A HANDBOOK ON HANGING — by Charles Duff (Part 1) eBook £1.50 (see eBookshelf)

HHCoverMaster Being a short Introduction to the fine art of Execution, and containing much useful information on Neck-Breaking, Throttling, Strangling, Asphyxiation, Decapitation and Electrocution, as well as Data and Wrinkles for Hangmen, an account of the late Mr. Berry’s method of Killing and his working list of Drops; to which is added a Hangman’: Ready Reckoner and certain other items of interest

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“Dislocation of the Neck is the ideal to be aimed at.”

Published originally by Grant Richards and Philip Sainsbury at


21 Soho Square MCMXXVIII (1928)

Fashions in Execution

IT has been and still is a matter of opinion whether, if you wish to kill your undesirable, it is better to hurl him over a precipice, or flay him until he dies, or burn him or drown him or suffocate him; or entomb him alive and leave him to perish slowly in the silence of his grave; or asphyxiate him in a lethal chamber, or press him to death or cut off his head; or break his neck in strangulation by hanging as we English do; or produce a sort of coma by means of an electric current and then, in the name of autopsy, permit the doctors to finish him off, as they do in certain of the United States of North America. It is all a matter of taste, temperament, and fashion. But one fact emerges: man has not grown less cruel with the passage of that illusory thing called time; though in most parts of the world he has become a far greater hypocrite than he used to be. In the Ts’in dynasty in China the heads of undesirables were expeditiously removed by a stroke of the official sword, whereas In the same country only the other day men an women had their ears and strips of flesh cut off, fried, and eaten before their eyes before execution; and children were ordered to behead their parents. *

* Observer, February 12th, 1928.

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