Monday, 1 July 2013

A 'most remarkable' summer reading suggestion

Tomorrow (2 July) marks the 85th anniversary of the opening of the trial in Gloucester of Beatrice Pace -- referred to as 'the tragic widow of Coleford' by many newspapers and as 'the most remarkable woman in England' by the Sunday Express -- for the alleged arsenic murder of her husband Harry.

In July 1928, the News of the World called the case ‘one of the most amazing within living memory’, while the Daily Mail described it as ‘one of the most extraordinary murder trials in the annals of English law’. Thomson’s Weekly News referred to it as ‘the most dramatic trial’ and the Daily Express as the ‘most astonishing judicial drama’ of recent years.

The trial itself is one of the many dramatic high points of my book on the Pace case, and in the coming week I'll be posting a few glimpses -- both in words and images -- from my research into the case.

And, as the summer holiday season is finally approaching, you may want to get your own copy of The Most Remarkable Woman in England to take along with you. As the following early reviews suggest, it makes a good holiday companion:

'Sometimes life is better than fiction. Is there any novelist who could have got this extraordinary story so perfectly right, inventing it: the violence at the heart of it, the suspense, the succession of revelations, the passions so raw and inchoate that they have a mythic force? And then there's the grand sweep of the narrative, beginning in the bleak poverty of an obscure cottage in the Forest of Dean, acted out finally on the national stage.' Tessa Hadley, in The Guardian (26 October 2012)

'Just for once, my crime book of the year isn’t a novel, but a factual account. ... A fascinating snapshot of interwar England, brilliantly brought to life.' -- crime novelist Nicola Upson, Faber website

'A fascinating analysis of one woman's domestic disaster, the power of the press and public opinion. Loved it!' -- Jenni Murray, host of BBC Radio 4's "Woman's Hour" (Click here for my interview on "Woman's Hour".) 
A full list of reviews and comments can be found here.

For more information, see the pages on the case and book at the top of the blog.

The book can be ordered from your local bookshop, directly from Manchester University Press or from online retailers such as Waterstones, Blackwells, and Amazon.

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