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Palgrave Historical Studies in the Criminal Corpse and its Afterlife
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Dissecting the Criminal Corpse

Staging Post-Execution Punishment in Early Modern England

Authors: Hurren, Elizabeth T.

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eBook  
  • ISBN 978-1-137-58249-2
  • 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 978-1-137-58248-5
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
About this book

Those convicted of homicide were hanged on the public gallows before being dissected under the Murder Act in Georgian England. Yet, from 1752, whether criminals actually died on the hanging tree or in the dissection room remained a medical mystery in early modern society. Dissecting the Criminal Corpse takes issue with the historical cliché of corpses dangling from the hangman’s rope in crime studies. Some convicted murderers did survive execution in early modern England. Establishing medical death in the heart-lungs-brain was a physical enigma. Criminals had large bull-necks, strong willpowers, and hearty survival instincts. Extreme hypothermia often disguised coma in a prisoner hanged in the winter cold. The youngest and fittest were capable of reviving on the dissection table. Many died under the lancet. Capital legislation disguised a complex medical choreography that surgeons staged. They broke the Hippocratic Oath by executing the Dangerous Dead across England from 1752 until 1832. 
This book is open access under a CC-BY license. 

About the authors

Elizabeth T. Hurren is Reader in the Medical Humanities at the University of Leicester, UK, and an expert on the history of the body, medicine, poverty and welfare in Europe from early modern to modern times. She has published two major books since 2007, Protesting about Pauperism: Poverty, Politics and Poor Relief in Late-Victorian England and Dying for Victorian Medicine: English Anatomy and Its Trade in the Dead Poor, c. 1832 to 1929.

Table of contents (7 chapters)

  • The Condemned Body Leaving the Courtroom

    Hurren, Elizabeth T.

    Pages 3-32

  • Becoming Really Dead: Dying by Degrees

    Hurren, Elizabeth T.

    Pages 33-68

  • In Bad Shape: Sensing the Criminal Corpse

    Hurren, Elizabeth T.

    Pages 69-118

  • Delivering Post-Mortem ‘Harm’: Cutting the Corpse

    Hurren, Elizabeth T.

    Pages 125-169

  • Mapping Punishment: Provincial Places to Dissect

    Hurren, Elizabeth T.

    Pages 171-216

Buy this book

eBook  
  • ISBN 978-1-137-58249-2
  • 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 978-1-137-58248-5
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
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Bibliographic Information

Bibliographic Information
Book Title
Dissecting the Criminal Corpse
Book Subtitle
Staging Post-Execution Punishment in Early Modern England
Authors
Series Title
Palgrave Historical Studies in the Criminal Corpse and its Afterlife
Copyright
2016
Publisher
Palgrave Macmillan UK
Copyright Holder
The Editor(s) (if applicable) and the Author(s)
eBook ISBN
978-1-137-58249-2
DOI
10.1057/978-1-137-58249-2
Hardcover ISBN
978-1-137-58248-5
Edition Number
1
Number of Pages
XXX, 326
Number of Illustrations
13 b/w illustrations, 22 illustrations in colour
Topics