Read Pretty Jane and the Viper of Kidbrooke Lane: A True Story of Victorian Law and Disorder: The Unsolved Murder that Shocked Victorian England by Paul Thomas Murphy Online


On April 26th, 1871, a police constable walking one of London’s remotest beats stumbled upon a brutalized young woman kneeling on a muddy road—gashes were cloven into her skull; her left cheek was slashed open and smashed-in; her right eye was destroyed; and above it a chunk of the temporal bone had been bashed out. The policeman gaped in horror as the woman held out her hOn April 26th, 1871, a police constable walking one of London’s remotest beats stumbled upon a brutalized young woman kneeling on a muddy road—gashes were cloven into her skull; her left cheek was slashed open and smashed-in; her right eye was destroyed; and above it a chunk of the temporal bone had been bashed out. The policeman gaped in horror as the woman held out her hand before collapsing into the mud, muttering “let me die” and slipping into a coma. Five days later, she died, her identity still unknown.Within hours of her discovery on Kidbrooke Lane scores of the officers of Greenwich Division were involved in the investigation, and Scotland Yard had sent one of its top detectives, John Mulvany, to lead it. After five days of gathering evidence, the police discovered the girl’s identity: Jane Maria Clouson, a maid in the house of the renowned Pook family . . . and she was two months’ pregnant with Edmund Pook’s child when she died.Murphy carefully reviews the evidence in the light of 21st century forensic science in order to identify Jane’s killer as Edmund Walter Pook. Using a surprisingly abundant collection of primary sources, Murphy aims to recreate the drama of the case as it unfolded, with its many twists and turns, from the discovery of the body to the final crack of the gavel—and beyond....

Title : Pretty Jane and the Viper of Kidbrooke Lane: A True Story of Victorian Law and Disorder: The Unsolved Murder that Shocked Victorian England
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9781605989822
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 400 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Pretty Jane and the Viper of Kidbrooke Lane: A True Story of Victorian Law and Disorder: The Unsolved Murder that Shocked Victorian England Reviews

  • Susan
    2018-11-26 23:00

    I love historical true crime books and so I was looking forward to reading this account of a crime – and a trial – which highlighted the class system in Victorian London. Jane Maria Clouson lived her short life in the middle of Queen Victoria’s long reign and, like so many young women then, she spent much of her life in service. Not in a grand house, but as the only servant – a ‘maid of all work’ – for the Pook family. The delightfully named, Ebenezer Pook, ran a printer’s shop in Greenwich. A respected member of his local church, a businessman and a freemason, he lived above his business with his wife, his twenty one year old son, Edmund, his older, married son Thomas (whose marriage was in trouble and so often visited), and Harriet Chaplin, the cousin of his wife. Mr Pook employed six men and boys in his business, but only one servant in his house and so Jane’s life would have been one of drudgery and hard work.Jane Maria Clouson was a young girl, with a difficult life, who had been working most of her life. However, on April 26th, 1871, she was discovered horribly injured on a footpath and later died of her injuries. We read about how she was discovered, the (rather botched) police investigation into who attacked her and the attempt to find out who she was (as befits any Victorian heroine, her one uttered sentence after being found was a wonderfully dramatic, “let me die…”) and the public outrage over one of their own being attacked and murdered. Before long, Jane’s identity is discovered, as is the fact that she was pregnant at the time of her attack. Also, before long, someone in the Pook household is accused of the crime…What unfolds in this book is the story of the attempt to bring a member of the Pook family to justice for the murder of Jane Maria Clouson. Public opinion, as it so often does, wavered between outrage at Jane’s murder and outrage at what, they saw, as a badly handled police investigation. I obviously do not wish to spoil this book for you, so I will not go into details; but the author does a good job of setting the scene and there is a lot of action in the courtroom, along with a good ‘cast’ of real life characters. These include the Pook’s lawyer (also, coincidentally named Henry Pook) who had a huge personality, devoted spiritualist Newton Crosland, several browbeaten, and unsure, witnesses and the accused himself. Obviously, this happened a long time ago, but there is a lot of detail still available and much of the action does take place in the courtroom; so if you enjoy reading about court cases, this will appeal. There is a little ‘padding’ but it is relevant – other cases being heard at the same time, musings on what it meant to be a maid of all work in those times and how the victim was portrayed, as well as how the class system affected how the accused was viewed and public disquiet about the verdict. Overall, a good addition to this genre and an interesting read. I received a copy of this book from the publisher, via NetGalley, for review.

