Adrian Hardiman spent years researching Joyce's obsession with the legal system, and the myriad references to notorious trials in Ulysses and Finnegans Wake. Joyce was fascinated by and felt passionately about miscarriages of justice, and his view of the law was colored by the potential for grave injustice when policemen and judges have too much power. Hardiman recreates the colorful, dangerous world of the Edwardian courtrooms of Dublin and London, where the death penalty loomed over many trials. He brings to life the eccentric barristers, corrupt police and omnipotent judges who made the law so entertaining and so horrifying. This is a remarkable evocation of a vanished world, though Joyce's skepticism about the way evidence is used in criminal trials is still highly relevant.
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