Cannibalism and Common Law: A Victorian Yachting Tragedy

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A&C Black, Aug 2, 2003 - History - 353 pages
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Cannibalism and the Common Law is an enthralling classic of legal history. It tells the tragic story of the yacht Mignonette, which foundered on its way from England to Australia in 1884. The killing and eating of one of the crew, Richard Parker, led to the leading case in the defence of necessity, R. v. Dudley and Stephens. It resulted in their being convicted and sentenced to death, a sentence subsequently commuted. In this tour de force Brian Simpson sets the legal proceedings in their broadest historical context, providing a detailed account of the events and characters involved and of life at sea in the time of sail. Cannibalism and the Common Law is a demonstration that legal history can be written in human terms and can be compulsive reading. This brilliant and fascinating book, a marvelous example of eareful historical detection, and first-class legal history, written by a master.
  

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Review: Cannibalism and Common Law: A Victorian Yachting Tragedy

User Review  - Isidore - Goodreads

What is worse than cannibalism? Unfair cannibalism. The sailors in this story were brought to trial for murder not because they ate their shipmate, but because they failed to draw lots. Instead they ... Read full review

Review: Cannibalism and Common Law: A Victorian Yachting Tragedy

User Review  - Mike Russo - Goodreads

An idiosyncratic but comprehensive look at the leading case of Regina v. Dudley and Stephens, about, yes, maritime cannibalism, Simpson also provides an examination of other notorious instances of ... Read full review

Contents

Sergeant Laverty Makes an Arrest
1
The Mignonette Goes Foreign
13
The Horrid Deed
55
Before the Falmouth Magistrates
73
The Custom of the Sea
95
ManEaters of the Frontier
147
The William Brown and the Euxine
161
The Devious Baron Huddleston
195
A Lawyers Question
225
Aftermath
271
The Special Verdict
307
Ballads Illustrating the Custom of the Sea
313
Joseph Conrad and the Case of the Euxine
323
Index
345
Copyright

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