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

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Paperback
Published: November 2019
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BIC Subject: Modern history to 20th century: c 1700 to c 1900
Published By: Penguin
 
Published: 19-Nov-2019
Format: Paperback, 224 pages, 0x0mm
ISBN: 9780241346945
Stock Code: 1346945
Product Description
 
On a spring morning in 1840, on an ultra-respectable Mayfair street, a household of servants awoke to discover that their 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 eventually confessed, he claimed his actions were the direct result of reading the best-selling crime-novel of the day. This announcement amazed the key literary figures of the time, from Thackeray to Dickens, and posed the question- can a work of fiction do real harm?On a spring morning in 1840, on an ultra-respectable Mayfair street, a household of servants awoke to discover that their 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 eventually confessed, he claimed his actions were the direct result of reading the best-selling crime-novel of the day. This announcement amazed the key literary figures of the time, from Thackeray to Dickens, and posed the question- can a work of fiction do real harm?
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.
 
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