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Unnatural Murder

Poison In The Court Of James I

Lady Anne Somerset

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Orion
12 December 2017
True stories: discovery, historical & scientific; History; British & Irish history; Early modern history: c 1450 to c 1700
In the autumn of 1615 the Earl and Countess of Somerset were detained on suspicion of having murdered Sir Thomas Overbury. The arrest of these leading court figures created a sensation. The young and beautiful Countess of Somerset had already achieved notoriety when she had divorced her first husband in controversial circumstances. The Earl of Somerset was one of the richest and most powerful men in the kingdom, having risen to prominence as the male 'favourite' of England's homosexual monarch, James I.

In the coming weeks it was claimed that, after sending Sir Thomas Overbury poisoned tarts and jellies, the Somersets had finally killed him by arranging for an enema of mercury sublimate to be administered. In a vivid narrative, Anne Somerset unravels these extraordinary events, which were widely regarded as an extreme manifestation of the corruption and vice that disfigured the court during this period. It is, at once, a story rich in passion and intrigue and a murder mystery, for, despite the guilty verdicts, there is much about Overbury's death that remains enigmatic.

Infinitely more than a gripping personal tragedy, the Overbury murder case profoundly damaged the monarchy, and constituted the greatest court scandal in English history.
By:   Lady Anne Somerset
Imprint:   Orion
Country of Publication:   United Kingdom
Dimensions:   Height: 198mm,  Width: 130mm,  Spine: 40mm
Weight:   400g
ISBN:   9781474608022
ISBN 10:   1474608027
Pages:   448
Publication Date:   12 December 2017
Audience:   General/trade ,  ELT Advanced
Format:   Paperback
Publisher's Status:   Active

Anne Somerset was born in 1955 and read history at King's College London. In 1980, her first book, The Life and Times of William IV, was published in Weidenfeld & Nicolson's Kings and Queens of England series. This was followed by Ladies-in-Waiting: From the Tudors to the Present Day; a biography of Elizabeth I; Unnatural Murder: Poison at the Court of James I; and The Affair of the Poisons: Murder, Infanticide and Satanism at the Court of Louis XIV.Queen Anne: The Politics of Passion, a biography of England's last Stuart monarch, was awarded the 2013 Elizabeth Longford Prize for Historical Biography.Until his death in 2011, Anne Somerset was married to the artist Matthew Carr. She lives in London with her daughter.

Reviews for Unnatural Murder: Poison In The Court Of James I

Wonderfully dramatic ... A gripping detective story that tells us more about the corruption, debauchery and naked power-plays of seventeenth-century life than anything I have read - DAILY MAIL Anne Somerset gives us scandal in high places, as well as insights into a seamy underworld of quacks and witches, hustlers and go-betweens ... Both history and whodunnit, this is a hugely enjoyable book - DAILY TELEGRAPH


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