Home Feed
Home
Search
Search
Add Review, Blurb, Quote
Add
Activity
Activity
Profile
Profile
Murder by the Book
Murder by the Book: A Sensational Chapter in Victorian Crime | Claire Harman
18 posts | 11 read | 26 to read
Early in the morning of 6 May 1840, on an ultra-respectable Mayfair street, a footman answered the door to a panic-stricken maid from a nearby house. Her elderly master, Lord William Russell, was lying in bed with his throat cut so deeply that the head was almost severed. The whole of London, from monarch to street urchins, was gripped by the gory details of the Russell murder, but behind it was another story, a work of fiction, and a fierce debate about censorship and morality. Several of the key literary figures of the day, including Dickens and Thackeray, were drawn into the controversy, and when Lord William's murderer claimed to having been inspired by the season's most sensational novel, it seemed that a great deal more was on trial than anyone could have guessed. Bringing together much previously unpublished material from a wide range of sources, Claire Harman reveals the story of the notorious Russell murder case and its fascinating connections with the writers and literary culture of the day. Gripping and eye-opening, Murder by the Book is the untold true story of a surprisingly literary crime.
Amazon Indiebound Barnes and Noble WorldCat Goodreads LibraryThing
Pick icon
100%
review
Hooked_on_books
post image
Pickpick

An English aristocrat was murdered in 1840 and the person charged claimed to have been influenced by a fictional character. Part historical true crime, part literary history, I thought this one was all good! Fun and interesting with an easy to read writing style.

blurb
Hooked_on_books
post image

When your dog is overly fascinated with the smell of your lip balm, it becomes rather difficult to read.

🙄😆

#dogsofLitsy #Bindi

mreads ❤🐕 so cute 4d
Soubhiville Bindi really is gorgeous. 💜 4d
DGRachel That is the sweetest face! 😍 4d
See All 7 Comments
Prairiegirl_reading 😍😍😍 4d
Cortg Too much cuteness! 💓 3d
AlaMich What a great photo!! 🐶😻 3d
KirstieE Omg that face !! 😍😍 3d
59 likes7 comments
blurb
kspenmoll
post image

#bailed
This book sounded so so good. Tried reading the book,listening to the audio version,-nothing worked for me. Maybe it‘s my mood, attention span, time- whatever. Just not for me right now, so back to the library it goes!

56 likes1 stack add
blurb
kspenmoll
post image

#bfcr2 #nomakeup #midnightme #nofilter
Joining in on the selfie challenge for this week‘s #bookfitnesschallenge

In bed reading ❤️📚 until I fall asleep 💤

wanderinglynn Beautiful! ❤️ Simply a lovely photo! Thanks for sharing. 1mo
Eggs 💗💗💗 1mo
sudi Lovely picture 💜 1mo
See All 15 Comments
Megabooks Beautiful!! 1mo
julesG Lovely picture! 1mo
UwannaPublishme Beautiful! ❤️ 1mo
Cathythoughts Lovely 👍🏻 1mo
BookwormAHN 👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻 1mo
sisilia 💖💖💖 1mo
sprainedbrain Lovely photo! 1mo
Crazeedi 👋 katherine!! I love your beautiful face! ❤ 1mo
Crazeedi I'm being put to shame, dont know if I'll post 1mo
Meaw_catlady 💕💕💕 1mo
kspenmoll @Crazeedi Absolutely no shame in not posting!!!! I dared myself! 1mo
76 likes15 comments
blurb
kspenmoll
post image

#bfcr2 #fitlit #checkin
Met my fitness goal for the first time in these 3 weeks! Walked 6+ miles this week!
Also met my book goal: read/listened to 2 books. 🙌🏻🙌🏻

FashionableObserver 🙌🏾🙌🏾 Nicely done!!! 1mo
wanderinglynn w00t! Way to go! 🙌🏻 A fantastic week! 🎉 Keep that awesome momentum going! 1mo
Megabooks 👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻🥳🥳 1mo
See All 11 Comments
sudi 👏👏👏 1mo
DebinHawaii Great job!! 👍🎉 1mo
BarbaraJean Awesome!! 1mo
dariazeoli Yay! 👏🏻 1mo
julesG 👏👏👏👏 1mo
4thhouseontheleft Woo!! Way to go! 🎉🎉 Great progress! 1mo
DivineDiana 👏🏻📚👏🏻 1mo
68 likes11 comments
blurb
kspenmoll
post image

Map of Grosvenor Square,an “ultra-respectable”area of London.Victorian era murder of Lord William Russel, uncle to Queen Victoria‘s Secretary of State for the Colonies, occurred here.The inside flap poses the question of the day: “Can a novel kill?”Cannot wait to dive into the well researched non fiction account of this murder/scandal.

