Family of Death
ISBN 10: 0709055919 / 0-7090-5591-9
ISBN 13: 9780709055914
Publisher: Robert Hale Ltd
Publication Date: 2001
For more than two centuries the eldest sons of the Sanson family were fated by tradition to inherit the Paris scaffold. Scorned by their superiors, reviled by society, nevertheless they flogged and hanged, burned and branded, beheaded with sword and guillotine, thousands of condemned men and women. Yet these were no blood-crazed psychopaths. On the contrary they were educated and intelligent men with wives and children. In this book, the parts played by Dr Guillotin and Madame Tussaud during the days of the terror are fully covered, as is the evolution, design and operation of the guillotine itself. An appendix deals with the question of whether death by the guillotine is absolutely instantaneous - or does the victim see the basket coming up to meet him, hear the gloating cheers of the mob, before death brings oblivion?
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