Monday, 5 August 2013

Today in the Pace case: 5 August 1928

Eighty-five years ago today, the fifth instalment of Beatrice Pace's 'life-story' appeared in the Sunday Express, which had bought the rights to her autobiography on the day after her acquittal for the arsenic murder of her husband, Harry Pace.

Like the previous week's instalment, this one combined elements of autobiography with something of an 'advice column'.

It was titled, 'A Talk To Those About To Marry'.

It focused a great deal on the violence in the Pace household and Beatrice's efforts to deal with it.

The Sunday Express, 5 August 1928, p. 15


Sometimes, when I would see him coming over the fields with that walk that I knew meant a thrashing for me, I would go to meet him, and tell him of something special that I had got for his supper.

It used to happen, now and again, that by doing that I escaped a beating, and it used to happen that sometimes I did not. […]

Pancakes were the great things to put him in a good temper, and whatever were my housekeeping difficulties, I nearly always contrived to have in the house materials for making them. If I felt trouble in the air (like our dog, Rover, I often sensed Harry’s moods beforehand), I would hurry to get some pancakes ready, and then run to meet Harry so soon as I saw him coming across the fields.’ […]

I have read about “strong, silent men” in stories, and how women are supposed to love them, but let me tell you that whenever I hear about that kind of man I think of Harry, and I wonder why people write such nonsense. Poor Harry was strong and silent enough, and I do not advise any women to marry such a type. […]

I have said it before, and I say it again—I loved Harry, and I would have stood by him whatever he did, and for another eighteen years, if he had lived. But I say frankly that if I had my life over again I would not marry a man of his type for all the money in the world. It was a deadening existence, one that I could not have believed possible, if I had not experienced it. […]

But this I will say—I don’t advise any girl to marry, whether she is rich or poor, until she knows—and is sure she knows—something about the bad qualities of the man who wants to be her husband.

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