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The Magnificent Spilsbury and the Case of the Brides in the Bath (Paperback)
  • The Magnificent Spilsbury and the Case of the Brides in the Bath (Paperback)
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The Magnificent Spilsbury and the Case of the Brides in the Bath (Paperback)

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Paperback 304 Pages / Published: 01/04/2010
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Bessie Mundy, Alice Burnham and Margaret Lofty are three women with one thing in common. They are spinsters and are desperate to marry. Each woman meets a smooth-talking stranger who promises her a better life. She falls under his spell, and becomes his wife. But marriage soon turns into a terrifying experience.

In the dark opening months of the First World War, Britain became engrossed by 'The Brides in the Bath' trial. The horror of the killing fields of the Western Front was the backdrop to a murder story whose elements were of a different sort. This was evil of an everyday, insidious kind, played out in lodging houses in seaside towns, in the confines of married life, and brought to a horrendous climax in that most intimate of settings - the bathroom.

The nation turned to a young forensic pathologist, Bernard Spilsbury, to explain how it was that young women were suddenly expiring in their baths. This was the age of science. In fiction, Sherlock Holmes applied a scientific mind to solving crimes. In real-life, would Spilsbury be as infallible as the 'great detective'?

Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton General Division
ISBN: 9781848541085
Number of pages: 304
Weight: 416 g
Dimensions: 234 x 156 x 23 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS
'A riveting and beautifully written book. A high point in the annals of murder, for every necessary ingredient - callousness, ruthlessness, mystery, recklessness, boarding houses, detection, a chase, money, sex and even a bit of glamour - is present. Miss Robins has made a thumping good book out of it'. * Sunday Telegraph *
'In Jane Robins' excellent The Magnificent Spilsbury - part-whodunit thriller, part-social history, part-biography - there's delight in the detail. This is a pacy page-turner underpinned by meticulous primary source research. Frankly, it's a treat... as satisfying as a fine thriller'. * The Scotsman *
'Robins's description of the murders and of Smith's persuasive personality is gripping. The Magnificent Spilsbury teems with promise'. * Sunday Times *
'As well as being a gripping, pacy account of a gruesome murder trial, this book is also a compelling piece of social history. An author tackling a story like this has to fight hard to avoid tipping into prurience and ghoulishness. Robins wins the fight, and shines a light on a dark age for women'. * Independent on Sunday *
'Not just a compelling read but it also an intriguing slice of social history'. * The Express *
'An author tackling a story like this has to fight hard to avoid tipping into prurience and ghoulishness. Robins wins the fight, and shines a light on a dark age for women.' * Independent on Sunday *
'With the precision of her main character, Jane Robins examines these murders...Robins is excellent at setting this story in its historical context' * Sunday Telegraph *
'Like its hero, The Magnificent Spilsbury teems with promise ...' * Culture *
'The Brides in the Bath and the rise of Spilsbury as the father of modern forensics are both well-worn tales, but Jane Robins has convincingly succeed in reworking them into a cracking good read. It is a deceptively delicate task to examine trial transcripts, police depositions, letters and newspaper accounts and reforge them with such admirable immediacy...Robins should prepare herself for a summer bestseller' * The Daily Telegraph *

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“20th Century CSI”

As outlined in the book, forensic pathology was much maligned at the turn of the 20th century. This tale exposes the struggle in the courtroom between science and force of personality to bring the facts of the case to... More

Paperback edition
3rd June 2010
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