  • BAM The Bibliomaniac
    2018-11-23 06:55

    Jane Clousen may have been a maid-of-all-work, but Jane Clousen mattered. To the people of Lewisham during 1870s Victorian England, there was a distinction between the working class and the burghers. Dear Jane was a fifteen year old seduced by the younger son of her employers who led her to her death. This book discusses the trial of Edmund Pook (I've never trusted an Edmund since my young years of Narnia), and the probability of his guilt. Surprisingly I was left in doubt until the last chapter. It's a very short book. I read it in one night sitting.2017 Reading Challenge: has a subtitle

  • Jill Hutchinson
    2018-11-16 00:54

    A young pregnant servant girl, Jane Clouson, is found brutally murdered and thus begins an inadequate police investigation that causes the reader to shake his/her head. But more is yet to come when the suspect's trial begins and the vaunted English court system takes over. I looked at this book as more a study of the class system and the justice system than a true life murder in Victorian England. Society was made up of the "haves" and the "have nots" and the murder of a "have not" did not get much attention from the authorities.In this case, however, the "lower" classes rebelled against the system, causing the murder to become a very public crime and calling attention to the cavalier attitude of the police. Unfortunately this did not endear the judge to their call for a fair trial and his show of favoritism for the accused, who was the son of the family who employed Jane and therefore a "have", was almost beyond belief. The outcome of the trial was preordained even though the evidence some of which was thrown out by the judge as irrelevant or "lost" by the police, strongly suggested guilt. It appears from the author's conclusions that a terrible miscarriage of justice occurred and the murderer of Jane Clouson walked out of court a free man.This is an interesting look at police procedures (or lack thereof) and the prejudices that the working class had to deal with in legal matters during the mid-Victorian era.

  • Chris
    2018-11-29 05:49

    I had heard of this murder before reading this book.This book is great. Murphy's research is great. More importantly he places the murder in context, touching not just on the justice system of the time, but also on the role of maids of all work, class, publishing, and lawyers. It is a really great look at a case and totally well done.

  • Cleo Bannister
    2018-12-04 00:53

    This historical true crime happened in 1871 in the Greenwich are of Victorian London. Poor Jane Coulson had been found in a terrible state with her face bashed in on a footpath by a policeman following his beat in the area. The girl was at last unidentified so extreme were her facial injuries and in the week or so that it took to discover who she was a few other girls, sadly of disrepute, were named as the victim. Eventually the truth was discovered but Jane Coulson didn’t, couldn’t, survive her injuries.This is a well-researched book of a crime that I hadn’t come across before and doesn’t just concentrate on the police’s investigation into the murder but also the three trials the suspect underwent with the accompanying views of both the media and the local population at the time. With a sense of the place impeccably reconstructed for the reader as well as a detailed look at the various stages of the investigation and the trial I was absorbed by this reconstruction. With enough doubt to whether the right person had been arrested from the outset the author has pieced together the details including those that didn’t appear at the trial. Of course, after such a long period of time, there is little hard evidence to re-examine but that didn’t stop the author applying principles known today that were not at this time, being used to make a reasonable assessment of the case.The author also captures the characters who make up the background to the story. From the reluctant witness of the shop-keeper who was unable to identify the man who bought the hammer which was the alleged weapon to the righteous Mr Henry Pook who defended the alleged perpetrator Edmund Pook, no relative. Edmund Pook was supported by his father a grandly named Ebenezer Pook along with his brother and other family members. The victim, Jane Coulson had worked as a maid of all work for this middle-class family and as a result we get to see how the Victorian class system operated at that time. Maids of all work were by far the most common servants of the time with middle-class families keeping one to do long hours as a status symbol as much as anything. The Pooks were not so well-off that Jane even had a pokey attic for a room, she actually shared with the victim’s cousin!All in all a fascinating and immensely readable account of the crime, its investigation both into the identity of the victim and the murderer, the trials that followed and just as intriguingly the reaction of the public both on the streets and through the media of the day. In some ways this reaction was split along class lines but not entirely which in itself was interesting. In the end my conclusion ties in with the authors but read the book yourself, you may well think that another scenario is equally as likely as to who did kill Jane Coulson.I’d like to thank the publishers Head of Zeus who allowed me to read an advance copy of this book. This unbiased review is my thank you to them.

