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Tyburn: London's Fatal Tree [Hardcover]

Robert Brooke
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)

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Book Description

15 Jan 2004
This work tells the story of how Tyburn came to be the place of execution and of the rituals and spectacle associated with the deaths of so many people, both famous and obscure.

Product details

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: The History Press (15 Jan 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0750929715
  • ISBN-13: 978-0750929714
  • Product Dimensions: 23.6 x 15.8 x 3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 634,982 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

About the Author

Alan Brooke teaches History at Peterborough Regional College. This is his first book. David Brandon is an historian. He brings history to life through his popular lectures, such as 'Absolute Rotters' and 'Total Cads' - Villains in British history'. ' A Cock and Bull Story' - The history of pub names'. His book on the history of highway robbers, Stand and Deliver, was published by Sutton in2001.

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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
44 of 46 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
This is a well-written and extremely readable book, which will appeal both to readers having a general interest in the social and cultural history of London and of crime and, because of the thoroughness of the research and the extensive bibliography, to those wishing to pursue a more academic study of those areas. The practices and cultural significance of the place at which up to 50,000 met their frequently gruesome ends are carefully investigated. High profile cases are covered, but attention is also given to ‘London’s forgotten criminals’, those obscure beings who made up the vast majority of those perishing there, having been sentenced for usually mundane crimes.
An attempt is made to pin-point the exact site of Tyburn’s fatal tree and this is followed by descriptions of events there during the early years, the turbulent 16th and 17th centuries and the 18th century until executions were transferred to Newgate. The hopeless terror of those facing their sentences is set within the context of the expectations of the crowds at the drunken revels of the carnivalesque Tyburn Fair, whose thirst for grotesque spectacle was matched by the concentration of the press on salacious detail. Victims, hangmen, punishments, the crowd and London street life are all examined in fascinating detail and the place of Tyburn in contemporary culture is well established.
A hugely enjoyable read which is at the same time informative and thought-provoking.
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34 of 36 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Has to be the best work of it's kind available 12 Mar 2004
A very well documented work detailing the many capital punishments that took place at what has to be the most famous place of execution in London. The reader is taken back in time to witness the horror and despair of the victims, from the wretched poor who were condemned for petty crimes, to the more aristocratic such as Roger Mortimer. Witness the excitement and anticipation of the crowd as they watch the hanging, drawing and quartering. The attention to detail and emotive language has to make this book one of the best works on the subject available. Highly recommended.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb! 1 Mar 2010
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is how history books should be written. Well researched, full of interesting facts and conjures up the feel of the time.
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
A wonderful book, filled with intriguing insight into the history surrounding the use of capital punishment in and around London from the 12th century until the disuse of the Tyburn gallows in 1783. The authors successfully relate a vivid recollection of the past, and succeed in placing the reader into the centre of the debate concerning the social and political ends to which the establishment intended public execution and the ensuing spectacle which invariably followed it. The detail into which the authors delve when accounting to the reader the rituals and reasons surrounding Tyburn, especially the recounting of the final journey from Newgate to the `triple tree' really leaves this book as one of the most superb on the subject. This is a must for anybody interested in their social history either for study or pleasure.
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