BookBrowse Reviews The Invention of Murder by Judith Flanders

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The Invention of Murder

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

by Judith Flanders

The Invention of Murder
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     Not Yet Rated
  • First Published:
    Jul 2013, 576 pages
    Paperback:
    Jul 2014, 576 pages

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Book Reviewed by:
Judi Sauerbrey

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This lively and engaging book sheds light on a side of the Victorians that is not often seen in literature

The subtitle says it all: "How The Victorians Revelled In Death And Detection And Created Modern Crime."

And if that gives one a start of surprise, well it should. When we hear that "V word," we are more apt to think of overly ornate boudoirs, tight corsets, yards of silken brocade, and the romantic language of the fan. But murder? Oh, certainly we've all heard of Jack the Ripper and 125 years later are still fascinated by him (or her?). But that was an anomaly of the era – wasn't it?

Social historian Judith Flanders proves herself a master storyteller as she recounts copious tales of British murder and mayhem that course through the entire 19th century and deftly shows us how our Victorian forebears were as fascinated by the subject as any devotee of reality television is in our own day.

Otherwise perfectly respectable pillars of Victorian society crowded into courtrooms...

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