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»It was Frantz’s responsibility to choreograph the “carefully managed drama of sin and redemption” that took place at an execution. Putting on a good show – that struck terror into the hearts of would-be criminals and enacted the dread majesty of the state – was at the heart of his job. Frantz is a disturbing figure; it is hard to sympathise with cool functionaries who torture and kill, yet Harrington’s portrait makes it hard not to as we learn more about the man and his world.«

Ben Wilson

The gory career of the medieval killer Frantz Schmidt who tried to do his job properly fascinates Ben Wilson. His review on The Faithful Executioner: Life and Death, Honour and Shame in the Turbulent Sixteenth Century by Joel F. Harrington at The Telegraph.

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