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Murder by the Book

A Sensational Chapter in Victorian Crime

Claire Harman



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29 October 2018
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?
By:   Claire Harman
Imprint:   Viking
Country of Publication:   United Kingdom
Dimensions:   Height: 204mm,  Width: 138mm,  Spine: 22mm
Weight:   290g
ISBN:   9780241315224
ISBN 10:   0241315220
Pages:   224
Publication Date:   29 October 2018
Audience:   General/trade ,  College/higher education ,  Professional and scholarly ,  ELT Advanced ,  Primary
Format:   Hardback
Publisher's Status:   Out of Print

Claire Harman is the award-winning biographer of Sylvia Townsend Warner (1989), Fanny Burney (2000) and Robert Louis Stevenson (2005) and the author of the best-selling Jane's Fame: How Jane Austen Conquered the World (2009). She writes regularly for the literary press on both sides of the Atlantic and was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature in 2006. Her most recent work is Charlotte Bronte: A Life.

Reviews for Murder by the Book: A Sensational Chapter in Victorian Crime

[Harman] is a storyteller, with a sense of pace and timing, relish for a good scene and a wry sense of humour * Economist *

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