The Invention of Murder

How the Victorians Revelled in Death and Detection and Created Modern Crime

Flanders, Judith

Book - 2013
Average Rating: 3 stars out of 5.
The Invention of Murder
In this exploration of murder in the nineteenth century, Judith Flanders explores some of the most gripping cases that fascinated the Victorians and gave rise to the first detective fiction. She retells the gruesome stories of many different types of murder--both famous and obscure--from the crimes (and myths) of Sweeney Todd and Jack the Ripper to the tragedies of the murdered Marr family in London's East End; Burke and Hare and their bodysnatching business in Edinburgh; and Greenacre, who transported his dismembered fiancee around town by omnibus. With an irresistible cast of swindlers, forgers, and poisoners, the mad, the bad and the dangerous to know, "The Invention of Murder" is both a gripping tale of crime and punishment, and history at its most readable.

Publisher: New York :, Thomas Dunne Books/St. Martin's Press,, 2013
Edition: First U.S. edition
Copyright Date: ©2011
ISBN: 9781250024879
Branch Call Number: 364.152 F584i 2013
Characteristics: xi, 556 pages ;,illustrations ;,25 cm


From Library Staff

An in-depth and fascinating study of the way that the Victorian obsession with murder, which was relatively rare in the 19th century, was transformed into novels, special edition newspapers and ballads.

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Nov 28, 2011
  • KarenW rated this: 0.5 stars out of 5.

What a great title and a real disappointment. Full of meandering details that I could hardly find the beginning or end of, and numerous footnotes that are on almost every page, this non fiction read is a quagmire of prose that I barely escaped from.


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