  • Charlene
    2018-11-24 02:51

    Somewhat interesting, especially the parts that included in depth explanations about what investigative tools were available at the time this murder was committed. The author did a great job of conveying what society was like, what policing was like (If you are shocked by the constant miscarriages of justice uncovered by the Innocence Project, you would be horrified of what passed for evidence back in the day), relations between servants and the upper class, relationship between police and citizens, etc. I probably would have given it 4 stars if it had been 1/4 of the length it was. At first I was engaged with the book, curious about the murder, and enjoying the descriptions of what passed for police work but as the story dragged on..... and on, I became very bored and couldn't wait for it to be over. The best part of this book was a side story involving a woman who continued to be employed as a nanny. She kept killing children wherever she worked. People suspected her but it seems that Victorian politeness kept her out of jail and in the very homes of the children she would continue to kill. That was an incredibly interesting bit of the book.

  • Mandy
    2018-11-16 06:07

    Probably more like 2.5 stars for me.This was okay at the beginning, the middle dragged along and the conclusion predictable.Very informative throughout, sometimes a little too much, for example when he first introduced someone into the narrative, the author always included something about them or their life, which wasn't relevant to the story and ,I felt, didn't need to be in the book. The court scenes should have been fascinating, instead I thought they were plain boring. His depiction of the legal staff was at times almost derisory but he went all around the houses to make a point. I just felt that the author was trying to make it seem that he didn't really want to think that, but the facts pointed in that direction.By page 100, or even before, I had reached the same conclusion that he did. It was rather obvious who did it, to me anyway.I liked the writing but felt there was a little too much of it, some details didn't feel relevant and didn't need to be there.A fascinating case, and one that I had never heard of, so I'm grateful to the author for writing about it and putting the facts out there, so to speak. A lot of other readers really enjoyed this book too. I seem to be in the minority. So, don't be put off by this review as it is a truly interesting case. Read the book for yourself and draw your own conclusions. As it is a real case after all, there should be different viewpoints on it.

  • Lenoire
    2018-12-08 02:41

    A haunting tale of a woman who was found brutalized beyond recognition and the journey of finding her killer. The woman was found on the verge of death, crying out "let me die" before slipping into a coma and perishing five days later. However, her identity is unknown along with the motive and her murderer. After top lead detective, John Mulvany was on the case, they were able to establish her identity. Jane Maria Clouson was a maid for the prestigious Pook family and she was also two months pregnant by the younger son, Edmund. The tantalizing tale takes readers into the vivid investigation of the violent murder of one girl of London's working class.The novel uses many primary sources to piece together vivid portrayal of the murder investigation. While the tale was elegantly woven, I personally lost interest after a few chapters. The book became tedious and boring to read. Perhaps, I missed subtle references but the author bought up a couple of unrelated stories that seemed to have no correlation to the Pretty Jane trial. The author also at the end sum up the evidence made present during the trial on why they believe the suspect was killer. For all I cared, it could have been Santa Claus but it wouldn't have made this book more interesting.**Disclosure - I received an uncorrected eBook for my honest opinion*

  • Amy Sturgis
    2018-12-16 02:00

    This is a solid work -- I would give it a 3.5 if I could -- exploring the brutal 1871 murder of a pregnant, teenage "maid of all work" in London and the subsequent investigation into her case, court battle(s) related to it, and their aftermath. Murphy highlights the flaws in the investigation (both from contemporary standards and those of our time), the social and economic forces at work on popular opinion, and the twists and turns in the legal drama that followed. He also reviews the evidence in light of our current understanding of forensic science, convincingly names the murderer, and helps to explain why the man walked free. I would recommend it to those interested in the history of detectives, forensic science, gender, class, and law and law enforcement.

  • Daphne
    2018-12-04 07:09

    Quite well written and researched Victorian true crime. I'm such a sucker for those. The author's first book Shooting Victoria: Madness, Mayhem, and the Rebirth of the British Monarchy really impressed me, and this one isn't any different. Paul Thomas Murphy is definitely and author on my list of those I watch out for new releases from.

  • Helen Carolan
    2018-12-04 04:55

    What an interesting true crime from the Victorian Era. While there seemed one suspect, the evidence against him was flimsy and in a court case, he was acquitted. A great Victorian crime-themed read.

  • Megan
    2018-11-22 03:06

    So good and I wanna know who really killed her.

