Book number: 95026 Product format: Hardback Author: BLESSIN ADAMS

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Bibliophile price £7.50
Published price £18.99

An intelligent and perceptive word-picture of the lives of early criminals, written by a former police officer fascinated by historical stories of murder and justice. She studies nine historic crimes - and one familiar obsession. Murder truly was most foul in early modern Britain. Pamphlets littered the streets titillating audiences with exceedingly gruesome tales. Trials were gossipy events packed to the rafters with noisome spectators. Executions were public proceedings which promised not only gore, but desperate confessions and the grandest, most righteous human drama. The book unfolds true stories of murder, criminal investigation, early forensic techniques and high court trials pieced together from original research using coroner's inquests, court records, parish archives, letters, diaries and the cheap street pamphlets that proliferated to satisfy a voracious public. The historical laws and attitudes may strike us as exceptionally cruel, yet many aspects of public reaction to the criminal justice system have remained unchanged. We are still fascinated by narratives of murder and true crime, and trials continue to be grand public spectacles. Chapters include The Trial of Spencer Cowper, The Mutilation of Francis Marshall, The Bloody Midwife of Poplar and The Honourable Drowning of John Temple. 296pp.

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ISBN 9780008500221
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