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Crime & Punishment Tour - Picture of National Justice Museum, Nottingham
Sort order. Dec 17, Dorothea rated it it was ok. This is the sort of local history that is only read by those whose interest in the subject is strong enough to overcome the obstacles of clumsy writing and weak scholarship. It reads like the work of a hobbyist, not a historian -- written with great interest, for their own sake, in the records being examined, but devoid of any sense that the information presented might be more significant still in the context of larger ideas.
This is a fun book!
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Ian Morgan obviously wrote it with great delight in This is the sort of local history that is only read by those whose interest in the subject is strong enough to overcome the obstacles of clumsy writing and weak scholarship. Ian Morgan obviously wrote it with great delight in sharing his findings about the gory, disturbing, and sometimes funny methods of criminal punishment that were employed in Nottinghamshire from the Middle Ages through the Victorian era.
I enjoyed being horrified by the gruesome facts and was able to appreciate the local-history aspect, since I was visiting family in Nottinghamshire when I bought and read this book.
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In fact I think Olde Nottinghamshire Punishments may have some serious use to me -- I justified buying it for myself because I'm going to be taking a history seminar next semester about crime, and Morgan's book falls within the class's geographical and chronological scope. There is such a wide variety of crimes, forms of justice, and criminal sentences mentioned in this book that it gave me a broader idea of what to anticipate in my seminar -- a very rich Nottinghamshire slice of the history of crime.
But of course as you can tell from my first paragraph thinking about my history studies also showed up the book's shortcomings. Isolated examples are well enough especially when they are documented, and Morgan does often give some idea of where he found his facts , but the knowledge that so-and-so was executed in such a fashion in year XXXX for such a crime isn't very helpful unless one has the bigger picture -- how common were these crimes, and were they always prosecuted?
Was this particular sentence common, or the idiosyncrasy of a particularly harsh judge? How were similar situations addressed elsewhere -- in the East Midlands, in England, in Europe? And given that said crime is no longer a capital offense, when did that change occur?
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Was it gradual, recent, or already on the way out in the year XXXX? You are commenting using your Twitter account. You are commenting using your Facebook account. Notify me of new comments via email.
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Olde Nottinghamshire Punishments
The Team has reformed and is now back working on Nottingham local history. On this blog you will find a series of history, folklore and archaeological related articles and information. This entry was posted in Nottingham History. Please Book prior to 5pm on the Sunday. Full Public Liability Insurance. Staff retain the right to refuse admission, or remove participants during the tour.
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