The Art of the English Murder

The Art of the English Murder

Book - 2014
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Murder -- a dark, shameful deed, the last resort of the desperate or a vile tool of the greedy. And a very strange obsession. But where did this fixation develop? And what does it tell us about ourselves? In The Art of the English Murder, Lucy Worsley explores this phenomenon in forensic detail, revisiting notorious crimes like the Ratcliff Highway Murders, which caused a nationwide panic in the early nineteenth century, and the case of Frederick and Maria Manning, the suburban couple who were hanged after killing Maria's lover and burying him under their kitchen floor. Our fascination with crimes like these became a form of national entertainment, inspiring novels and plays, prose and paintings, poetry and true-crime journalism. At a point during the birth of modern England, murder entered the popular psyche, and it's been a part of us ever since.
Publisher: New York : Pegasus Crime, 2014
Edition: First Pegasus books hardcover edition
Copyright Date: ©2014
ISBN: 9781605986340
Branch Call Number: 364.1523 W931a 2014
Characteristics: 312 pages, 16 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations (some color), portraits (some color), color facsimiles ; 24 cm


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ChristchurchLib Jan 12, 2015

Focusing on the gruesome ability of murder to fascinate outsiders and bystanders, this historical account traces the popularity -- and profitability -- of murder as a form of entertainment. Focusing specifically on England, historian Lucy Worsley covers notorious crimes from 1800 to the mid-1940s, starting with the Ratcliffe Highway murders, and the resulting changes in popular culture. From newspaper accounts and "penny dreadfuls" to puppet plays, sensational novels, and the creation of the detecting profession, this account is "lively, lucid, and wonderfully lurid" (Publishers Weekly). Popular Culture January 2015 newsletter.


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