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Murder by the Book : The Crime Scandal that Shocked Literary London - Claire Harman

Murder by the Book

The Crime Scandal that Shocked Literary London

Hardcover Published: 29th October 2018
ISBN: 9780241315224
Number Of Pages: 224

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In a spring morning in 1840, on an ultra-respectable Mayfair street, a household of servants awoke to discover that their gentle, unobtrusive 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 maidservants, was scandalized by the unfolding drama of such a shocking murder, but behind it was another story, a work of fiction. For when the culprit, the twenty-three-year-old French valet, eventually confessed, he claimed his actions were the direct result of reading the bestselling crime novel of the day. This announcement spun a web which entangled the entirety of literary London, from Thackeray to Dickens, and posed the question: can a work of fiction do real harm?

Industry Reviews

[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 *

ISBN: 9780241315224
ISBN-10: 0241315220
Series: Religion, Politics and Society in Britain
Audience: General
Format: Hardcover
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 224
Published: 29th October 2018
Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 20.4 x 13.6  x 1.7
Weight (kg): 0.28
Edition Number: 1

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