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Home > Catalog > Crime and Mentalities in Early Modern England
Crime and Mentalities in Early Modern England


  • Page extent: 396 pages
  • Size: 228 x 152 mm
  • Weight: 0.75 kg

Library of Congress

  • Dewey number: 364.942
  • Dewey version: 21
  • LC Classification: HV6949.E5 G37 2000
  • LC Subject headings:
    • Crime--England--History

Library of Congress Record

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 (ISBN-13: 9780521572750 | ISBN-10: 0521572754)

  • Also available in Paperback
  • Published May 2000

Manufactured on demand: supplied direct from the printer

$175.00 (C)

Crime and the law have now been studied by historians of early modern England for more than a generation. This book attempts to reach further than most conventional treatments of the subject, to explore the cultural contexts of law-breaking and criminal prosecution, and to recover their hidden social meanings. It also examines in detail the crimes of witchcraft, coining--counterfeiting and coin-clipping--and murder, in order to reveal new and important insights into how the thinking of ordinary people was transformed between 1550 and 1750.


Introduction: 1. Mentalities from crime; Part I. Witchcraft: 2. The social meaning of witchcraft, 1560–1680; 3. Witches in society and culture, 1680–1750; Part II. Coining: 4. The problem of coiners and the law; 5. Towards a solution? coining, state and people; Part III. Murder: 6. Crimes of blood and their representation; 7. Murder: police, prosecution and proof; Conclusion: 8. A transition from belief to certainty?

Prize Winner

Choice's 2001 Outstanding Academic Titles


"Gaskill has set a new standard for the writing of socio-legal history." H-Net Reviews

"Drawing extensively on archival material, Gaskill...succeeds admirably in his task....Conceptually sophisticated and deeply researched, the book will deservedly occupy a central place in the literature of early modern social history and is recommended for all academic collections." ls Choice

"Gatskill offers important new insights in relating legal to cultural history." Jrnl of Interdisciplinary History

"Malcolm Gaskill packs a lot of punches into 377 pages, presenting a challenging idea on almost every page...It is always riveting and never dull." Sixteenth Century Journal

"[Gaskill] has a good ear and sharp eye combined with a great enthusiasm for plowing through the sources." Journal of Modern History

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