For millennia, mankind has devised ingenious and diabolical means of inflicting pain on fellow human beings. This deplorable but seemingly universal trait has eaten away at mankind's very claim to civilisation. Despite how repugnant the practice of torture appears to us today, for at least 3,000 years it formed part of most legal codes throughout Europe and the Far East.
The Big Book of Pain is an exploration of the systematic use throughout the ages of various means of punishment, torture, coercion and torment. It takes the reader into the Ancient Roman Coliseum, the medieval dungeon, the Inquisitional interrogation, the auto-da-fe, the witch-trial, and the worst of prisons. It is a shocking and compelling study of the shameful methods and motives of the torturer and the executioner, and of the heinous duty they have performed through the ages.