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Palgrave Historical Studies in the Criminal Corpse and its Afterlife
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Executing Magic in the Modern Era

Criminal Bodies and the Gallows in Popular Medicine

Authors: Davies, Owen, Matteoni, Francesca

  • Open Access
  • Provides the first study of execution magic in the modern era
  • Demonstrates how beliefs and practices surrounding executions were shaped by changing attitudes towards capital punishment
  • Explores the connections between criminality, identity, morality, and magical value in society
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eBook  
  • ISBN 978-3-319-59519-1
  • This book is an open access book, you can download it for free on link.springer.com
Hardcover 29,96 €
price for Germany (gross)
  • ISBN 978-3-319-59518-4
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
About this book

This book is open access under a CC BY 4.0 license

This book explores the magical and medical history of executions from the eighteenth to the early twentieth century by looking at the afterlife potency of criminal corpses, the healing activities of the executioner, and the magic of the gallows site. The use of corpses in medicine and magic has been recorded back into antiquity. The lacerated bodies of Roman gladiators were used as a source of curative blood, for instance. In early modern Europe, a great trade opened up in ancient Egyptian mummies and the fat of executed criminals, plundered as medicinal cure-alls. However, this is the first book to consider the demand for the blood of the executed, the desire for human fat, the resort to the hanged man’s hand, and the trade in hanging rope in the modern era. It ends by look at the spiritual afterlife of dead criminals.

About the authors

Owen Davies is Professor at the University of Hertfordshire, UK. He has published widely on the history of witchcraft, magic, ghosts, and popular medicine.
Francesca Matteoni worked on 'Strand 4: The Dead Sustaining Life' of the Wellcome Trust funded project, 'Harnessing the Power of the Criminal Corpse'. She has also published in Italian and English on early-modern blood beliefs, familiars, and the use of criminal body parts.

Table of contents (5 chapters)

  • Introduction

    Davies, Owen (et al.)

    Pages 1-10

  • Criminal Bodies

    Davies, Owen (et al.)

    Pages 11-27

  • The Corpse Gives Life

    Davies, Owen (et al.)

    Pages 29-52

  • The Places and Tools of Execution

    Davies, Owen (et al.)

    Pages 53-79

  • Lingering Influences

    Davies, Owen (et al.)

    Pages 81-105

Buy this book

eBook  
  • ISBN 978-3-319-59519-1
  • This book is an open access book, you can download it for free on link.springer.com
Hardcover 29,96 €
price for Germany (gross)
  • ISBN 978-3-319-59518-4
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
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Bibliographic Information

Bibliographic Information
Book Title
Executing Magic in the Modern Era
Book Subtitle
Criminal Bodies and the Gallows in Popular Medicine
Authors
Series Title
Palgrave Historical Studies in the Criminal Corpse and its Afterlife
Copyright
2017
Publisher
Palgrave Macmillan
Copyright Holder
The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s)
eBook ISBN
978-3-319-59519-1
DOI
10.1007/978-3-319-59519-1
Hardcover ISBN
978-3-319-59518-4
Edition Number
1
Number of Pages
VII, 118
Topics