Victorian History EBooks


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Crime and Punishment in Victorian Edinburgh

A selection of true crimes, punishments and court cases from Edinburgh in the Victorian era, giving a mixture of humorous, harrowing and strange accounts of Victorian crime in this city. Edinburgh found fame as the seat of learning in the Victorian era, leading the way in knowledge and enlightenment. But what was the true picture of Victorian life; of people trapped in a cycle of poverty and crime, living in cramped conditions, with alcohol and laudanum abuse commonplace? By reading some of the real life court stories, prison reports and newspaper articles from the Victorian period, uncover the social problems, the prison conditions and the disparity in a legal system that would sentence one person to seven years imprisonment for a petty theft, whilst sentencing another to only a few months for culpable homicide. Find out how the Victorians dealt with youth crime and disorder, and the work of reformers who sought to make positive changes. Follow some of the more notorious cases from the trial through to the criminal's time in prison and finally the public spectacle of the resulting execution. Also, read about the emergence of Forensic Medicine and the use of expert witnesses in court trials, and finally, draw your own conclusions as to the significance of 'Victorian values' within a society which faced many of the social problems we have today.


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A Year in Victorian Edinburgh

A day by day account of Edinburgh life and events in the Victorian period, giving a unique insight into the social history of this city across all classes. Giving a snapshot into Victorian life in Edinburgh, this book will take you through all the events, both good and bad, of a typical year within this era. The year which has been chosen is 1869, a year in which Edinburgh was leading the way in scientific and medical research, greatly enhancing the lives of many; whilst poverty, crime and destitution still blighted the lives of others. Month by month, experience what a person living at this time would have seen and experienced around them. With reports on various events, news stories, entertainment and issues affecting the public, read about the entertainment that was on offer, the new medical discoveries, the improvements to the city's sanitation and water supply, adverts for various questionable remedies that could be purchased from pharmacies, the beginning of higher education for women, and various crimes of the day. In this year, read about Sophia Jex-Blake, the first female student ever to be admitted to the Edinburgh medical school, velocipedes - the early bicycles which caused 'velocipede mania' among the Edinburgh Victorians, the last public readings to be carried out in the city by Charles Dickens, the advent of spiritualists and hypnotists, the advances in anaesthetics and antiseptics in surgery, the new City Workhouse and many more. 




Lynne has also written the Foreword for the recently published book, 'The Casebook of Glasgow's Victorian Detective' by A. Carmichael.

 

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Paperbacks (also available as EBooks)

 

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A Grim Almanac of Glasgow is a day-to-day catalogue of 366 ghastly tales from around the city. Full of dreadful deeds, strange disappearances and a multitude of mysteries, this almanac explores the darker side of Glasgow's past. Here are stories of tragedy, torment and the truly unfortunate with diverse tales of brutal murders, tragic suicides, and macabre events, including the experiments of Dr Andrew Ure, who, in 1818, applied electricity to the dead body of an executed murderer, animating the corpse and convincing spectators that the murderer had come back to life! All these, plus tales of fires, explosions and bizarre accidents, are here. Generously illustrated, this chronicle is an entertaining and readable record of Glasgow's grim past. Read on...if you dare!

Published by The History Press. Available to buy from Amazon, Waterstones, Blakwells, W H Smith and many other book retailers.

 


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This absorbing collection delves into the villainous deeds that have taken place in Stirling during it's long history. Cases of murder, robbery, assault and fraud are all examined as the darker side of this historic city's past is exposed. From cases as famous as the execution of Andrew Hardie and John Baird for high treason in 1820, to little-known crimes such as that of eighty-five year old wife, Mary, in 1843, this book sheds a new light on the city's criminal history. Illustrated with a wide range of archive material and modern photogrpahs, Murder and Crime in Stirling is sure to fascinate both residents and visitors alike as these shocking events of the past are revealed for a new generation.

Published by The History Press. Available to buy from Amazon, Waterstones, Blakwells, W H Smith and many other book retailers.



About the Author

Lynne Wilson is the author of the books 'A Year in Victorian Edinburgh' and 'Crime & Punishment in Victorian Edinburgh'. Although Lynne's career has mainly consisted of scientific and research work, she has always had a strong interest in the social history of the Victorian era and has spent many years researching this topic. Having previously studied in both Edinburgh and Glasgow, Lynne now lives in Stirling and writes about the history of these cities in her spare time. 

 

Lynne has also carried out research for a local author writing a historical fiction book set in the 1880s. The author was keen to ensure that he captured the feeling of the time and wanted news stories from the time, court cases and reports on the general conditions in which all classes in society lived.  The book, 'Sherlock Holmes and The Edinburgh Haunting', by David Wilson, was published on 17th October 2012.