”Harman combines a riveting whodunit with a literary scandal that involved the most famous writers of the day.”

41 likes1 stack add
review
catiewithac
post image
Pickpick

Now this is my kind of “beach” read! A true crime story from early Victorian England that weaves in the likes of literary big wigs such as Dickens, Thackeray, and Poe (!!). This story of a murdered, decapitated minor aristocrat is a real page turner. I highly recommend this book to fans of true crime, 19th century literature, and biographical history. ☠️🔪

erzascarletbookgasm Stacking! 2mo
42 likes3 stack adds1 comment
blurb
Mollyanna

@CatLass007 Just wanted to let you know the next #whodunitthesequel book arrived yesterday.

CatLass007 @Mollyanna Thank you for letting me know. 2mo
21 likes1 comment
review
Brooke_H
post image
Pickpick

Victorian London. A fancy lord is brutally murdered. Someone is arrested, and even confesses. But did they actually do it? Woven throughout the narrative are Dickens and Thackeray, and a salacious pot-boiler of a novel that had all of London talking. Did the novel inspire the killer? Can media be blamed for crime? Very enjoyable read.

13 likes1 stack add
review
Booksnchill
post image
Pickpick

On May 5, 1840 Lord William Russell was most fouly murdered in his bed. Amidst the public craze for Newgate novels and plays proliferating after the publication of the “Jack Sheppard” book by W. H. Ainsworth- that charismatic, unrepentant criminal speaking in the “criminal dialect” and spawning songs and even satire among all classes, this murder caught the imaginations of the public, the Queen, WM Thackeray and Charles Dickens. So good on audio!

51 likes1 stack add
review
SW-T
post image
Pickpick

This account of a true crime mixed fact with speculation (sometimes motives weren‘t known). Writers like Dickens and Thackeray got caught up in public speculation (& fear) about the role of novelists after a man was killed because his killer was inspired by a book. Covers public morality, class, social responsibility, criminal justice, and real life imitating fiction. A true crime soap opera with a long cast of characters.

#truecrime #nonfiction

blurb
Booksnchill
post image

I recently joined Scribd and am very impressed with the audio selections. This is my next up- non-fiction about a sensational murder in London at the time of Dickens. Excellent narration and under 8 hours- 2019 release in the US.

48 likes2 stack adds
blurb
WanderingBookaneer
post image

Current read was borrowed from the library. I can‘t renew it because there are people waiting for it.

SW-T I just picked up this one! It sounded too good to pass up. 4mo
rretzler I hate when that happens. I usually end up buying it if I‘m liking it. 4mo
75 likes1 stack add2 comments
review
DarcysMom
post image
Mehso-so
Freespirit Can you tell me what ARC stand for @DarcysMom ? I've been meaning to ask for ages! 5mo
DarcysMom @Freespirit It is an Advanced Reader Copy. 😁 5mo
Freespirit Thank you. Based on the reviews do they then make a decision to publish it? 5mo
DarcysMom @Freespirit They are already set to publish when ARCs are made available. They help build buzz about a book and give the author reviews and ratings before or as soon as the book comes out. 5mo
Freespirit Thank you! I have been meaning to ask. 5mo
57 likes5 comments
review
balletbookworm
post image
Pickpick

A delightful mashup of true crime and my favorite genre, books about books. It also gets at the class worries of upper class London with the grisly murder of a harmless old man (in the ways of British aristocracy, Lord William Russell was pretty innocuous) by his valet (GASP). In among this is the discussion of the unbelievably popular Newgate novels romanticizing criminals‘ exploits, particularly that of Jack Sheppard, ...

balletbookworm which has many echoes today in the fraught discussion of the effect of violent and/or radicalized media on consumers. Harman perhaps should have left off the “I shall try to suss out what really happened” epilogue since it‘s pretty thin and doesn‘t add much to the book. 5mo
22 likes1 comment
review
Michellekidwell
post image
Pickpick

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.


blurb
Moray_Reads
post image

I'm bad at challenges so tonight I looked with some trepidation at my #readingwomen2018 for the first time in months. Pleasantly surprised to be able to fill in all but three slots. Starting this one for #truecrime. Not a favourite genre but look at the cover!

saresmoore Yes, I believe that‘s a true crime I would be willing to read! 9mo
LeahBergen Want! 😍 9mo
BarbaraBB That cover 😍 9mo
56 likes3 stack adds3 comments
blurb
jenniferw88
post image

Mini book haul! As I'm turning 30 the year after next, I think I need to be reading more diversely and on more social justice topics, so any recommendations on this will be gratefully received so that I can make it part of my reading challenges.

101 likes2 stack adds4 comments