The Devil’s Children (Hardback)

A History of Childhood and Murder

Loretta Loach

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This book offers a true crime history – from medieval society to Jamie Bulger – of children who kill and how adults have tried to make sense of them.The extraordinary and horrifying crime of murder by children of other children commands widespread public interest, but has this always been so? Focusing on the earliest recorded cases, up to and including the tragic killing of James Bulger, this fascinating investigation goes beyond the notoriety of the crimes to explore the real-life stories of the children who committed them and the adult world in which they took place.As well as asking what has changed in the treatment and punishment of these children, and in how they have been viewed by the Church, the courts and the medical profession, it also reveals how these unusual crimes were as pivotal then as they are now in wider deliberations about childhood, morality and the troubling boundaries between innocence and experience.The intriguing story of these crimes is deftly woven together with the keen insights of social history and a groundbreaking depiction of how the legal and medical cultures used such cases to rethink human agency and responsibility.

Loretta Loach has an extensive background in television documentaries in history, politics and current affairs, as well as a PhD in History. The most recent historical drama documentary she has worked on was Queen Victoria’s Empire for Channel Four. She has appeared on Radio 4’s All In the Mind and has written for the Guardian, the Observer and the New Statesman.

‘Children have killed, do kill and will kill. What changes isn’t the killing. What changes, as Loach describes eloquently, is the way we, as adults, react to it.’Scotland on Sunday
‘’The Devil’s Children’ is a timely corrective to those ahistorical commentators who seem to think juvenile crime began about 10 years ago.’Sunday Herald
‘A difficult subject to tackle, Loach approaches it with sensitivity and a recognition that this most heinous of crimes deserves the most balanced of judgement.’Childright
‘It is a riveting read and provides considerable ‘food for thought’, and could change your personal views on certain cases. Those of us who maintain that children are not born but develop as a result of their social circumstances will, interestingly, find that this book comes down on both sides of the argument; intriguing to say the least…
This book is well researched as a textbook for psychology or social studies students, it is an absolute must.’
Inside Time

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about this book

ISBN: 9781848310193

Price: 14.99 GBP 20.00 USD 30.00 CAD 20.00 USD 14.99 GBP

Pages: 336

Publication date: 05/02/2009

Category: History & Current Affairs

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