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Literature / Newes from the Dead

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Newes from the Dead is a fantasy novel by Mary Hooper. It retells the real story of a young woman who was wrongly accused of infanticide and survived her hanging.

"Anne can't move a muscle, can't open her eyes, can't scream. She lies immobile in the darkness, unsure if she'd dead, terrified she's buried alive, haunted by her final memory―of being hanged. A maidservant falsely accused of infanticide in 1650 England and sent to the scaffold, Anne Green is trapped with her racing thoughts, her burning need to revisit the events―and the man―that led her to the gallows."

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Newes from the Dead contains examples of:

  • Back-Alley Doctor: The wise woman Anne consults for an abortion is implied to be this.
  • Child by Rape: Anne was raped by her employer’s son.
  • Clean, Pretty Childbirth: Inverted. The miscarried fetus is too small to live, but the miscarriage takes a lot of time and Anne is completely exhausted and in pain afterwards.
  • Convenient Miscarriage: Subverted. The miscarriage would have been convenient for Anne, but she is too upset afterwards to lie about her absence and bloody clothes, and when the miscarriage is discovered, she is accused of infanticide.
  • Good Girls Avoid Abortion: Anne tries to have an abortion, but when the potion given to her by the wise woman does not work after the first couple of days she uses it, she throws it away.
  • Law of Inverse Fertility: Anne recalls a total of six rapes, one of which must have gotten her pregnant.
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  • The Man They Couldn't Hang: Anne survives her execution.
  • My Secret Pregnancy: As she is pregnant out of wedlock, Anne has to keep the pregnancy secret at her workplace.
  • Public Execution: Anne is hanged publicly.
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