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on 1 December 2009
This is a remarkably interesting little book which gives an insight into the life of one of England's most notorious executioners - `William Calcraft'.

The book loosely follows Calcraft's entry into the executioner's service until his eventual forced retirement when he was in his seventies! The book focuses heavily on the accounts of the crimes, trials and subsequent hangings. I would have preferred a little more information on the man himself; however, the subject material is deeply captivating in a morbid sense.

Calcraft favoured the `short drop' method, which was replaced by his eventual successors by the more humane `long drop' based on calculated weights and heights. I don't think that Calcraft was a cruel and callous man, rather he saw himself as a tool of the state, exacting justice as it was served on behalf of the Crown.

This is a truly fascinating read and should be recommended to all who enjoy a healthy dose of morbid social and criminal history!
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on 11 September 2015
Excellent and it's all about my ancestor ! :)
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on 21 November 2016
This.book was a good reD
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on 8 August 2009
This was purchased as a christmas present, not my cup of tea but she said it was a enjoyable read and was happy with it.
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on 15 July 2010
This book tells the story of William Calcraft the "excecutioner with the longest career and the shortest rope" Interesting read.
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on 24 January 2010
This book details the life and times of probably England's most prolific executioner, William Calcraft. It tells of how executioins went from public spectacles to being carried out behind the prison walls and the grisly details of how he performed his "art" as well as some of the things that went wrong.
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on 25 December 2014
entertaining
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on 28 July 2011
A fascinating insite into the mind of a Victorian era hangman, it is a great pity
that the punishment had been abolished, it certainly stopped repeat offenders.

The reason that I purchased the book, is that William Calcraft is a distant relative
of my Granddaughter, she now has the book, she also finds it an interesting read.
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on 12 September 2014
Book looks second hand. Arrived packed in a plastic bag. All battered and torn.
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