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The Bermondsey Murder (Paperback)

Scotland Yard’s First Great Challenge and Dickens’ Inspiration

P&S History > British History P&S History > By Century > 19th Century P&S History > True Crime World History > UK & Ireland > England > London

By Angela Buckley
Imprint: Pen & Sword True Crime
Pages: 200
Illustrations: 25 mono illustrations
ISBN: 9781399044202
Published: 4th July 2024


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When Patrick O’Connor went missing in August 1849, his friends were suspicious. The London dock worker was last seen in the company of Swiss-born Maria Manning and her husband in Bermondsey. By the time police officers discovered his remains under the kitchen floor, the couple had fled.

This shocking crime sparked a race against time to bring these cold-blooded killers to justice. After almost a decade of unsolved murders in the capital, could Scotland Yard detectives find the murderous pair and restore public confidence in their sleuthing skills?

The search for the Mannings spread beyond England and was closely followed by the Victorian public, including prominent writers such as Charles Dickens who was haunted by the case and later immortalised some of the key characters in Bleak House, which was published just four years later. To this day, the Bermondsey Murder remains a legendary crime in the history of Scotland Yard and mid-nineteenth century London.

Using primary source material, this book delves into the background of the Mannings, including Maria’s link with royalty and Frederick’s previous criminal activities. It also offers a full biography of the victim, Patrick O’Connor, and his shady past, as well as presenting the original court documents which shed further light on the case and the Mannings' relationship.

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

If you love true crime and love history, this is the perfect choice for you. The case itself makes for interesting reading, but the clever way in which the author presents the investigative approach and how this case changed police practices takes the book to the next level. Very well written with plenty of references to explore, this is a wonderful addition to anyone’s true crime library.

NetGalley, Louise Gray
 Angela Buckley

About Angela Buckley

Angela Buckley is a freelance writer specialising in local and family history. She has published many articles on genealogy, social history and Manchester's colourful past and writes regularly for several family history magazines. In her previous career in modern languages education Angela published three teaching guides for GCSE French with Hodder & Stoughton.

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