Medieval Punishments: An Illustrated History of Torture

Skyhorse Publishing, Inc.
Free sample

From the cucking-stool to whipping posts, an exhaustive catalog of the implements and methods used to torment prisoners in the Middle Ages.
 
Dive into the macabre history of England and Old Europe in this treasure chest of historical sentences. In the pages of Medieval Punishments are abuses from a less enlightened period, creating a thoroughly researched historical document that sheds light on the evolution of society and how humans have maintained social order and addressed crime. In a town called Newcastle-on-Tyne, a drunkard’s cloak was a barrel that offenders were made to wear. In Anglo-Saxon times, each town was required to build stocks to hold breakers of the peace. To the Romans, beheading was considered the most honorable of deaths. It’s these details that make Medieval Punishments a compelling read for social historians and an important component of human history.
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About the author

William Andrews was an English author and editor of dozens of books, including Old Church Lore, and Yorkshire in Olden Times. He published several evolving works on bygone punishments; this is his third and, by his account, definitive statement on the subject. Born in 1848, he died in 1908.
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Additional Information

Publisher
Skyhorse Publishing, Inc.
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Published on
Aug 1, 2013
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Pages
320
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ISBN
9781626365179
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Language
English
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Genres
History / Europe / Medieval
History / Social History
Social Science / Criminology
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Since the mid-twentieth century, political histories of late medieval England have focused almost exclusively on the relationship between the Crown and aristocratic landholders. Such studies, however, neglect to consider that England after the Black Death was an urbanising society. Towns not only were the residence of a rising proportion of the population, but were also the stages on which power was asserted and the places where financial and military resources were concentrated. Outside London, however, most English towns were small compared to those found in contemporary Italy or Flanders, and it has been easy for historians to under-estimate their ability to influence English politics. Politics and the Urban Sector in Fifteenth-Century England, 1413-1471 offers a new approach for evaluating the role of urban society in late medieval English politics. Rather than focusing on English towns individually, it creates a model for assessing the political might that could be exerted by towns collectively as an 'urban sector'. Based on primary sources from twenty-two towns (ranging from the metropolis of London to the tiny Kentish town of Lydd), Politics and the Urban Sector demonstrates how fluctuations in inter-urban relationships affected the content, pace, and language of English politics during the tumultuous fifteenth century. In particular, the volume presents a new interpretation of the Wars of the Roses, in which the relative strength of the 'urban sector' determined the success of kings and their challengers and moulded the content of the political programmes they advocated.
Written in 1456 and purporting to be the biography of the actual fourteenth-century knight of its title, Jean de Saintré has been called the first modern novel in French and one of the first historical novels in any language. Taken in hand at the age of thirteen by an older and much more experienced lady, Madame des Belles Cousines, the youth grows into an accomplished knight, winning numerous tournaments and even leading a crusade against the infidels for the love of Madame. When he reaches maturity, Jean starts to rebel against Madame's domination by seeking out chivalric adventures on his own. She storms off to her country estates and takes up with the burly abbot of a nearby monastery. The text moves into darker and uncourtly territory when Jean discovers their liaison and lashes out to avenge his lost love and honor, ruining Madame's reputation in the process.

Composed in the waning years of chivalry and at the threshold of the print revolution, Jean de Saintré incorporates disquisitions on sin and virtue, advice on hygiene and fashion, as well as lengthy set pieces of chivalric combat. Antoine de La Sale, who was, by turns, a page, a royal tutor, a soldier, and a judge at tournaments, embellished his text with wide-ranging insights into chivalric ideology, combat techniques, heraldry and warfare, and the moral training of a young knight. This superb translation—the first in nearly a hundred years—contextualizes the story with a rich introduction and a glossary and is suitable for scholars, students, and general readers alike. An encyclopedic compilation of medieval culture and a window into the lost world of chivalry, Jean de Saintré is a touchstone for both the late Middle Ages and the emergence of the modern novel.

Barbara W. Tuchman—the acclaimed author of the Pulitzer Prize–winning classic The Guns of August—once again marshals her gift for character, history, and sparkling prose to compose an astonishing portrait of medieval Europe.
 
The fourteenth century reflects two contradictory images: on the one hand, a glittering age of crusades, cathedrals, and chivalry; on the other, a world plunged into chaos and spiritual agony. In this revelatory work, Barbara W. Tuchman examines not only the great rhythms of history but the grain and texture of domestic life: what childhood was like; what marriage meant; how money, taxes, and war dominated the lives of serf, noble, and clergy alike. Granting her subjects their loyalties, treacheries, and guilty passions, Tuchman re-creates the lives of proud cardinals, university scholars, grocers and clerks, saints and mystics, lawyers and mercenaries, and, dominating all, the knight—in all his valor and “furious follies,” a “terrible worm in an iron cocoon.”
 
Praise for A Distant Mirror
 
“Beautifully written, careful and thorough in its scholarship . . . What Ms. Tuchman does superbly is to tell how it was. . . . No one has ever done this better.”—The New York Review of Books
 
“A beautiful, extraordinary book . . . Tuchman at the top of her powers . . . She has done nothing finer.”—The Wall Street Journal
 
“Wise, witty, and wonderful . . . a great book, in a great historical tradition.”—Commentary

NOTE: This edition does not include color images.
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