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by Judith Flanders

  • ISBN: 1250024870
  • Category: History
  • Author: Judith Flanders
  • Subcategory: Europe
  • Other formats: lrf txt mobi rtf
  • Language: English
  • Publisher: Thomas Dunne Books; First edition (July 23, 2013)
  • Pages: 576 pages
  • FB2 size: 1399 kb
  • EPUB size: 1331 kb
  • Rating: 4.5
  • Votes: 827
Download The Invention of Murder: How the Victorians Revelled in Death and Detection and Created Modern Crime fb2

The Invention of Murder book.

The Invention of Murder book. In this fascinating exploration of murder in nineteenth century England, 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.

Judith Flanders's wonderful, sometimes appalling The Invention of Murder: How the Victorians Reveled in Death .

Judith Flanders's wonderful, sometimes appalling The Invention of Murder: How the Victorians Reveled in Death and Detection and Created Modern Crime, is a guidebook to notably grisly true-life tale. Flanders has written a book rather like one of the great, rambling Victorian novels that she discusses, though most readers will find her work a lot easier, and a lot more fu. he sheer sumptuousness of Flanders's book leaves the reader wanting still more. BBC History Magazine.

Broadsides had been around since the sixteenth century, but modern technology made their production easier, cheaper and quicker, and their distribution more widespread. A typical broadside was a single sheet, printed on one side, which was sold on the street for ½d. or 1d. Broadsides had their heyday before the 1850s, when newspapers were expensive.

Flanders Judith (EN). We are a trading community, a commercial people. Murder is doubtless a very shocking offence, nevertheless as what is done is not to be undone, let us make our money out of i. Murder in nineteenth-century Britain was ubiquitous - not necessarily in quantity but in quality. This was the era of penny-bloods, early crime fiction and melodramas for the masses. This was a time when murder and entertainment were firmly entwined.

If you decide to have a shot at the hugely popular genre of the period murder mystery, you could do no better than downloading Judith Flanders reading her own absorbing social and cultural history, The Invention of Murder: How the Victorians Revelled in Death and Detection and Created.

She begins with a quote from Thomas de Quincey. How enjoyable it is to read about murder, he wrote in 1826

Soon after his conviction, Greenacre confessed, although he still insisted the death was accidental.

As they left the court, the mob had to be held back by the police: ‘thousands of persons’ followed the coach ‘the whole of the way to Newgate, with the officers of police, their staves out, running by the sides and after the coaches’. Soon after his conviction, Greenacre confessed, although he still insisted the death was accidental. He said that he had waved a wooden towel-jack at Mrs Brown, to frighten her, and had inadvertently put out her eye; she fell, and he found she was dead, so he dismembered her to get rid of the body.

Judith Flanders looks at more than 20 murder cases, from poisoners to Jack the Ripper.

What Judith Flanders seeks to do in this book is to demonstrate how, in the 19th century, the media production . Flanders has written a book rather like one of the great, rambling Victorian novels that she discusses, though most readers will find her work a lot easier, and a lot more fun.

What Judith Flanders seeks to do in this book is to demonstrate how, in the 19th century, the media production and the marketing of crime stories inter-related with actual events in new and significant ways. In particular she sees this inter-relationship as giving rise to modern detective fiction, notably that in which the sleuth restores stability and appears to keep us all safe in a dangerous, uncertain world. Flanders has a phenomenal knowledge of 19th-century literature in all its forms.

The Invention of Murder THE NEW YORK TIMES. Flanders] shines in her readings of literary novels containing criminal and detective elements, such as Oliver Twist, Mary Barton and Tess of the D'Urbervilles, but can be sharp and very funny about the vagaries of melodramatic and sensational plotting.

Murder, as Judith Flanders observes in The Invention of Murder, was comparatively rare in nineteenth century England. But it did not seem that way. Victorians in particular were fascinated by murder, thrilled and terrified in similar measure. As George Orwell famously observed, Victorian Englishmen and women liked nothing better than a ‘good murder’.

"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 nineteenth century England, 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 in Great Britain, 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 in Great Britain. 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.


Reviews about The Invention of Murder: How the Victorians Revelled in Death and Detection and Created Modern Crime (7):
Maman
This book is an interesting look at how the Victorians created the modern culture of spectatorship surrounding murders and other violent crimes. Flanders follows several Victorian headlining cases of murder and how each one contributed to the evolution of crime journalism and crime investigation, both of which grew up simultaneously alongside each other: we can blame the Victorians for the present-day media circuses surrounding high-profile murders, but we can also thank them for a great deal of the modern criminal justice system. Policemen as we know them now only really came into being in the 19th century, and newspapers in this time became much more exciting, crammed with yellow journalism and sensationalism. Newspapers often "convicted" a suspect before he ever set foot in a courtroom, just like today, and the book details the history of newspapers' involvement with several early crime cases.

In what seems to be her usual fashion, Flanders does at times get sidetracked, branching off into things like the history of bad Victorian theater based off these murder cases (think hastily-written Lifetime movies, but on stage), but those digressions are usually an asset to the book, not a detriment. It's fascinating to me to see how wild and unruly Victorians could be -- often much more so, it seems, than modern people, despite the reputation of the age for being stuffy and repressed -- and also how different the general culture surrounding death was. And, as always, Flanders is often funny. (At least, I think she is.)

