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The Invention of Murder

How The Victorians Revelled In Death And Detection And Created Modern Crime

By Judith Flanders

“Superb… Flanders’s convincing and smart synthesis of the evolution of an official police force, fictional detectives, and real-life cause célèbres will appeal to devotees of true crime and detective fiction alike.” –Publishers Weekly, starred review

In this fascinating exploration of murder in the nineteenth century, Judith Flanders examines some of the most gripping cases that captivated the Victorians and gave rise to the first detective fiction

 

            Murder in the nineteenth century was rare. But murder as sensation and entertainment became ubiquitous, with cold-blooded killings transformed into novels, broadsides, ballads, opera, and melodrama—even into puppet shows and performing dog-acts. Detective fiction and the new police force developed in parallel, each imitating the other—the founders of Scotland Yard gave rise to Dickens's Inspector Bucket, the first fictional police detective, who in turn influenced Sherlock Holmes and, ultimately, even P.D. James and Patricia Cornwell.

In this meticulously researched and engrossing book, Judith Flanders retells the gruesome stories of many different types of murder, both famous and obscure: from Greenacre, who transported his dismembered fiancée around town by omnibus, to Burke and Hare’s bodysnatching business in Edinburgh; from the crimes (and myths) of Sweeney Todd and Jack the Ripper, to the tragedy of the murdered Marr family in London’s East End.  Through these stories of murder—from the brutal to the pathetic—Flanders builds a rich and multi-faceted portrait of Victorian society.  With an irresistible cast of swindlers, forgers, and poisoners, the mad, the bad and the utterly dangerous, The Invention of Murder is both a mesmerizing tale of crime and punishment, and history at its most readable.

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Book

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Publish Date

2013

ISBN

9781250024879


Format: Book
Author: Flanders, Judith
Title: The invention of murder : how the Victorians revelled in death and detection and created modern crime / by Judith Flanders.
Publisher Date: New York : Thomas Dunne Books/St. Martin's Press, 2013.
Subject: Murder -- Great Britain -- History -- 19th century.
Isbn: 9781250024879 (hbk.) 1250024870 (hbk.)
Current Holds: 0
System Items Available: 0
System Items Total: 2
Call Number: 364.1523 Fla
Oclc: 811597750
Upc:
Bib Id: 441917

Format: Book
Author: Flanders, Judith
Title: The invention of murder : how the Victorians revelled in death and detection and created modern crime / by Judith Flanders.
Edition: First U.S. edition.
Publisher, Date: New York : Thomas Dunne Books/St. Martin's Press, 2013.
Description: xi, 556 pages ; 25 cm
Subjects: Murder -- Great Britain -- History -- 19th century.
Notes: Originally published: 2011.
Notes: Includes bibliographical references and index.
Contents: Imagining murder -- Trial by newspaper -- Entertaining murder -- Policing murder -- Panic -- Middle-class poisoners -- Science, technology and the law -- Violence -- Modernity.
LCCN: 2013010535
ISBN: 9781250024879 (hbk.)
ISBN: 1250024870 (hbk.)
Requests: 0
Available Copies: 0
Total Copies: 2
Call Number: 364.1523 Fla