Monday, 26 October 2009

Capuchin Classics Blog

Included in the next round of Exclusively Independent is Raymond Ernests' We, The Accused (Capuchin Classics)

Clive Stafford Smith wrote the Foreword to the novel, see below for a sneak peak...

For the past 25 years, the death penalty has been a part of my daily work. I am very grateful that the overwhelming majority of the people I have represented have avoided the execution chamber, but my mind can rarely avoid memories of the six men who have died.

One was Nick Ingram. He and I were born in the same hospital – a maternity ward in Cambridge – but we only met on his arrival on Georgia’s Death Row. We became close friends over the twelve years that I tried to stave off his execution and as I close my eyes, I still see the images, seared into my brain like black and white negatives: Nick dying in the electric chair.

I am not quite sure why I agreed to consider writing a brief foreword to We, The Accused by Ernest Raymond. I am very glad that I did, because it is a magnificent read, and certainly enriches the canon on the subject of capital punishment, in line with the goals of the Capuchin series – reviving unjustly forgotten works. While the book has been out of print, the film world saw the potential in Raymond’s tale of murder­in­marriage: Alfred Hitchcock considered it for production (but was deterred by its ‘downbeat’ nature) and the BBC created a series starring Ian Holm in 1980. But it as a novel that this story is most powerfully told,as it is Raymond’s precise and thoughtful prose that makes the narrative so mesmerizing.

To pick up a copy, visit any of the participating EI bookshop after 3 November to see the new selection taking pride of place.

Lauren

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