  • The Irregular Reader
    2018-11-18 06:56

    In 1871, a young, pretty servant girl was found ruthlessly beaten in a country lane. Jane Clouson died a few days later without regaining consciousness. When the son of her employer falls under suspicion for her murder, the subsequent police investigation and trial spark unrest between the working class and the middle class residents of London. Jane, unremarkable and overlooked in life, became a powerful symbol of the suffering of working class girls, and the easy power of their “betters.”Pretty Jane is an engagingly written book that straddles the true crime and history genres. Murphy’s style of writing is engaging and flows well, allowing the book to read more like a novel than a history book. Murphy takes the reader along for the ride in an investigation and trial that, in the modern day, would be up there with the OJ Simpson or Casey Anthony trials. Each side bitterly fought for their desired outcome, and the legal push-pull dynamic adds to the story’s suspense. Murphy is more than willing to unwind this suspense out slowly, leaving you to tensely wait to see if there will ever be any justice for poor Jane.Any history buff will enjoy this book. The narrative style of the writing makes this book accessible and fun for casual readers as well. If you’re a fan of Devil in the White City by Erik Larson, this book should be next on your TBR.A copy of this book was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

  • Ellen Klock
    2018-12-02 01:48

    Life was different in the English Victorian age. There were the gentry, but there was also the merchant class as well as they who were the poor. Anyone considered the middle class had a servant who served more like a slave, doing the bidding of the household from cooking to cleaning to laundry to emptying out the chamber pots. It was a hard life, but with large families to feed, the children were expected to make their own way once they reached the age of twelve. Many girls, unable to find work due to slovenly habits or the lack of a reference, had to turn to prostitution in order to survive. Jane Marie Cloussen, at seventeen, had recently quit her most recent job as household servant for the Pooks who owned a print shop. Living in a boarding house, her friends and cousin had noticed her morose mood had suddenly brightened. Jane confided she was meeting Edmund Pook, the handsome young son of her former master, and that he was going to whisk her away to a better life. Instead she was found brutally murdered by a hammer/axe, and an autopsy revealed she was two months pregnant (a good reason for her depression since her reputation and a chance of future employment would have been ruined). The local police pieced the information together and went to the Pook home hoping to gather further evidence and a confession, but ended up arresting Edmund without definitive proof of his guilt. This was the beginning of a series of bungling mistakes which eventually led to an acquittal although many felt that justice was not served with the resulting not guilty decision. Yet, without modern technology and the judge's refusal to admit the "hearsay" statements of Jane's friends, the trial was doomed from the beginning.While this was not considered the trial of the century, like OJ Simpson's acquittal, there were numerous errors by judge, jury, and counsels, with the police being suspected of tampering with the evidence and perjuring themselves in order to establish Edmund's guilt. Everyone wanted to attend the court hearings and vast crowds cheered and/or jeered the suspect. In the end the killer was never found although a reward was offered. While many believed Edmund the true culprit, his guilt was not effectively proven.Paul Thomas Murphy gives us details of these events in Pretty Jane and the Viper of Kidbrooke Lane: A True Story of Victorian Law and Disorder, The Unsolved Murder that Shocked Victorian England, including various specifics of life in England in the 1870's relevant to understanding the story. Well researched with numerous footnotes and works sited, there is also a series of photos and cartoons depicting the involved characters. A photograph of the monument at Jane's gravesite, a rarity for an impoverished female, shows the community support for the young girl's plight. While the main events were interesting, I began to lose interest about two thirds of the way through the book and wished the author had wrapped things up a little more quickly. An annotated list of characters would also have been helpful, especially since many of the players went on to make a name for themselves in the judicial system. Three stars and a thank you to Netgalley for providing this ARC in exchange for an honest review.

  • Heather
    2018-12-13 06:49

    I had the pleasure of reading Paul Thomas Murphy's "Shooting Victoria" last year and really enjoyed it. So when I saw his latest book pop up on NetGalley, I knew I wanted to read it. When I was approved for a copy, I started reading it right away and devoured it. This is another great one by Murphy.I expected this to be just about the murder of Jane, but Murphy dives in deep. Not only do we get a fascinating account of the events surrounding Jane's actual murder, but we follow the court battle and its aftermath. More than that, Murphy goes into how the murder affected and was reflected in the culture. Murphy goes far beyond the basic timeline events and, through his intensive research, adds so much to this tale.I don't want to say too much as I think this book is best if you go into it knowing as little about the crime as possible, but I'll say that if you like true crime, non-fiction, and/or history, I'd highly recommend this book (and if you like this one, don't forget to check out "Shooting Victoria").**I received this copy via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review**

