morbid but undeniable fascination and detailing the process that led to capital punishment's abolition in Britain.

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