Off with their heads!
September 29, 2003 1:07 PM   Subscribe

Décolleté takes you on a fascinating guided tour of decapitation through the ages that covers biblical head severers Judith and Salome, the hapless victims of the Tudor axe, as well as the dreaded guillotine. Site contains some mild artistic gore, but nothing too horrendous.
posted by MrBaliHai (3 comments total)
la mecanique. that's what the revolutionaries used to call it. not 'guillotine', but simply: 'the machine'. kind of spooky, in a way.
posted by dorian at 1:32 PM on September 29, 2003

What a marvelously gruesome site, MrBaliHai...very nicely done. I liked the section on Henry's wives - I don't think I ever realized exactly how horrific this was til I stood in the Tower yard where the executions took place and thought of what it must have been like for those women.

It seems Mary Queen of Scots had a particularly nasty time of things.
There was no visible tremor in her countenance as the Scottish Queen knelt on a cushion and quoted a psalm in Latin before laying her head on the block. The executioner was perhaps overcome with awe at the occasion as the first blow of the axe only succeeded in knocking her senseless and it took three more swings to completely sever her head. Afterwards he hoisted up the head and cried: "God save the Queen". Spectators saw her lips move for some fifteen minutes after the impact of the axe.

posted by madamjujujive at 4:49 PM on September 29, 2003

Yes, those macabre stories of heads continuing to function long after being severed from their bodies hold a strange, sad fascination, don't they?

On a related note, PBS ran a very interesting show about Henry's wives a couple of weeks ago.
posted by MrBaliHai at 5:40 PM on September 29, 2003

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