  • Jennifer
    2018-12-04 06:54

    In 1871, outside of London, Jane Clousen was discovered barely alive, with her head and face bashed in almost beyond recognition. Weeks later police arrested local swell Edmund Pook and charged him with her murder based on mostly circumstantial evidence. Author Paul Thomas Murphy has sifted meticulously through court transcripts, correspondence, newspaper reports, and other contemporary documents to determine the truth behind what happened that night on Kidbrooke Lane.Pretty Jane and the Viper of Kidbrooke Lane reads is as compelling as any mystery novel and the amount of research that went into the book is impressive. With our modern day knowledge of forensics, it is fascinating, and frustrating, to read about the early days of the police investigation. Things we take for granted now were unheard of in 1871. Murphy is able to look at the evidence in light of modern forensics to make an excellent case for the probably truth. I won't spoil the result here. Read the book and see what you think!

  • Lori Shafer
    2018-12-13 23:43

    Pretty Janeis a true crime novel based in Victorian England. From the very beginning, the story intrigued me. As i read the day to day accounting of the case, I was simply amazed. Where did Murphy get his information? The tiniest details of a scrap of material was found by someone days after the body and how it was treated and handled. How can you find that information? It was just his type of clues and accounts that I found awing. The characters were so real. The tragedy of Jane's death and the search for her murderer was very detailed. Murphy should be commended for his research. There were times the story was slow. The judicial system of the time confused me. These were the drawbacks of the book.I still think fans of true crime set in the nineteenth century would enjoy this book. The details, the unknown crime, and historical setting makes Pretty Jane a good read. I received an ebook version of this title through Netgalley.

  • sappho_reader
    2018-11-30 01:54

    On April 26th 1871 young Jane Maria Clouson was found bludgeoned near death in a London road. This is a true account of her unsolved murder and the false trial of the main suspect Edmund Pook. The police did a horrendous job in their investigation and Pook was ultimately acquitted of the crime. What I found most fascinating is how society at large was so consumed by this murder and others during the same period and how people seemed to take the verdict so personally that they hounded the Pook family for months afterwards. I simply cannot get enough of Victorian crime and nefarious activities so this book hit my sweet spot.

  • Katrina
    2018-12-05 01:51

    Interesting murder case, but not super well written. So glad the author revealed his theory at the end, but I was hoping for more explanation.

  • Dale
    2018-11-22 00:07

    The 1871 murder trial that shook England!My thanks go out to all my contacts at Pegasus Books for my copy of this collection of vampire stories! Thank you so much!On April 26, 1871, a policeman discovered a young woman in the darkness of Kidbrooke Lane in London. She was barely alive, having been beaten severely with what later proved to be a hammer used in lathe-work. She had missing pieces of skull and jaw and her brains were exposed. Five days later she succumbed to her wounds.Her words before her death indicated that Edward Pook may have been involved in her death. Pook was from a good family with both money and reputation. Jane had worked for them until just about a week before her death when she was dismissed from service. Rumor was that Jane, who was pregnant, was carrying Edward Pook’s child.This case could have easily been the OJ Simpson Trial of 1871! You had a person of some standing accused of a violent murder. Pook’s father, with the financial backing of other businessmen, hired a dream team of lawyers. The Judge in the case was criticized for controversial rulings. The lawyers’ strategy was to attack the police, not the evidence. They also disparaged the victim herself; Edward calling her “a very dirty girl.”The feeling was in the end that Edward had been found “not guilty” because of who he was. He also had a ruthless team of lawyers who didn’t blink at destroying police reputations. Also, in the end, no one was ever charged. It seems most likely that Edward was indeed guilty.Anyone who loves the details of courtroom drama or the mysteries of unsolved crime will greatly enjoy this book. It has the police investigation, the coroner’s report, trial transcripts, etc. Probably punched up a little for dramatic effect, it still checks with the historical facts.I give this human drama five stars!Quoth the Raven…

