The Hanged Man: A Story of Miracle, Memory, and Colonialism in the Middle Ages

The Hanged Man: A Story of Miracle, Memory, and Colonialism in the Middle Ages

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by Robert Bartlett
     
 

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ISBN-10: 0691126046

ISBN-13: 9780691126043

Pub. Date: 03/13/2006

Publisher: Princeton University Press

Seven hundred years ago, executioners led a Welsh rebel named William Cragh to a wintry hill to be hanged. They placed a noose around his neck, dropped him from the gallows, and later pronounced him dead. But was he dead? While no less than nine eyewitnesses attested to his demise, Cragh later proved to be very much alive, his resurrection attributed to the saintly

Overview

Seven hundred years ago, executioners led a Welsh rebel named William Cragh to a wintry hill to be hanged. They placed a noose around his neck, dropped him from the gallows, and later pronounced him dead. But was he dead? While no less than nine eyewitnesses attested to his demise, Cragh later proved to be very much alive, his resurrection attributed to the saintly entreaties of the defunct Bishop Thomas de Cantilupe.

The Hanged Man tells the story of this putative miracle—why it happened, what it meant, and how we know about it. The nine eyewitness accounts live on in the transcripts of de Cantilupe's canonization hearings, and these previously unexamined documents contribute not only to an enthralling mystery, but to an unprecedented glimpse into the day-to-day workings of medieval society.

While unraveling the haunting tale of the hanged man, Robert Bartlett leads us deeply into the world of lords, rebels, churchmen, papal inquisitors, and other individuals living at the time of conflict and conquest in Wales. In the process, he reconstructs voices that others have failed to find. We hear from the lady of the castle where the hanged man was imprisoned, the laborer who watched the execution, the French bishop charged with investigating the case, and scores of other members of the medieval citizenry. Brimming with the intrigue of a detective novel, The Hanged Man will appeal to both scholars of medieval history and general readers alike.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780691126043
Publisher:
Princeton University Press
Publication date:
03/13/2006
Pages:
192
Sales rank:
981,272
Product dimensions:
6.86(w) x 8.34(h) x 0.58(d)

Table of Contents

Preface ix
Chapter 1: The Story 1
Chapter 2: The Questioners 12
Chapter 3: The Plot Thickens 22
Chapter 4: An Autumn Day 34
Chapter 5: Death by Hanging 42
Chapter 6: Time and Space 53
Chapter 7: Colonial Wales 68
Chapter 8: The Lord 86
Chapter 9: The Lady 97
Chapter 10: Narrative,Memory,
and Inquisition 106
Chapter 11: The New Saint 117
Chapter 12: Aftermath 124
Notes 143
Index 161

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The Hanged Man: A Story of Miracle, Memory, and Colonialism in the Middle Ages 4.5 out of 5 based on 1 ratings. 2 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A_Sloan More than 1 year ago
A Fascinating Event Worth Investigating I don't know about you, but when I hear that a book features hangings, miracles, and politics set against the backdrop of Medieval England, I think of a Showtime original TV series, not a book that probes into a true court case from 1307. Author Robert Bartlett (also author of Trial by Fire and Water: The Medieval Judicial Ordeal) manages to craft an intriguing and in-depth account that makes the subject of Medieval Law interesting to both scholars and hobby historians alike in The Hanged Man: A Story of Miracle, Memory, and Colonialism. The "hanged man" in questions is one William Cragh, a Welshman who was hung not once, but three times and then resurrected as a result of what may or may not have been a miracle performed by Thomas de Cantilupe, bishop of Hereford. Twenty-five years later, an investigation was opened to get to the bottom of what really happened in an effort to determine if de Cantilupe deserved to be made a saint. Bartlett takes this fascinating event and uses it as a window into Medieval society. As he explains, "By analyzing the record carefully, as if with a magnifying glass, we can see details of life and thought in the Middle Ages that would otherwise not be known to us. Reading the statements that the witnesses made gives us as good an idea as we are likely to get of spoken words of the past in the time before the tape recorder." The Hanged Man is enjoyable, easy to read, and entertaining. Not many historical analyses can say that!