The Death Disc: A Story of the Cromwellian Period Overview:

The Death Disc: A Story of the Cromwellian Period (1909) was a Silent Films - Drama Film directed by D.W. Griffith .

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Mark Twain's "Death Disk" was inspired by the historical account of the execution of Col. John Poyer of Pembroke, Wales on 21 April 1649. A small child was given the responsibility of choosing which of three rebel leaders of a civil uprising would receive a death penalty. The fate was given to Poyer who was shot in front of a large crowd at Covent Garden. In 1883, Twain read about the child's role in the execution in a copy of Carlyle's Letters and Speeches of Oliver Cromwell, (Wiley & Putnam, 1845, pp. 344-345). In his personal notebook, Twain's imagination led him to remark, "By dramatic accident it could have been his own child" (Notebook #22, reprinted in Mark Twain's Notebooks & Journals, Volume III, 1883-1891, p. 14). In December 1883, Twain wrote his friend William Dean Howells, "Now let's write a tragedy" (Mark Twain-Howells Letters, Volume II, p. 455). In his letter to Howells, he included the manuscript of the closing scene where a young girl unknowingly gives her own father a death sentence. Twain's original version ended in the father's execution. Twain's plan to complete the tragedy went nowhere for over a decade. In December 1899 he wrote from London to Katharine Harrison that he had recently completed "The Death Disk." Twain had revised the story and it now included a miraculous ending well-suited for the Christmas season. It was published in the 1901 Christma
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Also directed by D.W. Griffith

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Also released in 1909

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