Cannibalism and Common Law (Hardcover)
A Victorian Yachting Tragedy
Continnuum-3pl, 9781852852009, 368pp.
Publication Date: August 2, 2003
Cannibalism and the Common Law is an enthralling classic of legal history. It tells the tragic story of the yacht Mignonette, which foundered on its way from England to Australia in 1884. The killing and eating of one of the crew, Richard Parker, led to the leading case in the defence of necessity, R. v. Dudley and Stephens. It resulted in their being convicted and sentenced to death, a sentence subsequently commuted. In this tour de force Brian Simpson sets the legal proceedings in their broadest historical context, providing a detailed account of the events and characters involved and of life at sea in the time of sail. Cannibalism and the Common Law is a demonstration that legal history can be written in human terms and can be compulsive reading. This brilliant and fascinating book, a marvelous example of eareful historical detection, and first-class legal history, written by a master.