(BERRY, James) ATHOLL, Justin.
The Reluctant Hangman. The Story of James Berry, Executioner 1884-1892.
First edition. Detailed biography of the first truly literate hangman, who had recorded his own experiences in an autobiography published in 1892. Berry carried out 131 hangings in his 7 years in office, and was responsible for refining the long-drop method first employed by William Marwood. Berry is probably best remembered as the hangman who failed to hang John Babbacombe Lee. A variant dust jacket, blue on black rather than green on black, is printed, inverted, on the verso of the jacket.
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Octavo. Original black cloth, title gilt to spine. With the dust jacket. Portrait frontispiece and 6 other plates. A little light chafing at the edges of the jacket, but an excellent copy.