Saturday, January 05, 2008

Horrid Murder!

Harvard Law Library has a new digital collection, Dying Speeches & Bloody Murders, of more than 500 broadsides that were sold to witnesses of public executions in eighteenth- and nineteenth-century Britain. These include an 1808 account of mutiny, the execution of Fenians for killing a police officer in 1867, and the confession of Constance Kent for murdering her half-brother in 1860 (the case is the basis for Such Bitter Business by Elbur Ford, aka Victoria Holt).

(Hat tip to PhiloBiblos).

About the image: Rendering of 1890 murder victim Hiram Sawtell. Courtesy of Special Collections Department, Harvard Law School Library.

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