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Summary

A grisly book dedicated to the crimes, perversions and outrages of Victorian England, covering high-profile offences - such as the murder of actor William Terriss, whose stabbing at the stage door of the Adelphi Theatre in 1897 filled the front pages for many weeks - as well as lesser-known transgressions that scandalised the Victorian era. 

The tales include murders and violent crimes but also feature scandals that merely amused the Victorians. These include the story of a teenage man who married an actress, only to be shipped off to Australia by his disgusted parents; and the Italian ice-cream man who meant only to buy his sweetheart a hat but ended up proposing marriage instead. When he broke it off, his fiancée's father sued him, and the story was dubbed the 'Amusing Aberdeen Breach of Promise Case'. Also present is the gruesome story of the murder of Patrick O Connor, who was shot in the head and buried under the kitchen flagstones by his lover, Maria Manning, and her husband, Frederick. The couple's subsequent trial caused a sensation, and even author Charles Dickens attended the grisly public hanging. 

Drawing on a range of sources from university records and Old Bailey transcripts to national and regional newspaper archives, Michelle Morgan's research sheds new light on well-known stories as well as unearthing previously unknown incidents. 

©2018 Michelle Morgan (P)2018 Little, Brown Book Group

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Excellent storyline

Absolutely loved this audio book
Great little stories with great detail to events
The storytelling is fantastic
I can't recommend this book highly enough
BRILLIANT

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Very average

It is quite interesting to read (hear?) about the stories of a (fervently hoped) bygone age.
However given that the premise of the book - judging by the title - is that these stories would be some of the better known 'scandals' and it misses it's mark. A lot of the stories described are not what could be described as 'scandalous' - merely very sad, and in a lot of cases, reflective of a much more uncaring and brutal era. In the worst cases the 'story' isn't really worth inclusion - just seemingly filler fluff.
The real take-away (hateful phrase!) is that unless you were from a 'good' family, well connected or wealthy, God help you if had *any* brushes with authority. The laws, and their practice, were used to decidedly keep you in your place - definitely one law for the rich and another for the poor (a particular example would be the case of Contance Kent& Jack Whicher).
The reader is not bad, but please stop trying to do accents unless you are a really good actor - it's jarring and off-putting and not done well.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful