JAMES GIVEN has produced the first systematic book-length treatment of the sociology of medieval English crime. His work does not pretend to be comprehensive: it deals only with homicide. Nor does it cover more than a century, the thirteenth; the author has wisely left the earlier system of criminal law, based on private compensation, to other scholars, and he says just enough about late thirteenth- and early fourteenth- century social and legal change to suggest he believes that that period, too, must await its own interpretation. Still, the social history of homicide in the thirteenth century proves itself fascinating terrain, and we shall better understand what came before and after in the light of Given's account.
Green, Thomas A. Review of Society and Homicide in Thirteenth-Century England, by J. B. Given. Speculum 54, no. 1 (1979): 137-40.