The Hanged Man

By Robert Bartlett,

Book cover of The Hanged Man: A Story of Miracle, Memory, and Colonialism in the Middle Ages

Book description

Seven hundred years ago, executioners led a Welsh rebel named William Cragh to a wintry hill to be hanged. They placed a noose around his neck, dropped him from the gallows, and later pronounced him dead. But was he dead? While no less than nine eyewitnesses attested to his demise,…

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Why read it?

1 author picked The Hanged Man as one of their favorite books. Why do they recommend it?

In 1307 the pope charged three commissioners to decide whether the survival of a Welshman hanged for murder some years previously had or had not been a miracle. Bartlett’s masterly and compulsively readable microhistory draws from their report a brilliantly illuminated miniature (less than 200 pages) of an entire world, from the family life of the highest nobility to the grisly details of hanging and what they symbolised, and of the struggle for power in many forms, from the marches of Wales to central Italy.

From R.I.'s list on the real Middle Ages.

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