A Case of Child Murder: Law and Science in Nineteenth-Century Tuscany

Overview

In 'A Case Of Child Murder', Guarnieri examine in detail the ensuing murder trial: the brief investigation leading quickly to the confession of the alleged killer and his indictment, the course of the 'insanity trial' which followed, the enormous attention which it drew, and the medical, legal, and public reactions to the conviction.
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Overview

In 'A Case Of Child Murder', Guarnieri examine in detail the ensuing murder trial: the brief investigation leading quickly to the confession of the alleged killer and his indictment, the course of the 'insanity trial' which followed, the enormous attention which it drew, and the medical, legal, and public reactions to the conviction.
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
It is unfortunate that this historic case was covered by an academic rather than by a professional writer. Guarnieri, who teaches the history of science at Stanford, has a turgid and ponderous prose style, and her innumerable scholarly digressions are less than pertinent here. She tells of the murder of four children and the attempted murder of a fifth by Carlo Grandi, a cartwright in a rural town near Florence in the years 1873-75. Aged 24, a dwarf with no head or body hair, afflicted with scoliosis, legs of different lengths and below-average intelligence, Grandi evidently killed his victims because they had mocked him. His case is important because the conflicting testimonies of psychiatrists, psychologists and physicians loomed large, but did not influence the judges, who sentenced Grandi to 20 years. Guarnieri's scholarship appears to best advantage in analyzing the primitive psychiatry of the time. (Aug.)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780745609034
  • Publisher: Wiley, John & Sons, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 10/1/1993
  • Pages: 220
  • Product dimensions: 6.17 (w) x 9.29 (h) x 0.69 (d)

Table of Contents

Abbreviations
Acknowledgements
1 Events and Enquiry 1
Alarm in Incisa 1
The disappearance of the children 6
The murderer is discovered 13
The city magistrates 21
The confession 24
Crime or politics 29
The witnesses and the child Amerigo 32
The motive 37
The charge 45
2 Carlino and Public Opinion 50
Dramatic action 50
Carlino 'the victim' and decent people 56
Carlino and the urchins 62
Carlino and the scientists 67
Carlino the degenerate 79
3 The Trial 88
Yorick and the celebrated trials 88
The judges in court 97
The investigation challenged 102
Madness: fact and judgement 109
The village idiot and the schoolmaster 114
The psychiatric experts 121
The jurors and the verdict 131
4 The Psychiatric Case 138
The psychiatrists' battles and defeats 138
The banner of organicism 146
Physiognomy: scientific rationality and common sense 149
Freedom, constraint or otherwise 157
Why? 'No reason' 162
Carlino's thoughts 168
Notes 177
Index 205
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