Cannibalism and the Common Law: The Story of the Tragic Last Voygage of the Mignonette and the Strange Legal Proceedings to Which it Gave rise

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9780226759432: Cannibalism and the Common Law: The Story of the Tragic Last Voygage of the Mignonette and the Strange Legal Proceedings to Which it Gave rise
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In 1884 two respectable seamen, survivors of the shipwrecked yacht 'Mignonette', were sentenced to death for killing, and eating, their young shipmate. A.W. Brian Simpson unfolds the history of this famous case, taking the reader back to a time when cannibalism was common at sea and rife in the public imagination. In doing so, he brings to life the Victorian world and recaptures a human drama with wit, warmth, and insight.

The 'Case of the Mignonette,' attracted worldwide interest in 1884, and lawyers and law students have been arguing about it ever since. Today, all over the common law world, the decision possess a pre-eminent status as the case used to introduce students both to the peculiarities of legal reasoning and to the practical and ethical problems with which law is ultimately concerned. From a professional standpoint, it was and is a central authority on 'the defense of necessity,' and the facts of the case raise in dramatic form the problem of reconciling the instinct for survival with moral code that respects the sanctity of human life.

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“In manuscript, it has already become a best-seller in my family; my wife and daughter will not allow it to leave the house until they have finished it.” ―Stanley N. Katz

“The book can be read with equal profit and pleasure by lawyer and layman alike. I doubt that a more civilized book has ever been written about a more gruesome subject.” ―University of Chicago Law Review

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Other Popular Editions of the Same Title

9781852852009: Cannibalism and Common Law: A Victorian Yachting Tragedy

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ISBN 10:  1852852003 ISBN 13:  9781852852009
Publisher: Bloomsbury Academic, 2003
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