Murder by Candlelight

Murder by Candlelight

by Michael Knox Beran

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In the early nineteenth century, a series of murders took place in and around London which shocked the whole of England. The appalling nature of the crimes—a brutal slaying in the gambling netherworld, the slaughter of two entire households, and the first of the modern lust-murders—was magnified not only by the lurid atmosphere of an age in which candlelight gave way to gaslight, but also by the efforts of some of the keenest minds of the period to uncover the gruesomest details of the killings.These slayings took place against the backdrop of a London in which the splendor of the fashionable world was haunted by the squalor of the slums. Sir Walter Scott, Lord Byron, Thomas De Quincey, Thomas Carlyle, and Percy Bysshe Shelley and others were fascinated by the blood and deviltry of the macabre. In their contemplations of the most notorious murders of their time, they discerned in the act of killing itself a depth of hideousness that we have lost sight of, now living in an age in which murder has been reduced to a problem of social science and skillful detective work. Interweaving these cultural vignettes alongside criminal history, acclaimed author Michael Beran paints a vivid picture of a time when homicide was thought of as the intrusion of the diabolic into ordinary life.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781605988214
Publisher: Pegasus Books
Publication date: 08/15/2015
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 288
File size: 618 KB

About the Author

Michael Knox Beran's previous books include Forge of Empires, 1861-1871 and The Last Patrician, a study of Robert Kennedy that was a New York Times Notable Book of the Year. His writing has also appeared in The New Yorker, The Wall Street Journal, and the National Review. He lives in Westchester County, New York.

Table of Contents

Romantic Murder xi

Prologue: Horror's Romance: From the Gothic Donjon to the Metropolitan Blood-Sacrifice xv

Part 1 The Murder in the Dark Lane 1

Part 2 The Mystery of the Mutilated Corpse 71

Part 3 The Butler Didn't Do It: A Murder in Mayfair 137

Part 4 Toward the Ripper 183

Epilogue: The Decay of Murder 233

Acknowledgments 241

Notes and Sources 243

Index 257

About the Author 265

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