Cover image for The history of torture and execution
The history of torture and execution
Kellaway, Jean.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : Lyons Press, [2000]

Physical Description:
192 pages : illustrations (some color) ; 31 cm
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
HV8593 .K45 2000 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area-Oversize

On Order



Military historian Kellaway chronicles these fascinating but grisly subjects by time, region, and method, beginning with the methods used by early civilizations, then covering the evolution from the sadistic tools of the medieval age to the modern search for humane execution. She includes hundreds of color photographs and illustrations as well as stories told by the victims themselves. Not recommended for the faint of heart. c. Book News Inc.

Author Notes

Karen Farrington is a former journalist who has contributed to numerous publications on military history. She has also written extensively on assassinations, natural disasters, & religion. Ms. Farrington's most recent works include "The Hamlyn Book of Torture & Punishment," "Witness to World War II," & "Shipwrecks."

(Bowker Author Biography) Karen Farrington is an author and former journalist whose most recent works include books on assassinations, religion, crime and punishment, and the supernatural. She lives in England.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 1

Library Journal Review

The evolution of humankind reveals a grisly history of torture, persecution, and execution. With every civilizing achievement, there have been corresponding examples of state-sanctioned torture or execution. The Bible itself applies the death penalty to 30 different misdemeanors, while the Middle Ages were highlighted by barbarous forms of torture. Farrington (Natural Disasters: The Terrifying Forces of Nature) provides hundreds of photos and illustrations in a full-color account of the many cruel and violent ways in which punishment has been administered. She chronicles a large number of past state-sanctioned acts of punishment (e.g., stonings, festivals of death) as well as modern forms of capital punishment (lethal injections, gas chambers). The author concludes that the use of execution in religious ritual is older than recorded history and is universal to all cultures; state-sponsored executions, moreover, have been used both as deterrents and as punishment. Although this book does not offer new insights, it does provide an excellent chronological perspective that is easy to read. Recommended for specialized collections in criminology and deviant behavior.DTim Delaney, Canisius Coll., Buffalo, NY (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.