In the earliest medieval poems, Robin Hood is devoted to the Virgin Mary. While this may seem odd, many thieves in medieval Europe had an attachment to her.
In 1824, the lawyer, Andrew Kapp, asked, “Do not these creatures, when they are bruised and wounded, shew an equal sense of pain with ourselves? Are not their shrieks and mournful cries, as so many, calls upon their tormentors for pity? And do not their dying pangs, and the painful convulsions of their tortured bodies, cause uneasiness in every human spectator?”
Katherine Royer’s new book, “The English Execution Narrative, 1200-1700” (2015) analyses the meanings behind the often gruesome executions carried out in the medieval and early modern period.
Last week Google celebrated the life of Victor Hugo (1802-85) with some quirky illustrations on its masthead, so I thought I would do the same by writing a post on an early novel by Hugo entitled “The Last Day of a Condemned Man” (1829), which explores the mindset of a man who is about to be hanged.