I did buy this book as sort of a research aide, hoping to find more information on things like Victorian coroner's inquests, police procedures, etc. It was SLIGHTLY helpful for that purpose, but if that's your aim, you might be better-served hunting down something more specifically tailored to that. I didn't regret the book by any means -- I tend to like Flanders, and even read her book about Dickens's London despite my undying loathing for Dickens -- but I thought it'd be helpful to add that in hopes of clarifying exactly what you will and won't find.
furious ox
During my many years of enjoying a variety of both "fact" and "fiction" crime and mystery literature, many questions have hovered in the back of my mind. So many of those questions are finally put to rest since reading this enlightening work. All affectionados of the genre will be delighted with the info and the easy-reading style. Congrats Ms. Flanders and thanks!
Cetnan
I enjoyed this book, but it wasn't quite right for me. I would have preferred less chronological jumping around and more detail about cases mentioned in passing. I'm not sure what the point was here. If it was meant to be an exhaustive history of Victorian murder, it wasn't exhaustive enough. If it was meant as more of a timeline of famous cases, it was TOO exhaustive. It felt like an interesting but not particularly well-researched textbook. KW
Silvermaster
Full of insight into the Victorian fascination with death. Flanders seems to be a pretty knowledgable write, about the Victorian Era, she elaborates on the both of its sides and doesn't spare the details about the dark side of Victorian morality, etc.
Mr_NiCkNaMe
An amazing book. Throughly researched. Beautifully written, with sense of humor at times. If you're interested in the Victorian times, death, crime, sociology, mourning rituals-any of them or all- don't hesitate to buy this book. I loved it and was upset that it ended once I finished the book. Absouletly one of my favorite books. Highly recommend. Will read again.
BroWelm
I had better hopes for this book. It started off pretty good, but it simply got boring. There was a lot of interesting information but it was not told in an interesting way. I found myself hurrying to the end which is unfortunate because I love the Victorian genre.
Beardana
Came as expected and the price was good to. Thanks Amazon.
A fun read, especially but not only for fans of Victorian literature or true crime stories. Many Americans believe that CSI, NCIS & their countless spinoffs "based on a true story"; the multiple cable "true crime" channels (C&I, Investigation, TruTV); & our seeming national obsession with the trials of O.J. Simpson, Casey Anthony, Jodi Arias, George Zimmerman, et al., are modern phenomena, perhaps reflective of our violent/trashy culture. Judith Flanders sets us straight with this fascinating & thoroughly entertaining history. In 19th century Britain, more & more people were moving from the countryside to urban areas. Literacy was increasing. A vigorous & enthusiastic press - as well as theatrical companies & writers of fiction - soon recognized that everyone (whether or not we like to admit it) enjoys reading or hearing about murders - the more gruesome, the better - and they made the most of that fact. A fictional character cited by Flanders speaks for them, & for the rest of us: "I like a good murder that can't be found out; that is, of course, it is very shocking, but I like to hear about it."

I wish my review could do justice to Ms. Flanders' lively, entertaining writing. Her primary theme is the influence of the era's most notorious murders on the popular entertainment (stories, poems, songs, operas, serialized novels, "penny dreadfuls," plays & even puppet shows) of the day. But that makes the book sound like a Ph.D. thesis, which - although it certainly could be - it isn't. Secondary themes are the ways in which both the "respectable" & the popular press "spun" the facts of each murder (sometimes simultaneously calling for conviction & acquittal of the accused in a single article), & the utter lack of reliability of the era's medical "experts." The verdict, both in the press & in the courtroom, frequently depended on the social class of the alleged perpetrator. A probably innocent housemaid was sent to the gallows for poisoning her employers, while a couple who tortured to death their 14-year-old maidservant were acquitted at the direction of an obviously biased judge, who instructed the jury that, because it couldn't be determined which of them had actually killed the girl, both must be exonerated. The ignorance & obvious bias of so-called experts (who in many cases had not only not participated in the post-mortem examination of the victim's body, but also knew nothing of the effects of the poison or weapon alleged to have been used in a particular murder) are appalling. Nevertheless, these themes resonate with modern readers - think Nancy Grace & the "battle of the experts" in the Casey Anthony trial.

Flanders seems to have read every single item pertaining to her topic - the book has 46 pages of endnotes & a 16-page bibliography, both in very, very small print. Yet she manages to condense this enormous amount of material into a series of fascinating, at times hilarious, at times infuriating, at times tragic, stories about real people. She brings the Victorians from stodgy engravings to vivid life. (A young woman who got away with murdering her lover got a job a few years later & eventually married the company bookkeeper. When she was in her late 50s - although claiming she was 36 - she left her husband, moved to the US, & by her late 70s, was bigamously married to a man 30 years her junior.)

The book is also full of lively trivia & entertaining asides. We learn that racehorses, greyhounds & sometimes even ships were named for notorious murderers. No respectably employed person would appear in public without a hat. Arsenic was used by women to enhance their complexions. A murder victim's skull was handed around the courtroom for everyone to see where gunshots had entered it, but the guns used to kill him were brought in covered in black crepe - i.e., mourning dress.

You can open this book to almost any page & find something to fascinate & enthrall. Even though the murders are no longer mysteries, I couldn't put it down.

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