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Stratagems of Ignorance

Theodore Zeldin, 5 January 1989

The Superstitious Mind 
by Judith Devlin.
Yale, 316 pp., £22.50, March 1987, 0 300 03710 4
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... good way into the history of uncertainty. In the past, superstition was often regarded as a crime. Judith Devlin proposes a retrial, not of offences listed in the law books, but of alleged crimes and misdemeanours against the laws of reason. She allows the defendants to state their case, no longer as frightened victims of repression, but in the company of ...

Winners and Wasters

Tom Shippey, 2 April 1987

The French Peasantry 1450-1660 
by Emmanuel Le Roy Ladurie, translated by Alan Sheridan.
Scolar, 447 pp., £42.50, March 1987, 0 85967 685 4
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The Superstitious Mind: French Peasants and the Supernatural in the 19th Century 
by Judith Devlin.
Yale, 316 pp., £20, March 1987, 0 300 03710 4
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... from The French Peasantry is any account of mentalités. This may be thought to be supplied by Judith Devlin’s book, though it centres on a much later period. Ladurie’s and Devlin’s methods are far apart: the former works from statistics and inference; the latter from anecdote and supposition. There is nothing ...

Feasting on Power

John Upton: David Blunkett’s Criminal Justice Bill, 10 July 2003

... clothes. It was the failure to disclose such material which led to the wrongful conviction of Judith Ward and the Birmingham Six, among others, and those scandals led to a liberalisation of the disclosure process. Governed at the time by the common law, the regime was altered in the early 1990s by the judiciary, without any need for legislation. Despite ...

Was it like this for the Irish?

Gareth Peirce: The War on British Muslims, 10 April 2008

... Birmingham or Guildford did, that their confessions had been brutally coerced? Or in the case of Judith Ward, when it was proved that the prosecution had withheld for 18 years evidence that disproved her claimed fantasies, or that of Danny McNamee, in which the information that circuit boards identical to those he was held to have used were in the possession ...

Criminal Justice

Ronan Bennett, 24 June 1993

... the Guildford Four, but for the closely related cases of the Maguire family, the Birmingham Six, Judith Ward? What did it mean for the system of justice in England? Some years earlier, in a judgment in the Birmingham Six case, Lord Denning, the Master of the Rolls, had summed up the broader significance of such a reversal. If the six men win, it will mean ...

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