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A surgeon and chemist at Guy’s Hospital in London, Professor Alfred Swaine Taylor used new techniques to search the human body for evidence that once had been unseen. As well as tracing poisons, he could identify blood on clothing and weapons, and used hair and fiber analysis to catch killers.
Taylor is perhaps best remembered as an expert witness at one of Victorian England’s most infamous trials – that of William Palmer, ‘The Rugeley Poisoner’. But he was involved in many other intriguing cases, from a skeleton in a carpet bag to a fire that nearly destroyed two towns, and several poisonings in between.
Taylor wrote widely on forensic medicine. He gave Charles Dickens a tour of his laboratory, and Wilkie Collins owned copies of his books. His work was known to Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, and he inspired the creation of fictional forensic detective Dr Thorndyke. For Dorothy L. Sayers, Taylor’s books were ‘the back doors to death’.
From crime scene to laboratory to courtroom – and sometimes to the gallows – this is the world of Professor Alfred Swaine Taylor and his fatal evidence.
|Publisher:||Pen & Sword Books Limited|
|Product dimensions:||6.00(w) x 9.20(h) x 0.80(d)|
About the Author
Table of Contents
Note on Text vi
Chapter 1 Go Thy Way, Passenger 1
Chapter 2 More of Impulse than Discretion 12
Chapter 3 Fearful and Wonderful 19
Chapter 4 The Light of an English Sun 26
Chapter 5 One of the Most Eminent Men 36
Chapter 6 My Heart is as Hard as a Stone 48
Chapter 7 The Means of our Preservation 58
Chapter 8 The Only Friend I had in the World 69
Chapter 9 The Formidable Scourge 79
Chapter 10 His Very High Position 91
Chapter 11 Romantic, Mysterious, and Singular 103
Chapter 12 Enter Not into the Path of the Wicked 113
Chapter 13 Truth Will Always Go the Farthest 143
Chapter 14 Grieved Beyond all Endurance 151
Chapter 15 You are the Villain 166
Chapter 16 Blood Enough 179
Chapter 17 The Eminent Opinion of Professor Taylor 190
Further Reading 207
Selected Bibliography 208