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Imagining the unimaginable: Parricide in early modern England and Wales, c.1600-c.1760

Walker, Garthine ORCID: 2016. Imagining the unimaginable: Parricide in early modern England and Wales, c.1600-c.1760. Journal of Family History 41 (3) , pp. 271-293. 10.1177/0363199016644706

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This article explores the ways in which parricide was comprehended in England and Wales, c.1600–1760, and shows that while some parallels exist with modern explanatory models of parricide offenders, they had very different meanings in the early modern context. While both lunacy and the cruelty of parents were understood as possible contexts for parricide, neither were common. The dominant explanation was the gratuitous violence of a selfish individual who lacked compassion and who saw the parent as an obstacle—to an inheritance, riches, marriage, and freedom—to be removed. The article explores these three categories and suggests ways in which this began to change in the mid-eighteenth century.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: History, Archaeology and Religion
Subjects: D History General and Old World > DA Great Britain
Publisher: SAGE
ISSN: 0363-1990
Funders: Leverhulme Trust
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 30 March 2016
Last Modified: 01 Nov 2022 09:31

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