Crimes & Criminals of 17th Century Britain

Grub Street Publishers
Free sample

Think the world is bad today? Then take a true-crime trip back in time to 1600s England, where violence, robbery, and cold-blooded murder ran amuck.
 
These days, criminals and evildoers are stopped, caught, and punished every day. But how did people deal with crimes before the police, computer records, and a consistent judicial system even existed?
 
Here are the stories of some of the most heinous, shocking, and unbelievable transgressions of the law in seventeenth century England, raising questions such as . . .
 
  • Which murderer committed an atrocity at an East End brothel in 1691?
  • What superstitions lay behind the unfathomable slaughter of three innocent children at a remote farmhouse in County Durham in 1683?
  • When was a parish constable murdered in cold blood by a party of men that allegedly included the illegitimate son of King Charles II?
  • Where did deadly confrontations occur between supporters and opponents of King James II during the so-called Bloodless Revolution of 1688?
 
These cases, and many more, are explored in depth, harkening back to a time of witch hunts, dueling, and political assassinations, when the punishment for killing one’s fellow man was either more barbaric than the crime itself, or corruptly lenient.
 
Illustrated throughout and shedding a unique light on the era, Crimes & Criminals of 17th Century Britain is the first work of its kind to explore the monstrous murders that occurred at a time when the nation was repeatedly plunged into chaos.
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About the author

Daniel J Codd has spent years delving into history, criminology, folklore, antiquities and the supernatural in Britain. He has previously written a number of published books on these very themes, as well as magazine articles. His research is driven by a belief that truth is often far more interesting than fiction and there is always a new story to discover.

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Additional Information

Publisher
Grub Street Publishers
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Published on
Jan 30, 2018
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Pages
272
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ISBN
9781526706102
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Language
English
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Genres
History / Europe / Great Britain / General
True Crime / Murder / General
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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A vivid investigation into the unsolved murder case that shocked Victorian England, by the author of the New York Times Notable Book Shooting Victoria.

On April 26th, 1871, a police constable walking one of London’s remotest beats stumbled upon a brutalized young woman kneeling in the muddy road, her face smashed and battered. The policeman gaped in horror as the woman stretched out her hand to him, collapsed in the mud, muttered “let me die,” and slipped into a coma. Five days later, she died, her identity still unknown.

Within hours of her discovery, scores of Metropolitan Police officers were involved in the investigation, while Scotland Yard sent one of its top detectives to lead it. On the day of her death, the police discovered the girl's identity: Jane Maria Clouson, a sixteen-year-old servant to the Pooks, a respectable Greenwich family. Hours later, they arrested her master's son, twenty-year-old Edmund, for her murder.

An epic tale of law and disorder, Pretty Jane and the Viper of Kidbrooke Lane is the story of a criminal case conducted at the time of the birth of modern forensic science. It is the story of the majesty–and the travesty–of the nineteenth-century British legal system: the zealous prosecutors determined to convict young Pook; and the remarkable lawyer equally determined to obtain his acquittal by any means possible. At the heart of this story are the alleged killer and his alleged victim: Edmund Pook, the young Victorian gentleman caught up in a legal nightmare, and Jane Maria Clouson, the young maid whose hard life before her tragic death serves as a bracing corrective to Downton Abbey fantasies about the lives of British servants.

Using an abundant collection of primary sources, Paul Thomas Murphy creates a gripping narrative of the police procedural and the ensuing legal drama, with its many twists and turns, from the discovery of the body until the final judgement–and beyond. For while the murder of Jane Clouson has for nearly one hundred and fifty years remained unsolved, much of the evidence remains, and Murphy, applying contemporary forensic methods to this Victorian cold case, reveals definitively the identity of Jane Clouson's murderer–and provides the resolution that Jane's angry supporters long ago demanded.

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER   -  NATIONAL BOOK AWARD FINALIST 

"Disturbing and riveting...It will sear your soul." —Dave Eggers, New York Times Book Review

SHELF AWARENESS'S BEST BOOK OF 2017

Named a best book of the year by Wall Street Journal, The Boston Globe, San Francisco Chronicle, GQ, Time, Newsday, Entertainment Weekly, Time Magazine, NPR's Maureen Corrigan, NPR's "On Point," Vogue, Smithsonian, Cosmopolitan, Seattle Times, Bloomberg, Lit Hub's "Ultimate Best Books," Library Journal, Paste, Kirkus, Slate.com and Book Browse

From New Yorker staff writer David Grann, #1 New York Times best-selling author of The Lost City of Z, a twisting, haunting true-life murder mystery about one of the most monstrous crimes in American history
       
In the 1920s, the richest people per capita in the world were members of the Osage Indian nation in Oklahoma. After oil was discovered beneath their land, they rode in chauffeured automobiles, built mansions, and sent their children to study in Europe.
      Then, one by one, the Osage began to be killed off. The family of an Osage woman, Mollie Burkhart, became a prime target. Her relatives were shot and poisoned. And it was just the beginning, as more and more members of the tribe began to die under mysterious circumstances.
      In this last remnant of the Wild West—where oilmen like J. P. Getty made their fortunes and where desperadoes like Al Spencer, the “Phantom Terror,” roamed—many of those who dared to investigate the killings were themselves murdered. As the death toll climbed to more than twenty-four, the FBI took up the case. It was one of the organization’s first major homicide investigations and the bureau badly bungled the case. In desperation, the young director, J. Edgar Hoover, turned to a former Texas Ranger named Tom White to unravel the mystery. White put together an undercover team, including one of the only American Indian agents in the bureau. The agents infiltrated the region, struggling to adopt the latest techniques of detection.  Together with the Osage they began to expose one of the most chilling conspiracies in American history. 
      In Killers of the Flower Moon, David Grann revisits a shocking series of crimes in which dozens of people were murdered in cold blood. Based on years of research and startling new evidence, the book is a masterpiece of narrative nonfiction, as each step in the investigation reveals a series of sinister secrets and reversals. But more than that, it is a searing indictment of the callousness and prejudice toward American Indians that allowed the murderers to operate with impunity for so long. Killers of the Flower Moon is utterly compelling, but also emotionally devastating.
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