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Goldsboro Books

978-0008500221

Great and Horrible News: Murder and Mayhem in Early Modern Britain

Great and Horrible News: Murder and Mayhem in Early Modern Britain

by Blessin Adams

Publisher William Collins

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  • Signed by the Author
  • UK First Edition
  • First Printing
  • Hardcover


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About the book

NINE HISTORIC CRIMES. ONE FAMILIAR OBSESSION.

In early modern England, murder truly was most foul. Trials were gossipy events packed to the rafters with noisome spectators. Executions were public proceedings which promised not only gore, but desperate confessions and the grandest, most righteous human drama. Bookshops saw grisly stories of crime and death sell like hot cakes.

This history unfolds the true stories of murder, criminal investigation, early forensic techniques, high court trials and so much more.

In thrilling narrative, we follow a fugitive killer through the streets of London, citizen detectives clamouring to help officials close the net. We untangle the mystery of a suspected staged suicide through the newly emerging science of forensic pathology. We see a mother trying to clear her dead daughters name while other women faced the accusations sometimes true and sometimes not of murdering their own children.

These stories are pieced together from original research using coroners inquests, court records, parish archives, letters, diaries and the cheap street pamphlets that proliferated to satisfy a voracious public.

These intensely personal stories portray the lives of real people as they confronted the extraordinary crises of murder, infanticide, miscarriage and suicide. Many historical laws and attitudes concerning death and murder may strike us as exceptionally cruel, and yet many still remind us that some things never change: we are still fascinated by narratives of murder and true crime, murder trials today continue to be grand public spectacles, female killers are frequently cast as aberrant objects of public hatred and sexual desire, and suicide remains a sin within many religious organisations and was a crime in England until the 1960s.

Great and Horrible News! explores the strange history of death and murder in early modern England, yet the stories within may appear shockingly familiar.

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About the Author

Blessin Adams

Blessin Adams traded police work investigating today’s crime in the Norfolk Constabulary for academia, tracing the lives and deaths of people in early modern England. Blessin received her doctorate following research in early modern English law and literature at the University of East Anglia. As a fan of true crime she is fascinated by historical stories of murder and justice. She lives in Norfolk with her husband and two dogs, and is a beekeeper in her spare time.

Blessin's first book, Great and Horrible News, is currently available to order, and she is writing a second book due to be published in 2024.

She has also written a chapter titled 'Notebooks, Play and Legal Education at Middle Temple' in Mapping the Early Modern Inns of Court: Law, Literature and Identity, edited by Jackie Watson and Emma Rhatigan, due to be published by Palgrave.

  • Professionally Packed

    All of our books that have a dust wrapper are covered in clear protective, removable film and are packed professionally in bubble wrap and a box for shipping so that they reach you in perfect condition.

  • Book Condition & Notes

    All of our books that a have dust wrapper are covered in clear protective, removable film and are packed professionally in bubble wrap and a box for shipping so that they reach you in perfect condition.

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