The Art of the English Murder

The Art of the English Murder

by Lucy Worsley

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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?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 the modern era, murder entered the popular psyche, and it’s been a part of us ever since.The Art of the English Murder is a unique exploration of the art of crime—and a riveting investigation into the English criminal soul by one of our finest historians.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781605987194
Publisher: Pegasus Books
Publication date: 10/15/2014
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 336
Sales rank: 451,285
File size: 2 MB

About the Author

Lucy Worsley, PhD is Chief Curator at Historic Royal Palaces, the charity that manages the Tower of London, Hampton Court Palace, Kensington Palace, the Banqueting House in Whitehall, and Kew Palace in England. Please visit

Table of Contents

Introduction 1

Part 1 How to Enjoy a Murder

1 A Connoisseur in Murder 9

2 The Highway 19

3 The Watchmen 31

4 The Murder Circuit 43

5 House of Wax 53

6 True Crime 63

7 Charles Dickens, Crime Writer 79

8 The Ballad of Maria Marten 91

9 Stage Fright 103

10 The Bermondsey Horror 113

Part 2 Enter the Detective

11 Middle-Class Murderers and Medical Gentlemen 127

12 The Good Wife 139

13 Detective Fever 151

14 A New Sensation 163

15 'It is worse than a crime, Violet…' 179

16 Monsters and Men 187

17 The Adventure of the Forensic Scientist 197

18 Revelations of a Lady Detective 211

Part 3 The Golden Age

19 The Women Between the Wars 223

20 The Duchess of Death 235

21 A Life Less Ordinary 245

22 The Great Game 257

23 Snobbery with Violence 267

24 The Dangerous Edge of Things 279

Postscript: 'The Decline of English Murder' 289

Acknowledgements 295

Sources 297

Index 307

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