The Hanging Tree: Execution and the English People 1770-1868
Hanging people for small crimes as well as grave, the Bloody Penal Code was at its most active between 1770 and 1830. In those years some 7,000 men and women were executed on public scaffolds, watched by thousands. Hanging was confined to murderers thereafter, but these were still killed in public until 1868. Clearly the gallows loomed over much of social life in this period. But how did those who watched, read about, or ordered these strangulations feel about the terror and suffering inflicted in the law's name? What kind of justice was delivered, and how did it change? This book is the first to explore what a wide range of people felt about these ceremonies (rather than what a few famous men thought and wrote about them). A history of mentalities, emotions, and attitudes rather than of policies and ideas, it analyses responses to the scaffold at all social levels: among the crowds which gathered to watch executions; among `polite' commentators from Boswell and Byronon to Fry, Thackeray, and Dickens; and among the judges, home secretary, and monarch who decided who should hang and who should be reprieved. Drawing on letters, diaries, ballads, broadsides, and images, as well as on poignant appeals for mercy which historians until now have barely explored, the book surveys changing attitudes to death and suffering, `sensibility' and `sympathy', and demonstrates that the long retreat from public hanging owed less to the growth of a humane sensibility than itdid to the development of new methods of punishment and law enforcement, and to polite classes' deepening squeamishness and fear of the scaffold crowd. This gripping study is essential reading for anyone interested in the processes which have 'civilized' our social life. Challenging many conventional understandings of the period, V. A. C. Gatrell sets new agendas for all students of eighteenth- and nineteenth-century culture and society, while reflecting uncompromisingly on the origins and limits of our modern attitudes to other people's misfortunes. Panoramic in range, scholarly in method, and compelling in argument, this is one of those rare histories which both shift our sense of the past and speak powerfully to the present.
What people are saying - Write a review
LibraryThing ReviewUser Review - LibraryThing
While one's initial reaction to Gatrell's work may be emotional, positive, and, perhaps, disbelief, when one explores the historical foundations for his arguements, they turn out to be quite flawed. While Gatrell succeeds in attakting other historians for their oversimplification of Englicsh Penal Reform, he himself is guilty of this very same mistake in his book. What is more, the emotional overtones of his book undermine his attack on the emotional experience in history. What makes everyone else's emotional experience wrong and Gatrell's right? His book does make a strong contribution to the study of English Penal reform; it is too bad he limits himself by his contradiction.
The hanging tree: execution and the English people, 1770-1868User Review - Book Verdict
"The law to take its course...launched into eternity." Dry words to describe the anguish of public death by hanging, the preferred punishment in England from 1770 to 1868. One could hang for forgery, rape, murder, or lesser crimes; bodies might be gibbeted, quartered, or mauled by crowds believing in the healing qualities of freshly executed corpses. Grisly as this sounds, Gatrell (history, Cambridge Univ.), prompted by the chance discovery of hundreds of mercy petitions (still bound in their original ribbons and untouched for centuries), deals in a matter-of-fact, sometimes plodding way with the darker forces behind the spectacle. Crowds, barristers, judges, king, counselors, literary lights, and felons are all examined against a backdrop of a very bloody England (public executions, banned by an Act of Parliament in 1868, simply moved indoors). An excellent secondary source; recommended for academic and larger public library history collections.-Nancy L. Whitfield, Meriden P.L., Ct.
The London Hanged: Crime and Civil Society in the Eighteenth Century
Limited preview - 2003
A Handbook on Hanging: Being a Short Introduction to the Fine Art of ...
Limited preview - 1961
The Civilizing Process: Sociogenetic and Psychogenetic Investigations
No preview available - 2000
Measuring the subject
Pressures on structures
Death and the Scaffold Crowd
3 Carnival or Consent?
Scaffold Culture and Flash Ballads
Broadsides and the Gallows Emblem
The Prerogative of Mercy and the Practices of Deference
The Stories of Sarah Lloyd and Eliza
Piety and Benevolence
Appealing for Justice
Qualities of Justice
The King in his Council
JSTOR: The Hanging Tree: Execution and the English People, 1770-1868
vac Gatrell, The Hanging Tree: Execution and the English People, 1770- 1868, New York: Oxford University Press, 1994. Pp. xix + 634. ...
Journal of Social History: The Hanging Tree: Execution and the ...
The Hanging Tree: Execution and the English People, 1770-1868. - book reviews. Carolyn A. Conley. It is very fitting that vac Gatrell, whose work with the ...
findarticles.com/ p/ articles/ mi_m2005/ is_n3_v29/ ai_18498235/ print
Reservation The hanging tree : execution and the English people ...
Title : The hanging tree : execution and the English people 1770-1868 / vac Gatrell. Author : Gatrell, vac, 1941-. Last Located at : Cambridge Library ...
catalogue.library.cambridge.wa.gov.au/ AmlibWeb/ webquery.dll?v1=pbReserve&
Vic Gatrell - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Another of his books was another prizewinner, 'The Hanging Tree: execution and the English people 1770-1868' (Oxford, 1994): this was awarded the Whitfield ...
en.wikipedia.org/ wiki/ Vic_Gatrell
REVISITING THE HANGING TREE Gatrell on Emotion and History
REVISITING THE HANGING TREE. Gatrell on Emotion and History. R. ANDALL. M. C. G. OWEN. *. In 1994 vac Gatrell published The Hanging Tree: Execution and the ...
bjc.oxfordjournals.org/ cgi/ reprint/ 40/ 1/ 1.pdf
Wyvern : extra : Gatrell
Professor Gattrell's earlier publication The Hanging Tree: Execution and the English People, 1770-1868 was awarded the Whitfield Prize by the Royal ...
www.essex.ac.uk/ wyvern/ extra/ Gatrell.htm
To the teeth and forehead of our faults
A review of vac Gatrell, The Hanging Tree: Execution and the English People, 1770-1868 (Oxford University Press, 1994),£20 ...
pubs.socialistreviewindex.org.uk/ isj68/ linebaugh.htm
The University of Western Ontario
vac Gatrell, The Hanging Tree: Execution and the English People 1770-1868. (Oxford, 1994), Pt. II. John Brewer, A Sentimental Murder: Love and Madness in ...
history.uwo.ca/ undergradstudy/ 407e-001/ syllabus.pdf
Chicago Journals - The Journal of Modern History
The Hanging Tree: Execution and the English People, 1770-1868. vac Gatrell. The Journal of Modern History. Search Journal ...
www.journals.uchicago.edu/ cgi-bin/ resolve?id=doi:10.1086/ 245408
Blackwell Synergy - History Compass, Volume 2 Issue 1 Page ...
Skip to main content. Blackwell Synergy. Email: ? Password:. Register · Forgotten Password · Athens/Institution Login ...
www.blackwell-synergy.com/ doi/ abs/ 10.1111/ j.1478-0542.2004.00102.x