Multiple execution in Britain.
January 29, 2014

The Invention of Murder

Have you ever watched a show or movie that depicted medicine prior to say 1970 or thereabouts, before the spread of antibiotics, anti-psychotics, nuclear medicine, MRIs and CAT scans; before microsurgery and robots, and said, Thank God, I'm alive now, and not then? Well, you might feel the same way about the legal system after reading about crime and detection in the Victorian age.

I don't want to try to summarize the individual cases that are covered, or the chapters, so I'll just make some general points about crime and justice in Victorian England, along with some reflections on the present day and on the US. Before I do, let me mention that instead of a bulleted list I've used the capital gamma (Γ) as a bullet because it resembles the gallows used in the game of Hangman.

Ms. Flander's book provides a lengthy and detailed look at Victorian crime, its prevalence, and its punishment. She does sometimes slip into excessive detail when she cites ſtatistics, but overall it's readable, and it might well be your cuppa.

Next up, a book of sci-fi novellas set in David Weber's Honorverse.