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A neat little reference volume for the bookshelf, but not for the committed scholar. While some forms of punishment were explained in detail, some, such as the penitence-stool, were described only in the vaguest terms. I'm still unsure just how it punished the unhappy sitter.
This is a reprint of an 1890 book which was (is) a compilation of reports on the use of various punishment devices. Many of the crimes were religious in nature and the punishment meted out by the church or at religious figure's requests.
This book was great for nerds like me who are interested in the macabre history of England. Considering that the book was published in the 1800s, it still felt like a modern-enough text. The illustrations were occasionally quirky, and even the narration sometimes described some of the most torturous devices as "curious" or "intriguing." Lots of fun.