From Jack the Ripper and Sherlock Holmes to the cozy crimes of the golden age, renowned historian Lucy Worsley explores the evolution of the traditional English murder—and reveals why we are so fascinated by this sinister subject.
Murder—a dark, shameful deed—is the last resort of the desperate or a vile tool of the greedy, as well as a very strange, very English obsession. But where did this fixation develop? And what does it tell us about ourselves?
In The Art of the English Murder, Lucy Worsley explores this phenomenon in forensic detail, revisiting notorious crimes like the Ratcliff Highway Murders, which caused a nationwide panic in the early nineteenth century, and the case of Frederick and Maria Manning, the suburban couple who were hanged after killing Maria’s lover and burying him under their kitchen floor. Our fascination with crimes like these became a form of national entertainment, inspiring novels, plays, prose, paintings, poetry, and true-crime journalism. At a point during the birth of modern England, murder entered the national psyche, and it’s been a part of us ever since.
The Art of the English Murder is a unique exploration of the art of crime—and a riveting investigation into the English criminal soul by one of our finest historians. Download and start listening now!