The Invention of Murder: How the Victorians Revelled in Death and Detection and Created Modern Crime By Judith Flanders
Think that our society is obsessed with violence and gore in entertainment? We have nothing on the Victorians. People flocked to public executions, murder sites, exhibits of bloody clothing and weapons, and even to viewings of victims’ bodies.
They went to theatrical re-enactments of murders and bought “penny dreadfuls” – originally called “penny-bloods” to read about violent acts. Murderers became rock stars.
This book recounts all that and explains how real events affected the works of Charles Dickens, Wilkie Collins, Mary Elizabeth Braddon, Thackery, and others.
Fascinating and a bit horrifying.
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Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil by John Berendt