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Hiding the Guillotine – Public Executions in France, 1870-1939 - Cornell Scholarship Online
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Hiding the Guillotine: Public Executions in France, 1870-1939

Emmanuel Taïeb


This book examines the question of state involvement in violence by tracing the evolution of public executions in France. Why did the state move executions from the bloody and public stage of the guillotine to behind prison doors? The book exposes the rituals and theatrical form of the death penalty and tells us who watched, who participated in, and who criticized (and ultimately brought an end to) a spectacle that the state called “punishment.” France's abolition of the death penalty in 1981 has long overshadowed its suppression of public executions over forty years earlier. Since the Revolut ... More

Keywords: violence, public executions, France, death penalty, punishment

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2020 Print ISBN-13: 9781501750946
Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: May 2021 DOI:10.7591/cornell/9781501750946.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Emmanuel Taïeb, author
Institut d'Etudes Politiques de Lyon