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Wicked Strumpets, Cannibals and Witches in English Case Law

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The genesis of this post lies in research that led me to the Law Library stacks and into one of my favorite locations:  the section containing English trials.  Long before the arrival of soap operas and reality television programs, people (well, us Brits, anyway) used to be titillated by sordid criminal trials.   I suppose to a certain degree that is still the case today, but at least there are no longer public executions in the square attended by the masses.

The part of the stacks that I made my early morning visit to houses books that cover a variety of English trials spanning centuries – from the trial of King Charles I, to Oscar Wilde, to General Pinochet.  The titles of the books are often interesting in themselves and the content even more so.  The terminology in some of the older materials has broadened my vocabulary considerably although, despite valiant efforts, I have yet been unable to incorporate the term ‘wicked strumpet‘ into daily use.   Here are some examples of what I find to be interesting titles:


  1. A pleasure to find another trivia devotee. Of course you might had added the trial of Queen Caroline.

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