The Executioner Always Chops Twice: Ghastly Blunders on the Scaffold [NOOK Book]

Overview



A morbidly fascinating mixture of bungled executions, strange last requests, and classic final one-liners from medieval times to the present day.

Sometimes it's hard to be an executioner, trying to keep someone from popping up to make a quip when they should have spectacularly sunk without a trace. Or to be told that the condemned to the guillotine won't have a last drink for fear of "completely losing his head." The business of death can be...
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The Executioner Always Chops Twice: Ghastly Blunders on the Scaffold

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Overview



A morbidly fascinating mixture of bungled executions, strange last requests, and classic final one-liners from medieval times to the present day.

Sometimes it's hard to be an executioner, trying to keep someone from popping up to make a quip when they should have spectacularly sunk without a trace. Or to be told that the condemned to the guillotine won't have a last drink for fear of "completely losing his head." The business of death can be absurd, and nothing illustrates this better than these tales of the gruesome and frankly ridiculous ways in which a number of ill-fated unfortunates met (or failed to meet) their maker.

Did you know:
When Sir Thomas More was ordered to position his head on the block, he said "though you have warrant to cut off my head, you have none to cut off my beard?"

When the guillotine took three strokes to sever the neck of Isabeau Herman, the mob attempted to stone the executioner to death for cruelty?

After the English hanged the pirate Captain Kidd they chained his body to a stake on the Thames River as a warning to seafarers?

From the strange to the gruesome, from the weird to the completely unbelievable, The Executioner Always Chops Twice is popular history at its best: witty, lively, and wonderfully bizarre.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781466838147
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press
  • Publication date: 4/3/2004
  • Sold by: Macmillan
  • Format: eBook
  • Edition description: First Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 240
  • Sales rank: 883,717
  • File size: 4 MB

Meet the Author



Geoffrey Abbott served for many years as a Yeoman Warder at the Tower of London. Author of sixteen books and contributor to the Encyclopedia Britannica, he has made numerous television appearances. He lives in London.
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Table of Contents

Introduction 9
Part 1 Methods of Torture and Execution 13
Part 2 The Unfortunate Victims 43
Axe 43
Boiled in Oil 59
Branding 60
Burned at the Stake 66
Electric Chair 73
Firing Squad 85
Gas Chamber 91
Guillotine 92
Hanging 102
Lethal Injection 209
Sword 212
The Wheel 229
A Happy Ending? 233
Select Bibliography
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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 14, 2008

    Surprisingly dull

    This book is hard to finish. It's mainly perhaps from lack of an editor, which is clear from the typos, but I wouldn't mind the typos if it was well written'. It is more tedious than funny, and some of the sentences need to be read slowly in order to be comprehensible. If you read VERY fast, you might find it somewhat interesting. The basic source material could be re-written into an entertaining book about a third as long. Even if you enjoy poorly written books with lots of exclamation marks, this book will still disappoint. The writing isn't bad enough to be funny, it's just clearly written by someone who thought that cobbling together research was all it would take to make the subject interesting.

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