Synopses & Reviews
In this ambitious survey of lawlessness and legal retribution in medieval Europe, Trevor Dean ranges widely across the continent and Britain. He uses court records to illuminate the lives of ordinary men and women, who often found themselves at the sharp end of law. Drawing on the proliferation of new sources now available on the subject, this is an original account of the creation, extension and aggravation of criminal law and its penalties, and the effects and responses they generated. Providing much-needed synthesis of recent research and scholarship Crime in Medieval Europe, 1200-1550 presents case studies to open up areas for discussion and debate, draws attention to changing attitudes to and definitions of crime and examines social relations context in which crimes were committed. Trevor Dean draws on real examples of ordinary men and women and provides a rare opportunity their voices to be heard. 18 black and white plates illustrate key issues and themes.
What is the difference between a stabbing in a tavern in London and one in a hostelry in the South of France? What happens when a spinster living in Paris finds knight in her bedroom wanting to marry her? Why was there a crime wave following the Black Death? From Aberdeen to Cracow and from Stockholm to Sardinia, Trevor Dean ranges widely throughout medieval Europe in this exiting and innovative history of lawlessness and criminal justice. Drawing on the real-life stories of ordinary men and women who often found themselves at the sharp end of the law, he shows how it was often one rule for the rich and another for the poor in a tangled web of judicial corruption.