Orwell and the rope; a brief history of watching people die.

The BBC in their infinite wisdom have decided to celebrate the 70th anniversary of George Orwell's death (an arbitrary anniversary if ever there was one). Amongst their offerings are a dramatisation of his allegorical, dystopian masterpiece 1984 (originally published June 1949 so why not celebrate the 70th anniversary of that last year?). Of all Orwell's works, and I am a big fan, 1984 is pretty low down on my list. I much prefer his short essays such as England Your England and Decline of the English Murder. But there is one that has a particularly special place in my heart, A Hanging.