Murder by the Book by Claire Harman
epub | 26.34 MB | English | Isbn:B07F5ZK1WC |
Author: Claire Harman | PAge: 247 | Year: 2019
One of the Guardian’s ’50 Biggest Books of Autumn 2018′
Early in the morning of 6 May 1840, on an ultra-respectable Mayfair street, a footman answered the door to a panic-stricken maid from a nearby house. Her elderly master, Lord William Russell, was lying in bed with his throat cut so deeply that the head was almost severed.
The whole of London, from monarch to street urchins, was gripped by the gory details of the Russell murder, but behind it was another story, a work of fiction, and a fierce debate about censorship and morality. Several of the key literary figures of the day, including Dickens and Thackeray, were drawn into the controversy, and when Lord William’s murderer claimed to having been inspired by the season’s most sensational novel, it seemed that a great deal more was on trial than anyone could have guessed.
Bringing together much previously unpublished material from a wide range of sources, Claire Harman reveals the story of the notorious Russell murder case and its fascinating connections with the writers and literary culture of the day. Gripping and eye-opening, Murder by the Book is the untold true story of a surprisingly literary crime.
‘This beautifully produced and impressively researched historical account of a celebrated Victorian murder with a literary twist reads like a thriller. I devoured it in one sitting, and was at once enthralled and chilled. Highly recommended!’ Alison Weir
*’A fascinating portrait of Victorian London’ Observer*
‘A brilliant piece of literary detective work’ *Evening Standard*
[Harman] is a storyteller, with a sense of pace and timing, relish for a good scene and a wry sense of humour (Economist)
[A] riveting investigation into a transgression that scandalised the literati of Victorian London in 1840. An engrossing fireside festive treat (The Bookseller)
Harman paints a vivid picture of London in thrall to the Jack Sheppard phenomenon…. a brilliant piece of literary detective work (Evening Standard)
This beautifully produced and impressively researched historical account of a celebrated Victorian murder with a literary twist reads like a thriller. I devoured it in one sitting, and was at once enthralled and chilled. Highly recommended! (Alison Weir)
A fascinating portrait of Victorian London amid the rising popularity of the novel (The Observer)
A riveting investigation into a true and vicious murder that shocked Victorian London (Woman & Home)
A fascinating account…. As Harman skilfully reveals, the real story behind the famous murder is the complex one about the harmful influence of fiction on the mind of the reader. (The Times)
The book’s heft lies in its rich detail…characters and settings are so vivid that Murder By The Book will surely soon be snatched up by television producers seeking their next Victorian crime drama (Daily Mail)
[A] scandalous Victorian mystery… Harman tells the story with clarity and vigour (Guardian Book of the Day)
Harman resists sensationalising the murder… Instead, she offers a long view of the circular relationship between crime and literature (New Statesman)
About the Author
Claire Harman is the award-winning biographer of Sylvia Townsend Warner (1989), Fanny Burney (2000) and Robert Louis Stevenson (2005), the author of the best-selling Jane’s Fame: How Jane Austen Conquered the World (2009) and of Charlotte Bronte: A Life (2015). She is Professor in Creative Writing at Durham University and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature.
Category:History of Books, Biographies & Memoirs of Authors, England History