Treasury of Victorian Murder: The Borden Tragedy


“Lizzie Borden took an axe, gave her mother forty whacks, when she saw what she had done, she gave her father forty-one!” The famous Lizzie Borden double murder.

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The Borden Tragedy

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“Lizzie Borden took an axe, gave her mother forty whacks, when she saw what she had done, she gave her father forty-one!” The famous Lizzie Borden double murder.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Comics artist Geary returns with another typically superlative work, the third in his series, A Treasury of Victorian Murder. As in his Jack the Ripper, Geary uses a fictional narrator to present a stylish, painstakingly researched treatment of the gruesome 1892 ax-murders of Abby and Andrew Borden in Falls River, Mass., and of the investigation, trial, and public and media spectacle that followed. The unsolved Borden murders have passed into folklore "Lizzie Borden took an ax, gave her mother forty whacks" and the question of Lizzie's guilt she was acquitted but remained under suspicion for the rest of her life remains unanswered in Geary's book. It's Geary's artfully precise reconstruction of turn-of-the-century Falls River that makes his work so haunting, and such a delight. Geary carefully re-creates the layout of the town complete with maps; the history, quirks and familial resentments of the prominent Borden family; and, of course, the bloody hatchet murders themselves, complete with minute details of the police investigation and a look at the forensic techniques of the time. His marvelous black-and-white drawings alternate a heavy, sensuous line with more delicate linear accents, deftly capturing the architecture, clothing, objects and everyday details of small-town life in the 1890s. Feb.
School Library Journal
YAA true-crime title, adapted from an authenticated but currently anonymous memoir written by someone who was at Fall River at the time of the Borden murders. The dramatic and mystery-shrouded story of Mr. and Mrs. Borden's deaths by hatchet during a time frame that would seem to indicate 30-year-old Lizzie as the only possible murderer and of the contradictory physical evidence that would seem to exonerate that same suspect is presented frame by frame, with very few balloons attributing specific words to any of those involved. The drawing style suits the subject neatly, extending the Victorian setting into mood as well: Lizbeth Borden is depicted as pudgy and sour-faced, the Bordens' maid looks as pinched and sickened as she had reason to feel, Fall River's citizenry scowl up from the pages as clearly defined individuals. Geary brings to this work years of experience creating fictional and documentary comics for books and periodicals, including the National Lampoon. While the parallel between Lizzie Borden and O.J. Simpson, drawn on the back cover of the book, seems simplistic, it may serve as an appropriate hook for readers unaccustomed to contemplating events outside their own worlds. Because Geary has fit so many details of the case's facts and ambiguities into just over 50 heavily illustrated pages, this should be an instant hit in high interest/low reading collections.Francisca Goldsmith, Berkeley Public Library, CA
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781561631896
  • Publisher: N B M Publishing Company
  • Publication date: 9/1/1997
  • Series: Treasury of Victorian Murder Series
  • Edition description: Original
  • Pages: 128
  • Product dimensions: 6.50 (w) x 9.50 (h) x 0.30 (d)

Meet the Author

An award-winning cartoonist and illustrator, Rick Geary has worked for Marvel Entertainment Group, DC Comics, Dark Horse Comics, and Heavy Metal, and has contributed to National Lampoon and The New York Times Book Review.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 21, 2012

    A Great Surprise

    I purchased this book for my niece. I read it before I gave it to her.
    It's very well written and has wonderful art work. He researched the
    story well. I've since ordered more of his books. They're great!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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