Sunday, 24 August 2014

TNA Podcast: Did she kill him? Addiction, adultery and arsenic in Victorian Britain

Author Kate Colquhoun talks about her latest book in this TNA podcast from a live presentation last June.

The Guardian book review starts "Did Florence Maybrick poison her husband? She was tried for the crime in 1889, but the court's verdict failed to settle the matter. The sensational details of the mystery obsessed the British public for months. Sensibly, if tantalisingly, Kate Colquhoun offers no final answers in her absorbing review of this old scandal. Instead, she highlights what the case can tell us about late Victorian England – its flawed legal processes and dangerous medical practices, its predatory appetite for gossip, and above all the uncertain position of its women. What Colquhoun reveals is a persistent doubleness – respectability concealing transgression, but also a startling readiness to challenge authority. Restlessness, rather than complacency, characterises the society that she describes."

There is a minor Canadian connection. Florence's son James Chandler Maybrick (aka Jimmy Fuller) became a mining engineer in British Columbia. He died in April 1911. That story, with a speculative connection to the Jack the Ripper case, is at

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