Murder by the Book by Claire Harman audiobook

Murder by the Book: The Crime That Shocked Dickens's London

By Claire Harman
Read by Andy Secombe

Random House Audio
7.75 Hours 1
Format : Digital Download (In Stock)
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    ISBN: 9781984840110

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"Enthralling . . . A page-turner that can hold its own with any one of the many murder-minded podcasts out there." —Jezebel From the acclaimed biographer--the fascinating, little-known story of a Victorian-era murder that rocked literary London, leading Charles Dickens, William Thackeray, and Queen Victoria herself to wonder: Can a novel kill? In May 1840, Lord William Russell, well known in London's highest social circles, was found with his throat cut. The brutal murder had the whole city talking. The police suspected Russell's valet, Courvoisier, but the evidence was weak. The missing clue, it turned out, lay in the unlikeliest place: what Courvoisier had been reading. In the years just before the murder, new printing methods had made books cheap and abundant, the novel form was on the rise, and suddenly everyone was reading. The best-selling titles were the most sensational true-crime stories. Even Dickens and Thackeray, both at the beginning of their careers, fell under the spell of these tales--Dickens publicly admiring them, Thackeray rejecting them. One such phenomenon was William Harrison Ainsworth's Jack Sheppard, the story of an unrepentant criminal who escaped the gallows time and again. When Lord William's murderer finally confessed his guilt, he would cite this novel in his defense. Murder By the Book combines this thrilling true-crime story with an illuminating account of the rise of the novel form and the battle for its early soul among the most famous writers of the time. It is superbly researched, vividly written, and captivating from first to last.

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Summary

Summary

Shortlisted for the CWA Gold Dagger for Nonfiction

"Enthralling . . . A page-turner that can hold its own with any one of the many murder-minded podcasts out there." —Jezebel From the acclaimed biographer--the fascinating, little-known story of a Victorian-era murder that rocked literary London, leading Charles Dickens, William Thackeray, and Queen Victoria herself to wonder: Can a novel kill? In May 1840, Lord William Russell, well known in London's highest social circles, was found with his throat cut. The brutal murder had the whole city talking. The police suspected Russell's valet, Courvoisier, but the evidence was weak. The missing clue, it turned out, lay in the unlikeliest place: what Courvoisier had been reading. In the years just before the murder, new printing methods had made books cheap and abundant, the novel form was on the rise, and suddenly everyone was reading. The best-selling titles were the most sensational true-crime stories. Even Dickens and Thackeray, both at the beginning of their careers, fell under the spell of these tales--Dickens publicly admiring them, Thackeray rejecting them. One such phenomenon was William Harrison Ainsworth's Jack Sheppard, the story of an unrepentant criminal who escaped the gallows time and again. When Lord William's murderer finally confessed his guilt, he would cite this novel in his defense. Murder By the Book combines this thrilling true-crime story with an illuminating account of the rise of the novel form and the battle for its early soul among the most famous writers of the time. It is superbly researched, vividly written, and captivating from first to last.

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Reviews

Author

Author Bio: Claire Harman

Author Bio: Claire Harman

Claire Harman is the author of Sylvia Townsend Warner, which won the John Llewellyn Rhys Prize; Fanny Burney, which was short-listed for the Whitbread Prize; and the critically acclaimed Robert Louis Stevenson. Elected a fellow of the Royal Society of Literature in 2006, Harman teaches at the Universities of Manchester and Oxford in England and Columbia University in New York City.

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Details

Details

Available Formats : Digital Download
Category: Nonfiction/True Crime
Runtime: 7.75
Audience: Adult
Language: English