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Murder by the Book The Crime Scandal that Shocked Literary London



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Author: Harman, Claire
ISBN: 9780241315224
Publisher: Penguin UK
Year First Published: 2018
Pages: 224
Dimensions: 204mm x 136mm x 17mm
Format: Hardback

In a spring morning in 1840, on an ultra-respectable Mayfair street, a household of servants awoke to discover that their gentle, unobtrusive 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 maidservants, was scandalized by the unfolding drama of such a shocking murder, but behind it was another story, a work of fiction. For when the culprit, the twenty-three-year-old French valet, eventually confessed, he claimed his actions were the direct result of reading the bestselling crime novel of the day. This announcement spun a web which entangled the entirety of literary London, from Thackeray to Dickens, and posed the question- can a work of fiction do real harm?