  • Helen
    2018-11-24 05:49

    A gruesome murder in Victorian London (or perhaps this counted as Kent at that time - Greenwich/Deptford/Eltham/Lewisham area). Jane Maria Clousen, a 16 year old maid of all work, was found horribly battered but still alive on what was then a lonely country lane, and died a few days later. She was 2 months pregnant, allegedly by the son of the household where she had worked, and he was the main suspect. He was, however, acquitted, and nobody else was ever brought to trial. The book explores the social background, the public interest in the case, and the limited forensic possibilities of the time (which did include being able to test stained material for blood, but not much else). Today, of course, it would be possible to answer so many more questions. There is a hand drawn map, not to scale, showing the locations - most of the lane today appears to be such a busy road that it has its own relief road. After an account of the trial (and of a couple of others which were happening at the same time), the author traces the subsequent history of the suspect and his family and then comes to his own conclusion about who was guilty (and I think I agree - there was such an obvious omission in the collection of evidence, and a time lapse too). Nasty little detail included the fact that the foetus was removed at post mortem and not buried with the victim (presumably it ended up in a jar as a medical specimen). Poor Jane. A list of people would have been handy (the presence of several people who were not related to each other but had the same unusual surname was a bit confusing), and perhaps modern illustrations of locations, if any are identifiable, for those interested in local histoty.

  • Sheila
    2018-11-29 06:51

    Jane Clouson is found on Kidbrooke Lane dying after a vicious beating. She is taken to the hospital where she later dies. The police now have to find the murderer. As they look at her short life and listen to what her friends have to say they believe they have found their murderer and arrest him. Next comes the court of law and the court of public opinion.This is interesting. Mr. Murphy uses modern forensic techniques to review the case and show who the murderer is. Unfortunately, forensic science was just beginning in 1871 and what we know now is not what they knew then. Because of technicalities and a "judge" who had made up his mind, this case seems like a travesty of justice. I liked how each person is followed through the book. I also liked the synopsis of how modern forensics would prove who the murderer is as well as how the police put their case together. I like the history.

  • Toni
    2018-11-18 05:59

    I was more fascinated with this true-life crime than I would have imagined. With the hindsight of 147 years and advanced technology, it amazes me how the basis of our legal system(s), police crime-solving procedures and human fallibility/motivations remain relatively current in Victorian England. Even pre-Victorian, I am intrigued to research more...Like I mentioned, this crime happened 147 years ago yet it happened yesterday (sic) and the same procedures or judicial errors are still be repeated. Without sounding flippant, getting away with murder sounds more achievable than finding any truth.5 star narration. I wish I could download the epub library docs so I will have to find them via another way.

  • Donie Nelson
    2018-12-07 07:06

    I confess: I love true crime stories and hoped that this Victorian shocker would keep me awake. If you have insomnia, reading this book may not be a cure, but it's cheaper than a prescription. The writing is repetitious, which may have been in keeping with Victorian stylistic choices, but I was looking for a compelling storyline and time travel back to the 1800s. Instead, the facts of the case, the personalities and the problems of the main characters, and each and every event is repeated, repeatedly, ad nauseam. I wondered if the writer were being paid by the word. Terrible crime reduced to a boring read.

  • Kevin Thomas Barnes
    2018-11-19 03:48

    I was happy to find this book. I like to read about old cases that are not solved. I can see why it was a scandal at the time. The story was well written and I felt well researched. I would love to hear what happened with the two Lady defendants. What became of their life after their trials. The book held me through till the end, but I do not agree with the Authors conclusions as to if he was guilty or not. Regardless I am still thinking about this book and I can see the Authors point of view on this, but still can not agree. Thank You Mr. Murphy for a good read.

  • Rebecca
    2018-12-03 00:03

    This reads a bit like "Law&Order: 1871," and that works for it. Murphy's presentation of the facts and why they should still matter to us is interesting and makes for good reading, and there's a definite timeliness to the death of poor Jane that still speaks to what happens today when a woman not of the upper class is killed.

  • Lynne
    2018-11-18 06:01

    An erudite exploration into the brutal murder of Victorian maid of all work, Jane Coulson in the 1870 and, thankfully, lacking in overwrought sensationalism. Very well researched, although the narrative style has element of the ponderous at time, this is a small gem, unearthed in a recent Works sell-off. Bargain.

  • Mariann
    2018-11-29 04:41

    This book was interesting in the beginning when the murder was being discussed but then it became very dry and confusing during the trial. The author also decided to discuss other murders that occurred at the same time and while they were interesting, I wish he had omitted them and stuck to the original story. 2 1/2 stars.

  • Pauline Chamberlain
    2018-12-02 03:52

    An ok true life Victorian whodunnit

  • Heidi Brown Lynn
    2018-12-06 01:10

    Not just a story about a little-known, though then infamous, crime, but a fascinating story about social inequality and the Victorian court systems.