Victorian Murderesses: A True History of Thirteen Respectable French and English Women Accused of Unspeakable Crimes

by Mary S. Hartman | History |
ISBN: 0486780473 Global Overview for this book
Registered by wingBookworm-ladywing of Madrid, Madrid Spain on 4/2/2017
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5 journalers for this copy...
Journal Entry 1 by wingBookworm-ladywing from Madrid, Madrid Spain on Sunday, April 02, 2017
Received as a present for the 100% Secret Santa last year; the envelope with Christmas Greetings and chocolates got lost in the post.
The sender has decided to remain secret; however, her name appears in the Getbooks invoice. Never mind, I respect your decision, and I am not telling.
Thanks for fulfilling this old wish in my list.
Since I received this book, HI77 sent me another copy for a Sweeps, so I am keeping hers and letting this one go.

Journal Entry 2 by wingBookworm-ladywing at Madrid, Madrid Spain on Friday, June 09, 2017
Now a bookray to celebrate my 11th Bookiversary...

The list of readers so far:

1) DianeO (UK)
2) GoryDetails (U.S.A.)
3) Elizardbreath (U.S.A.)
4) hyphen8 (U.S.A.) (The book is here; bookray completed!!)

Still open to new readers... :)

Journal Entry 3 by wingBookworm-ladywing at Madrid, Madrid Spain on Saturday, June 17, 2017

Released 2 yrs ago (6/17/2017 UTC) at Madrid, Madrid Spain

CONTROLLED RELEASE NOTES:

Sent to DianeO, who is first in this bookray.
As usual, you can keep it for a reasonable time, I will set no limits, as long as you remember there are other readers waiting for it.
Enjoy!! :)

Journal Entry 4 by DianeO at Mansfield, Nottinghamshire United Kingdom on Tuesday, July 04, 2017
Hi - sorry for the delay in journalling this, my grandson "helpfully" tidied it away! One book ahead of this so should get to it soon. Cheerful reading for a summer afternoon!

Well, it was hard work in places and the tiny writing doesn't help, but I really enjoyed it! Thought it strange that all the women were middle-class but maybe that was the idea, to show that they too have particular social issues.

Will message GoryDetails now ready to continue its journey.

On its way across the ocean!

Journal Entry 5 by DianeO at Mansfield, Nottinghamshire United Kingdom on Friday, August 25, 2017

Released 2 yrs ago (8/25/2017 UTC) at Mansfield, Nottinghamshire United Kingdom

CONTROLLED RELEASE NOTES:

Sent by airmail today. Thanks for sharing!

Journal Entry 6 by wingGoryDetailswing at Nashua, New Hampshire USA on Thursday, August 31, 2017
This ex-library hardcover bookray book arrived safely in today's mail; many thanks! Will read it soon and get it on its way. (I'm very fond of historic true-crime tales, and have read about some of the murderesses here, including Madeleine Smith - in fact, that one got the graphic-novel treatment in Rick Geary's The Case of Madeleine Smith. Others are new to me, and should be interesting.)

Later: I did find some of the in-depth examinations of the social conventions and other environmental factors surrounding each murderer (some should be dubbed "alleged" as they weren't convicted); it's worth considering what might have driven someone to such extremes. But I found that, in some cases, the author's explorations didn't come up with anything definitive; the Kent case, among others, seemed to leave everything vague. Did she do it? If not, why did she confess? If so, why do it, and wait so long to confess? [Some possible reasons are given, but they don't feel that convincing to me, and there's still a big "if" regarding her guilt. A very weird household, that one.]

The compare-and-contrast tale of Célestine Doudet intrigued me more, probably because I hadn't read about it before. If the accusations are true, she was incredibly cruel to all of the children she was supposed to care for - and managed to continue this behavior under the noses of staff and the children's parents, with only a few attempts to interfere - which were, sadly, not acted on until too late. A very chilling case indeed, with long-term cruelty and deliberate neglect compared with the Kent case of a single quick act of brutality. A social setting that tended to have the children of the well-off placed into the care of hired hands - who then had almost total control over them - certainly contributed, but still... (I now want to read Pauline Conolly's book about the Doudet case, The Water Doctor's Daughters.)

The Florence Bravo case is another notorious one, not least because of the rude rhyme about it; not as famous as "Lizzie Borden took an ax..." but still enough to make the story memorable. The author's speculations on that and the contrasting Henriette Francey affair delve into societal views of womens' sexual lives - and point out just how earthy and flagrant things could get in supposedly-repressed Victorian times.

Alas, for such riveting subject matter, the author's style is awfully dry, and while some very good points are raised concerning the societal expectations and ingrained beliefs of the murderers (and their victims and the witnesses and the court officials, etc.), I felt I had to work rather hard to get at them. Still, I'm glad I had a chance to read the book!

[For completely random fun-with-murderesses, check out Edward Gorey's Dancing Cats and Neglected Murderesses {wry grin}.]

Journal Entry 7 by wingGoryDetailswing at Nashua, New Hampshire USA on Tuesday, September 05, 2017

Released 2 yrs ago (9/5/2017 UTC) at Nashua, New Hampshire USA

CONTROLLED RELEASE NOTES:

The book will soon be on its way to BCer elizardbreath, next in line. Enjoy!

Journal Entry 8 by wingelizardbreathwing at Bella Vista, Arkansas USA on Tuesday, September 12, 2017
The book has made it safely here! I've got the second half of Carlos Ruis Zafon's, The Angel's Game, ahead of it and then I'll dive in!

Journal Entry 9 by wingelizardbreathwing at Bella Vista, Arkansas USA on Saturday, October 07, 2017
Try as I might, I just couldn't get into these stories. The book was written rather dryly and didn't keep my interest. I will contact the next in line now!

Sending to hyphen8 on October 19th. Hoping I can pick this up again in the future and give it another try!

Journal Entry 11 by winghyphen8wing at Honolulu, Hawaii USA on Friday, December 01, 2017
Oops. Looks like I received this on November 10, but it got put in with the birthday packages so I'm only opening it now. Sorry for the delay in journaling it.

Ex-library hardcover with no dust jacket, at least not any more. I'm fairly certain that this journal image is the correct cover - it's the right year & publisher, anyway. The cover with the green bottle is from a 2014 reprint.

Journal Entry 12 by winghyphen8wing at Honolulu, Hawaii USA on Wednesday, September 05, 2018
Reserved for booklady331's nonfiction VBB (round 8).

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