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The Faces of Justice

Sybille Bedford
Date Published
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‘Going to law courts is a good education for a novelist. It provides you with the most extravagant material, and it teaches the near impossibility of reaching the truth.’
Sybille Bedford, Paris Review (1993)

For The Faces of Justice (1961) Sybille Bedford journeyed through Europe to sit in the press box of the courts of law – high courts, low courts, police courts. In England, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, France, she watched the prisoners at the bar, the accusing community arrayed against them, the advocates, the jurors, the judges on the bench. She saw justice being attempted under the law – the best we can do, the worst we can do – varying in subtle yet astonishing ways from country to country. The result is a story about justice, humanity and the individual – moving, dramatic, superbly observed, splendidly told.