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Seeing Justice Done – The Age of Spectacular Capital Punishment in France - Oxford Scholarship Online
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Seeing Justice Done: The Age of Spectacular Capital Punishment in France

Paul Friedland


From the early Middle Ages to the 20th century, capital punishment in France, as in many other countries, was staged before large crowds of spectators. This book traces the theory and practice of public executions over time from the perspective of the executioners and government officials who staged them, as well as from the vantage point of the many thousands who came to “see justice done.” While penal theorists often stressed that the fundamental purpose of public punishment was to strike fear in the hearts of spectators, the eagerness with which crowds flocked to executions and the extent t ... More

Keywords: capital punishment, death penalty, guillotine, spectacle, executioners, animal executions, sensibilities, executions, public executions, spectators, public punishment

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2012 Print ISBN-13: 9780199592692
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2012 DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199592692.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Paul Friedland, author
Affiliate of the Minda de Gunzburg Center for European Studies at Harvard University

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