In the darkening days of November, we shine a light at those who had to suffer unjust accusations. Let’s look at people who were wronged by the law (or others) with 10 gems from our catalogue.
The classic story of a man wrongly imprisoned is by Alexandre Dumas. Edmond Dantes is sent to the Château d’If for a crime he didn’t commit. Years later, Le Comte de Monte-Cristo shows up to avenge him… We also have several English versions of this book.
Accusing a woman of witchcraft often also was done for revenge. When Mother Elizabeth Sawyer is thus accused, she takes the devil by the horns and truly turns into The Witch of Edmonton. Find out what happens next in the play by Thomas Dekker, based on a true story.
Religious zealotry hardly has positive outcomes, as The Spanish Brothers Juan and Carlos get to realize. The novel by Deborah Alcock details the horrendous tortures meted out to so-called heretics by the Spanish Inquisition.
Herman Merivale was not mentally ill when he was committed to a madhouse in 1860. His Experiences in a Lunatic Asylum are riddled with episodes of physical and psychological abuse by his appointed caretakers.
In 1895, Oscar Wilde was sentenced to 2 years of hard labour for his crime of homosexuality. His Ballad of Reading Gaol is probably the best known meditation on capital punishment ever written.
Capital punishment by the government is bad enough, even worse if it handed out by your fellow citizens. June 1900 saw Mob Rule in New Orleans after a black man shot a white policeman. Ida B. Wells-Barnett reports on the incident and the aftermath of a week’s violence.
Col. Hetherbill of the confederate States has just taken a new POW and holds him at Fort Defiance. Arthur West is nonplussed, after all, the Civil War ended 30 years earlier… Find out more about The Last Rebel in the novel by Joseph A. Altsheler.
In 1719, Princess Clementina is on her way to England, when she is kidnapped by Emperor Charles VI, to prevent her marrying James Stuart. A. E. W. Mason spins a gripping yarn based on a true story.
Equally true and no less gripping is the story of the American suffragettes. Starting around 1840, they campaigned for the right to vote, which was finally granted in 1920. Doris Stevens recalls the years from 1912 to 1919 in her book Jailed For Freedom.
Not quite for freedom, but because he has discovered a dark secret of his master, is Caleb Williams imprisoned. See how much further the English squire Ferdinand Falkland will go to protect his name in the novel by William Godwin.
Enjoy – and stay on the “right” side…