The Art of the English Murder: From Jack the Ripper and Sherlock Holmes to Agatha Christie and Alfred Hitchcock (Paperback)

The Art of the English Murder: From Jack the Ripper and Sherlock Holmes to Agatha Christie and Alfred Hitchcock By Lucy Worsley Cover Image
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The history of the evolution of the traditional English murder, from Jack the Ripper and Sherlock Holmes to the cozy crimes of the Golden Age.

Murder—a dark, shameful deed, the last resort of the desperate or a vile tool of the greedy. And a very strange obsession. But where did this fixation develop? And what does it tell us about ourselves?

Our fascination with crimes like these became a form of national entertainment, inspiring novels and plays, prose and paintings, poetry and true-crime journalism. At a point during the birth of the modern era, murder entered the popular psyche, and it’s been a part of us ever since.

The Art of the English Murder is a unique exploration of the art of crime—and a riveting investigation into the English criminal soul by one of our finest historians.

About the Author

Lucy Worsley, Ph.D., is Chief Curator at Historic Royal Palaces, the charity that manages the Tower of London, Hampton Court Palace, Kensington Palace, the Banqueting House in Whitehall, and Kew Palace in England. Please visit

Praise For…

Lively. Worsley’s goal isn’t to provide a history of crime or crime writing, but to show how the British enjoyed and consumed the idea of murder.

Worsley has a lively, accessible style, with frequent changes of pace and contagious enthusiasm for the little anecdotes and artifacts that bring history to life. A friendly introduction to the history of crime fiction.


Fascinating. This riveting cultural history will enthrall fans of British crime novels as well as readers of true crime.

Irresistible. Crisp, clear and good to the last sentence.

Worsley captures this bloody love affair very well.

A brief, absorbing history lesson on how the UK’s obsession with bloody deeds changed not only methods of law enforcement, but fertilized the roots of modern popular culture.

Worsley retells the stories of famous murderers and legendary criminals in delightfully readable language, with sharp, illuminating comments.

Nicely illustrated with 16 pages of mostly color pictures and other B&W pictures throughout, this book is a delightful romp through the most iconic staples of Victorian life: Sherlock Holmes, Madame Tussaud’s waxworks, and Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. I recommend reading this at night with a strong cup of tea. Just keep your lights on, and the doors locked.

Product Details
ISBN: 9781605989099
ISBN-10: 1605989096
Publisher: Pegasus Books
Publication Date: November 16th, 2015
Pages: 336
Language: English