The History of Suicide in England, 16501850, Part II

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  • Edition: 1st
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2012-11-01
  • Publisher: Routledge

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What Cato did, and Addison approved, cannot be wrong'. Eustace Budgell's famous suicide note of 1737 was written at a point when, it has been argued, older attitudes to suicide were being challenged. However, many commentators continued to view suicide as a crime against the laws of God and man, punishable by the forfeiture of property and a shameful burial, while some physicians viewed suicide as an act of lunacy, and thought that suicides could not be culpable. This two-part, eight-volume, reset edition draws together a range of sources from the early modern era through to the industrial age, to show the changes and continuities in responses to the social, political, legal and spiritual problems that self-murder posed, and to illustrate the nature of the lively and vibrant contemporary debates about and depictions of suicide. In addition to general commentary on suicide, materials relate to selected high-profile cases, including Charles Blount, Robert Clive, George Hesse, Samuel Romilly and Lord Castlereagh. Sources are varied and include newspaper and magazine reports, sermons, pamphlets, legal and medical material, ballads, poetry, plays and novels. Much of this material has not been republished before. New editorial material includes a general introduction, volume introductions, headnotes, endnotes and a consolidated index. This edition will be essential for scholars of Social History, Legal History, Religious Studies, History of Crime and Historical Sociology.

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