THE MAUL AND THE PEAR TREE The Ratcliffe Highway Murders 1811 The Notorious Crime That Shocked Regency London

Author: James (P.D.) & Critchley (T.A.)
Year: 1990
Publisher: Penguin
Edition Details: P/b reprint (1st pub. UK 1971)
Book Condition: Vg+
ISBN: 9780140131864
Price: 4.00
Paperback. Reprint. With the fascination of a true-life detective story set firmly in its historical context, this account of the Ratcliffe Highway murders describes a series of crimes that were to 19th century London what the Jack the Ripper killings are to us today: the very symbol of murderous and unthinking brutality. The scene is the London Docks, near Wapping Old Stairs: a sinister neighbourhood where pirates were hanged at low water mark and left for the tides to roll over them. The first victims were a household of four: 2 innocent and hardworking shopkeepers, their baby and shop boy. Twelve days later and only a short distance away, an equally blameless pub-owner was found together with his wife and servant, victims of equal cruelty and apparent absence of motive. The crimes provoked nationwide panic and a vigorous demand for the reform of the police. The reader is able to watch the rudimentary law enforcement system of Regency London coping with a major murder investigation, and can judge the credibility of the evidence and the truth of the official verdict. The Ratcliffe Highway Murders prove to be among the most interesting and mysterious in the English criminal calendar. Illus., Bibliog., People in the Case + Epilogue. 234pp. p/back. With the usual lightly browned pp. o/w Vg+.


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