February 21, 2012

Saved By the Book

From the Times Literary Supplement, a review of Ian Donaldson's new biography of Ben Jonson. Brian Vickers looks at this interesting poet, playwright, and sometime prisoner across the centuries, noting Jonson's frequent run-ins with the law. He even stood trial for manslaughter, but managed to get off by claiming the benefit of an old law that allowed the defendant to claim the benefit of clergy (he was branded on the thumb so that he could not claim it more than once). More about benefit of clergy in the US here, in England here.  

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